Blu-ray Review: My Name is Julia Ross | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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My Name is Julia Ross

Studio: Arrow Academy

Feb 15, 2019 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

Young Julia Ross (Spartacus’ Nina Foch) lives alone in London following an appendectomy. Badly needing work to repay mounting debts, Julia answers a newspaper listing for girls with secretarial skills. When the hiring agent learns that she has no close kin, she recommends Julia as a live-in assistant for the wealthy Mrs. Hughes (The Lady Vanishes’ May Whitty) and her quiet son, Ralph (George Macready, later of Paths of Glory and Gilda.) Julia quickly gathers her things and moves into their London townhouse.

Julia awakes two days later, groggy and confused. She no longer finds herself in London, but in the bedroom of an opulent seaside mansion. Everyone, including the housekeepers, believes her to be Marion Hughes, Ralph’s wife, and that she’s recovering from a nervous breakdown that’s made her forget her identity. She soon learns that the real Marion died under suspicious circumstances and that she’s become an unwilling part of the Hughes’ complex cover-up. If she can’t escape, or at least convince a sympathetic stranger that she’s not who the Hughes are saying she is, Julia knows that her captors will eventually have her killed.

Released in 1945, My Name is Julia Ross is a remarkable little thriller, well-served by its dedicated cast and lots of visually-exciting camera framing. (May Whitty rarely speaks at any more heightened tone than “irritated granny,” but is intimidating from her first appearance; George Macready’s charming Stepford husband-type character shows real, frightening flashes of menace whenever he lets down his veneer.) At only 65 minutes’ runtime, it’s incredibly tightly-wound.

My Name is Julia Ross was originally intended as a B-picture for Columbia but elevated to main feature status when test screenings played well with their audiences. Its low budget is still quite apparent, though director Joseph H. Lewis (Gun Crazy) was able to squeeze extra production value out of his scant resources. Lewis had been an insanely prolific director of studio cheapies – he’d directed an unbelievable 25 films in the nine years leading up to My Name is Julia Ross – and had clearly picked up more than a few tricks along the way, making the most of his limited number of locations and tight schedule.

Arrow Academy’s Blu-ray presents the film with fantastic sound and picture quality. Bonus features include a commentary by noir scholar Alan Rode and a video essay by The Nitrate Diva, who discusses Lewis’ career and the source novel for Julia Ross, as well as the film’s place in post-War, women-focused cinema. This is an altogether great package for an underseen little gem, surrounding it with essential context for those interested in Golden Age’s less-celebrated B-pictures.



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February 25th 2019

It was one of the best movie and very good stuff, thank you for share with us keep moving, waiting for updates.