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The File On Thelma Jordan (1950): You always intend when you have to…

the file on thelma jordan movie poster The File On Thelma Jordan (1950): You always intend when you have to...

A married DA falls for a woman with a past

Thelma Jordan, the last film noir by Robert Siodmak is under-rated, and not because of Siodmak, whose lacklustre direction disappoints, but for the intelligent script and a bravura performance from Barbara Stanwyck, who plays Thelma, the woman with a past. I have deliberately not described her as a femme-fatale, as her character is multi-layered. She is trapped by her past but genuinely loves the DA who falls for her.

Noir determinism propels the story, which to a degree is melodramatic and contrived, but the pyschological elements and literate study of the dynamics of marriage and immaturity give the film more depth than most melodramas.

“Id’ like to say I didn’t intend to kill her, but when you have a gun, you always intend when you have to…”

thelma66 The File On Thelma Jordan (1950): You always intend when you have to...

3 Comments

  1. alyss allen

    i think thats so untrue but i think the temptation is still there no matter what. you have a gun, you have the girl, you have the reasons, you’re gonna shoot her unless you’re un-human

  2. Thanks Alyss. These lines spoken by Thelma whhen relating what she has done are I think an attempt to take greater responsibility for the crime and express her regret…

  3. dave

    Noir is essentially the dark side (one’s “shadow” as defined by Carl Jung)and thus the appeal, as everyone has a dark side. Enjoy the film!