No Man’s Woman (1955)

Directed by Franklin Adreon, written by Don Martin (story), John K. Butler (screenplay)

“I ought to give you your diamond ring back.”
“Good. I’ll turn it in on a new anchor.”
“It is your new anchor.”

A successful businessman (John Archer) has been separated from his wife (Marie Windsor) for 2 years and wants to move on with his life, but she won’t allow a divorce without a huge settlement consisting of 50% of future income plus a cash lump sum equal to roughly half the current value of his business. She’s also manipulating an art critic into plugging her business by sleeping with him and chasing after her young employee’s fiancé, threatening to blackmail him if he doesn’t go out with her.

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The woman is a piece of work like nothing you’ve ever seen (or maybe you have). She’s a horrific beauty, using her sexuality and intelligence to steamroll those who know her into doing whatever she wants. When she’s murdered, the police investigation into her death is hindered by the fact that almost everyone in her life had motive to kill her.

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The idea that she spreads this motive so strongly to everyone who associates with her makes her one of the great femme fatales of the genre.

The film is short, about 70 minutes. It’s an excellent movie, and the picture quality of the Blu-ray is good, though not up to the level of other restorations given to some of these classics. Still, it’s possible this is the best the film will ever look. It’s recommended for the movie itself, but if you’re interested in femme fatales, you might be hard pressed finding a better specimen.

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“Don’t do it, Mr. Grant. No woman is worth a man going to the gas chamber for.”
“I’m not so sure about that. This one might be worth it.”

4 stars

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