Wednesday, March 31, 2010

They Wont Believe Me (1947): This is more than just a trip to Montreal.

They Won't Believe Me (1947). Cast: Susan Hayward, Robert Young, Rita Johnson and Jane Greer. Film noir. Director: Irving Pichel. Produced by Alfred Hitchcock longtime assistant, Joan Harrison.

Womanizer Larry Ballentine, is on trial for the murder of his girlfriend and wants to take the stand in his own defense. During his testimony, we learn that he married his wife, Gretta, for her money and had many affairs. He makes plans to leave his wife for Verna, withdrawing all of his wife's money from the bank. Larry's plan falls apart after Verna is killed in a car accident. This film has plenty of twists and turns to keep you guessing. What will the jury decide?

Joan Harrison, worked on the screenplays for four Alfred Hitchcock films: Rebecca (1940) and produced the director's TV series, Alfred Hitchcock Presents as well film noirs : two with director Robert Siodmak (Phantom Lady, 1944; Uncle Harry, 1945). Joining Harrison were director Irving Pichel (The Most Dangerous Game, 1932); screenwriter Jonathan Latimer, who wrote Nocturne (1946) and The Big Clock (1948); cinematographer Harry J. Wild, who worked on Murder, My Sweet (1944) and Cornered (1945); and composer Roy Webb, whose music scores for film noirs like The Stranger on the Third Floor (1940) and Crossfire (1947).

What I enjoyed most about this film was Robert Young in the role of Larry Ballentine. I was used to seeing, Young in romantic comedies. In this Film Noir, He plays a liar, a thief, a coward who is lacking in moral character and yet it is one of his best, performances. In my opinion. :)

Rita A. Johnson (August 13, 1913 – October 31, 1965), began acting on Broadway in 1935 and started her film career two years later.

She played a murderess in Here Comes Mr. Jordan (1941) and a doomed wife in the RKO film noir They Won't Believe Me (1947).

Her film career came almost to a complete stop after a 1948 accident (a hair dryer fell on her head) that required delicate brain surgery.

Her screen time in movies after that was limited due to her reduced mobility and powers of concentration.

She also suffered from alcoholism from the time of her injuries  until her death of a brain hemorrhage on October 31, 1965.


  1. Dawn, I'm not familiar with this movie, which sounds interesting. By the way, Joan Harrison later married the famous author Eric Ambler.

  2. Rick, Thank you for the Joan Harrison fun fact. The movie is on youtube, if you can handle the movie chopped up in parts..Which is not the best way to view a movie. But you can get an idea of what it is about.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.