Pulp Fiction: Julie

Louis Jourdan drives Doris Day crazy.

Noir Alley is off the air during TCM’s summer of the stars, so I thought I’d write about a movie that was recently featured there. I want to keep Eddie Muller’s dark flame lit or some such shit.

Julie is an unusual crime film. It features a major movie star not known for film noir in the title role, Doris Day. It’s another film in which Doris displays her considerable acting chops. Because she made so many musicals and comedies, Doris Day is an underrated dramatic actress. Her performance in Julie is right up there with her brilliant portrayal of torch singer Ruth Etting in Love Me Or Leave Me.

The movie features film noir regulars Louis Jourdan and Barry Sullivan as the male leads. Jourdan usually played suave leading men, in this movie he’s a deranged concert pianist who married our heroine under false pretenses. Doris quickly tires of his shit and leaves him on their honeymoon in Carmel, CA. Nobody likes a back seat driver even if the scenery is gorgeous.

Julie becomes a stalker film with Jourdan out to destroy Doris to no avail. His character doesn’t understand one of the iron rules of Hollywood: except in Storm Warning, Doris Day does not die onscreen.

The acting is superb. Doris plays a strong woman who refuses to give in to her violent new husband. Jourdan adds menace to his suave demeanor. Barry Sullivan plays the man Doris should have married who helps her at every turn and ends up wounded. Sullivan is one of my favorite noiristas, here he is with Doris and the ocean:

Holy beachfront property, Batman.

The movie does a slow burn pacing-wise culminating in a finale on board a passenger plane. The finale is thrilling, but since this feature is called pulp fiction, not pulp spoilers, that’s all the plot I’m willing to share. Except this: I disagree with those who find the ending implausible.

Julie was written and directed by Andrew L. Stone who was nominated for best original screenplay. Another Stone joint Highway 301 was featured in this space when it was still Pulp Fiction Thursday. It’s not just for Thursdays anymore.

Before we grade the movie, here’s the title song by Leith Stevens and Tom Adair. It was nominated for best song but was an also-ran. Most noirs were nominated for nothing:

Grading Time: Julie is an exciting movie with a thrilling ending. I give it 3 1/2 stars and an Adrastos Grade of B+

Let’s get all arty and shit with the quad poster:

Do you know what time it is? It’s time to follow movie treats to the lobby:

Julie was filmed in glorious black and white, so naturally the lobby cards are in color.

Now that we’ve seen a nervous Doris let her sleeping dog of a new husband lie, let’s hop aboard the trailer.

The last word goes to Eddie Muller with his Noir Alley intro and outro. As you will see, the Noir Czar is as big a Doris Day fan as I am.