In 1848 NYC, a Frenchwoman visits exiled former French Marshal Thevenet to ask for his financial help in behalf of his French grandson but Thevenet's house staff schemes to kill him and take his fortune.
Mae Doyle comes back to her hometown a cynical woman. Her brother Joe fears that his love, fish cannery worker Peggy, may wind up like Mae. Mae marries Jerry and has a baby; she is happy but restless, drawn to Jerry's friend Earl.
In 1848, a young Frenchwoman, Madeline Minot, goes to New York City to see Thevenet, the grandfather of her fiance. Thevenet had been with Napoleon and may be sympathetic to the political aims of his grandson. She finds the old man in very bad spirits, living in a large house with a housekeeper and a butler who are just waiting for him to die (and perhaps helping him along a bit) so they can inherit his fortune. They see Madeline as a threat to their plans. She is aided in her dealings with these strange people by a mysterious man in a cloak.Written by
John Oswalt <firstname.lastname@example.org>
While not in the top drawer of mystery films of the era, the film should come as a pleasant surprise for those interested in the period and definitely will register with films of the noir genre. The plot is difficult to sum up quickly but rest assured that it is literary and interesting, involves at least one or two good twists and sports a fine cast of players better known for work in more famous films. Joseph Cotten is particularly fine as the man of mystery who foils an attempt to rob the inheritance related to the demise of an old reprobate (Louis Calhern) in 1840's New York. Throw in Barbara Stanwyck at her most sultry and Leslie Carone at her most innocent and you have a film that does not exactly match the excitement generated by the opening scenes but holds one's attention nonetheless.
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