Julie (Doris Day) and Lyle (Louis Jourdan) are newlyweds, but their honeymoon hasn’t exactly been happy. Lyle has been acting jealous and strange.
Julie was married once before, the marriage only ending due to her husband’s unexpected death. As Lyle’s behavior becomes more erratic, Julie starts to believe her friend Cliff (Barry Sullivan) may be correct in his suspicion that Lyle had something to do with her first husband’s death.
Her suspicions are confirmed when she tricks Lyle into admitting his crime. But now she’s stuck in a marriage with her husband’s obsessive, unpredictable killer. Will she make it out alive?
Julie was written and directed by Andrew L. Stone. Though the film isn’t a musical, its leading lady’s pipes are still put to use, with a title song performed by Doris Day.
Julie is a film that wastes no time jumping into the action. We see Julie running to her car and then Lyle hopping in after her, trying to run the car off the road! The pace is well-kept from this dramatic introduction to the central couple. The film moves along quickly and firmly grips the viewer.
Though, as mentioned, it isn’t a musical, the film does make nice use of music. Lyle is a pianist. One memorable scene has Julie listening to him play, and hearing his anger through the way he’s playing, the tune becoming increasingly ominous.
The music adds so much atmosphere to the already-tense film. The mood is very anxious throughout. The police, of course, are completely unhelpful when Julie approaches them, which is frustrating for both her and the viewer! There’s a real sense of dread knowing that without their help, Julie will likely be murdered or have to spend her entire life on the run.
This was my first time seeing Louis Jourdan in such a sinister role. I wouldn’t have pictured him for it since I’m used to seeing him as the swoon-worthy love interest, but he does very well as Lyle. He’s suave enough for the viewer to see why Julie would fall for him, but also convincingly menacing — in a few scenes, downright terrifying!
Stone’s script is a little bit all over the place. Lyle’s killer wild goose chase finds its resolution in an airplane, leading to a somewhat tacked-on ending that seems more suited to a disaster film than a murderous marital drama.
Still, even with its odd twists and moments of melodrama, Julie makes for a good watch. It’s effective in keeping the viewer hooked, and the performances are worth tuning in for, particularly that of Jourdan.