Preston Foster was just a little too old to be convincing as the police lieutenant ,Johnny Saxon who is obsessed by a woman Laura Mead (Belita) he cant trust. Saxon puts Laura in prison for 4 years for a robbery she claims she didn’t do.
The Steve Fisher script opens with Saxon observing Laura coming off a bus – she’s just been released from prison. Speaking to Laura’s parole officer he says, “I’m the guy that was in love with her and locked her up.”
But he hasn’t forgotten her( though there is no indication he visited her in prison) – he has arranged a job for her and somewhere to stay.
Back at his apartment,he finds Laura waiting for him. She remarks, “What’s the matter? Are you afraid of me? I promised to kill you.” . She adds, “I spent four years hating you.”
She again says she is innocent. Her brother gave her a package to keep for him – it was full of diamonds. There’s no one who can back up her story.. as Laura says, “It’s funny how untruthful the truth can sound.”
Saxon tells her he spent months checking and re-checking everything but was convinced she was guilty. (Not helped by the fact that her attorney,(played by Pierre Watkin) tells Saxon that she confessed fully to him.)
As Laura is played by Belita,the job Saxon gets for her is in an ice show run by Frank Ferguson. and of course we see a skating number.
Finally Saxon lets down his guard and admits he still loves her. But the lawyer is murdered and Laura is framed for it and runs away. Saxon is ready yet again to believe her guilt (she had threatened the lawyer for not defending her properly at her trial.)
In a final confrontation,Laura says to Saxon,”You’ve hounded,tormented and hunted me, made me fall in love with you again. I never committed a crime before in my life,but if you try to follow me,I’ll kill you.”
In the end, the truth and Laura’s innocence is proved. A tacked on happy ending doesn’t ring true.
This story has a lot going for it, and English born Belita was convincing as Laura. Charles McGraw ,who had a minor role, would have been a better costar.
The conflict between Laura and Saxon reminded me of Ford and Hayworth in Gilda,but Belita and Foster couldn’t generate the heat and passion we got from the Columbia duo.