My Name is Julia Ross

My Name is Julia Ross

USA, Dir: Joseph H Lewis, 1945

Festival of the Future City/
Thu 14 November 2019

My Name is Julia Ross

USA, Dir: Joseph H Lewis, 1945

My Name is Julia Ross
Thu 14 November 2019,

This mystery-melodrama opens in London where Julia Ross (Nina Foch), desperate for work, is sent by an employment agency to be the live-in personal secretary of a wealthy widow (Dame May Whitty). Instead, she finds herself imprisoned at an isolated seaside estate.

Included as part of the Festival of the Future City film noir series, this differs from other films shown as it is set in Britain and instead of recognisable city-based location-shooting it uses Hollywood sets and the Californian coastline to depict London and Cornwall. It is also unusual because while having many of the film noir techniques and themes, for much of its plot it is far removed from the urban environment. Its focus on the manipulation of a woman’s identity and her sense of her own sanity is reminiscent of the gothic.

With a 12-day shooting schedule, this was originally planned as a ‘B’ movie but proved so popular at previews it was promoted to top-of-the-bill feature. Lewis would later direct the noir classics Gun Crazy and The Big Combo.

This screening is part of Festival of the Future City – an initiative of Festival of Ideas. Festival of the Future City takes place every two years in Bristol celebrating and debating the future of cities with talks, walks, debates, arts projects and new books.

The 2019 Festival of the Future City includes a film noir programme; classic utopian films about cities; cities in silent cinema; documentaries on New Towns, democracy, the housing crisis and the anthropocene in the series: Cities, Future Cities and Film. We are grateful to BFI for their support for this programme. See the full film programme here.

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Images © 1945 Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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