My Name is Julia Ross (1945)

Julia Ross has, through an employment agency, been placed to work for a very rich widow named Mrs. Hughes. Julia will live in Mrs. Hughes’ home while working for her.

A few days after getting the job, Julia wakes up in an unfamiliar place, with different clothes and a new identity — as the daughter-in-law of Mrs. Hughes. She’s told that she has suffered a nervous breakdown.

(Image: movieposterdb)
(Image: movieposterdb)

Julia knows that all is not as it seems in the Hughes home, becoming suspicious of both Mrs. Hughes herself and of her son, Ralph.

Joseph H. Lewis directs My Name is Julia Ross, from a screenplay by Muriel Roy Bolton. Bolton’s screenplay is based on a novel by Anthony Gilbert. This mystery/drama was released on November 8, 1945 by Columbia.

My Name is Julia Ross has a great, spooky atmosphere from the opening. Fantastic black and white cinematography feed the viewer’s eyes while creepy conversations about dead ladies and other equally morbid subjects are had by Mrs. Hughes and her family.

As a result of the visual atmospheric building in combination with the wonderful score, the film has a pretty great level of suspense.

The plot on its own is very intriguing. Nothing is certain for the viewer or for Julia, and the progression of events opens up even more questions for the viewer as the film moves along. Though we see Julia become somewhat of a part of the family after her long “sleep,” she reacts to the situation in such an illogical way that we become somewhat suspicious of her. The Hugheses are a very fishy family and the audience is equally suspicious of them, but Julia’s wacky behavior makes the viewer question her perspective.

This intrigue is bolstered by the wonderful performance of Nina Foch and the equally great supporting performances.

Elements of mystery and melodrama are wrapped up into a fast-paced and exciting film. Not a minute of its short running time is wasted, and everything gets wrapped up nicely. Though the ending gets a bit corny, most of the viewer’s questions are answered.

My Name is Julia Ross makes for a very enjoyable watch. I’d recommend it for fans of mystery or melodrama. The score: 4/5

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8 thoughts on “My Name is Julia Ross (1945)

  1. FYI http://demo.piadvance.com/2013/09/saved-save-the-rogers-city-theater-passes-100000-goal-to-purchase-digital-projector/
    The Save the Rogers City Theater kickstarter campaign passed the $100,000 mark/goal on September 19 with 9 days to go until the deadline of September 28. The pledges beyond $100,000 already total more than $6,000 will be used to replace the Truman era (circa 1948) theater seats. Thanks for helping publicize our campaign.
    Rachel Goodstein, campaign spearhead

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    1. This makes me so happy! Congratulations on surpassing your goal. I will look forward to visiting the updated theater next time I’m in the Rogers City area. :) Thanks for letting me know!

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  2. Sorry for missing a few of your posts, Lindsey…I had a bit of sadness here at home, but I’m now back in the swing of things, and I promise not to desert you again! I watched ‘Julia Ross’ a few years ago, and like you, thought it was great. So many neat things in such a small, unheralded package, and both the atmosphere and surprises were superb. I just wish I could find it to rent…I don’t want to shell out 50+ bucks to buy the TCM set!

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    1. Oh no, I’m very sorry to hear that! I hope things are looking up at least somewhat for you now.

      As for finding this film on DVD, have you checked your local library? Also, TCM usually has decent Black Friday deals, so it might be worth the sale price if you can’t find it anywhere else.

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      1. My 17-year-old cat was really sick, and had to be put to sleep. A rough couple of weeks, but things are better now…thanks for the kind words!

        I’ll keep an eye on the TCM deals…the library is quite a lengthy jaunt from my place, so I don’t head out that way too often. I should’ve taped it when I saw it on TCM way back when!

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        1. I figured that might have been what it was after your email a few weeks ago. The loss of a furry companion (I refuse to call them “pets,” they’re too much a part of the family!) is heartbreaking, but I’m glad things are better for you now, and that she is no longer suffering. 17 is 85 in cat years — she lived a great life!

          I think the film is still in my DVR’s recycle bin somewhere. If only I had the telepathic powers to send that data your way! I did see a couple of Region 2 DVDs of it on eBay, but unless you already have a player with Region 2 capabilities (or want to only watch the film on a laptop for the rest of your life), the TCM set would be a better investment.

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          1. Thanks, Lindsey…she had a long, fun life, and was indeed a wonderful ‘furry companion’!

            I’ll probably give in at some point and get that TCM set…I’m surprised, though, as strong as your telekinetic powers are, that your telepathic powers aren’t equally as strong, and you can’t mind warp that digital file to me, like, right this second. Oh well.

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