“My Name is Julia Ross” (1945): 65 minutes of wowza!

28 March 2013

What doesn’t this movie have? Cockney housemaids, creepy English country homes with secret passageways, a black cat, a mysterious back story … and all packed into a tidy 65 minutes of Hollywood movie time. Some people call this film noir, but it’s weirder than that — it’s horror, it’s gothic, it’s melodrama.

And did I mention it’s streaming on YouTube? The perfect thing for a late-night movie:

And when you watch it, pay careful attention to the first ten minutes and tell me what you think. I can’t believe this got past the censors at the time.

Julia Ross has just come in after looking for a job all day, and has a conversation with the maid who cleans her dreary boarding house. If things aren’t already bad enough, she finds a wedding invitation in the mail from a man who clearly used to be sweet on her — why, the housemaid thought for sure Julia would make him forget about that other girl. Oh well.

Cockney housemaid: If you ain’t aiming too high, I know plenty of places where you can get a job like mine. [Julia looks distressed at the notion of being a maid.] But I suppose a fine lady like you was trained for something better.

Julia Ross, looking stricken: The doctor says I’ve got to be careful for a few months.

Maid: Oh. My sister had her “appendix” out, too. She were scrubbing and cleaning the very next week.

Julia: Does it bother her now?

Maid: Nothing bothers her now. She’s dead. But it wasn’t good, honest work that killed her.

Now, tell me: is this a coded conversation about an abortion? Sure sounds that way to me.

Advertisements

3 Responses to ““My Name is Julia Ross” (1945): 65 minutes of wowza!”

  1. Becky Says:

    Yes, of course this is about abortion! There was a time when the mention of abortion was not laced with contempt, just fear. Remember “Love with the Proper Stranger”?

    • Didion Says:

      And the way the maid says “Oh yeah, my sister had her ‘appendix’ out,” layered with sarcasm…I can’t remember a film from the 40s that had such an inference. Wow!

  2. Flo me la Says:

    Interesting! I love it when little hints like that get left for us viewers to interpret.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: