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…”