Sunday, August 2, 2015

THEY WON'T BELIEVE ME (1947)


Robert Young is good as a philandering coward (against type), equally tender and pathetic. Young’s wife is not as good looking as the other female costars. He realizes this rather quickly. He and Jane Greer have plans but Young cannot leave his wife’s money and Young and Greer go their separate ways. Enter Susan Hayward, his 2nd fling, who has a manipulative mind of her own. After sending his wife divorce papers, Young plans to run away with Hayward, but their late night automobile accident kills her beyond identification. Apparently they could not find her teeth. During the same period, unknown to Young, his wife accidentally falls to her death at her favorite spot near their ranch. Everyone assumes the auto victim was his wife and Young plays along. This could actually work out for him. He would kill his wife and no one will know the difference. After discovering his wife’s body, he stupidly dumps her in the nearby pond. No one will ever find her floating on the surface.



The ending may be the most unbelievable thing about this film. The movie is told through flashbacks as Young testifies under oath he did not kill his wife but his story seems so unbelievable, even he finds it all hard to believe, and is convinced the jury will convict him. As the verdict starts to be read there is a close up of a screaming courtroom witness. The camera fixes on Young who is about to roll (not jump) out the window to certain death. The court police officer pulls his gun and kills him. Nobody is going to commit suicide on his watch! With no brief shot of Young dashing out of his chair, immediately followed by the screaming lady, it seems like unfortunate editing. Suspended disbelief I guess. By then, everyone in the theater knows the verdict. This probably worked in 1947. Many rate this film very high. It would rate higher with me if it were not for the aforementioned implausibilities. A well acted drama nonetheless and worth a viewing.

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