Friday, July 24, 2015

Friday's Film Adaption: I Married a Dead Man by Cornell Woolrich

Pregnant, abandoned by her slimy husband and destitute, Helen Georgesson boards a train going west. In the crowded train car she meets happy newlyweds Patrice Hazzard, also expecting, and Hugh. They are on their way to visit Hugh’s parents, whom Patrice is meeting for the first time. After Patrice hands Helen her wedding band so she can wash her hands in the rest room, the train crashes, killing the Hazzards, but Helen survives. When she regains consciousness in the hospital, she discovers she has been mistaken for Patrice. Patrice’s wealthy in-laws send for Helen, and she decides for the sake of her son to go along with the misunderstanding. They welcome her into the fold and her “brother-in-law” Bill even shows signs of romantic interest. But when her husband tracks her down and threatens her with blackmail, her dream turns into a nightmare.

No Man of Her Own
Helen Ferguson, pregnant, penniless and dumped by her boyfriend Steve Morley, takes the identity of the pregnant Patrice Harkness, when she and her husband are killed in a train crash. The rich Harkness in-laws, and their other son Bill, had never seen Patrice, so they accept her and her newborn son into their family. However Steve eventually finds her and starts to blackmail her. 
Release Dates: February 21, 1950 
Running Time: 98 minutes
Barbara Stanwyck as Helen Ferguson/Patrice Harkness
John Lund as Bill Harkness
Jane Cowl as Mrs. Harkness
Phyllis Thaxter as Patrice Harkness
Lyle Bettger as Stephen 'Steve' Morley
Henry O'Neill as Mr. Harkness
Richard Denning as Hugh Harkness
Harry Antrim as Ty Winthrop
Esther Dale as Josie
Milburn Stone as Plainclothesman
Griff Barnett as Dr. Parker

Mrs. Winterbourne
Connie Doyle is a Jersey girl who moves to New York City to find her fortune. Connie promptly meets con man Steve DeCunzo who lets her move in with him. When she becomes pregnant, however, he refuses to accept any responsibility. Alone and destitute, Connie seeks refuge in Grand Central station and mistakenly boards a Boston-bound passenger train where she meets another pregnant woman, Patricia Winterbourne, who's on her way to meet her wealthy in-laws for the first time. The wheel of fortune turns and the train derails, killing both Patricia and her husband Hugh. Connie wakes up eight days later with a newborn son and a new identity. The next thing she knows, she's being taken to the Winterbourne Mansion in Marblehead, Massachusetts where her 'new family' awaits her arrival. The surviving grandson and daughter-in-law immediately become the focus of Grace Winterbourne's life, easing the pain from the loss of her son. But for Connie, winning over Bill--Hugh's surviving twin--proves more daunting.
Release Date: April 19, 1996
Running Time: 105 minutes
Shirley MacLaine as Grace Winterbourne
Ricki Lake as Connie Doyle/"Patricia Winterbourne" 
Brendan Fraser as Bill / Hugh Winterbourne
Miguel Sandoval as Paco
Loren Dean as Steve DeCunzo
Peter Gerety as Father Brian Kilraine
Justin Vanlieshout as Baby Hughie
Jane Krakowski as Christine
Debra Monk as Lieutenant Ambrose
Cathryn de Prume as Renee
Susan Haskell as Patricia Winterbourne
Bobcat Goldthwait (uncredited) as TV comedian
Paula Prentiss (uncredited) as Maternity nurse
Alec Thomilson as Baby Hughie

No Man of Her Own

Mrs. Winterbourne

Author Bio:
Cornell Woolrich is widely regarded as the twentieth century’s finest writer of pure suspense fiction. The author of numerous classic novels and short stories (many of which were turned into classic films) such as Rear Window, The Bride Wore Black, The Night Has a Thousand Eyes, Waltz Into Darkness, and I Married a Dead Man, Woolrich began his career in the 1920s writing mainstream novels that won him comparisons to F. Scott Fitzgerald. The bulk of his best-known work, however, was written in the field of crime fiction, often appearing serialized in pulp magazines or as paperback novels. Because he was prolific, he found it necessary to publish under multiple pseudonyms, including "William Irish" and "George Hopley" [...] Woolrich lived a life as dark and emotionally tortured as any of his unfortunate characters and died, alone, in a seedy Manhattan hotel room following the amputation of a gangrenous leg. Upon his death, he left a bequest of one million dollars to Columbia University, to fund a scholarship for young writers.



No Man of Her Own

Mrs. Winterbourne
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