Nora Prentiss

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Movie Info

In this slick melodrama, a sort of film-noir for women, a nightclub singer has an affair with an unhappily married San Francisco doctor. Though the physician desperately wants to leave his wife, he lacks the courage to ask for a divorce. In retaliation, the singer accepts an offer to move East and start up a new club in New York. Lost without the singer, the doctor is without option until his partner suddenly dies. With a burst of inspiration, he fakes his own death and flees to New York. Later, he is horrified to learn that his death has been officially declared a homicide, and so he goes into hiding in the singer's apartment. To cope with his fear and the increasing success of his lover, the physician begins drinking heavily. This only makes him paranoid and more depressed and he begins to suspect his lover is having an affair. Upon confronting the "lover," a fight ensues, the doctor wins, and thinking he killed his rival, he takes off -- only to end up in a horrible traffic accident that leaves his face unrecognizable. Though plastic surgery gives him a new identity, it is at that time that he is arrested and sent back to California to stand trial for his own murder. Rather than burden his family with the shock that he is still alive, the doctor insists that his lover keep mum, and he stoically goes to trial where he is sentenced to Death Row. Beautifully photographed by James Wong Howe in typically expressionistic style, the film focuses on the desperation and entrapment of the characters and expresses a true bleak, fatalistic film-noir sensibility which makes this film unique in the genre.


Kent Smith
as Dr. Richard Talbot
Ann Sheridan
as Nora Prentiss
Bruce Bennett
as Dr. Joel Merriam
Robert Alda
as Nick Dinardos
Rosemary DeCamp
as Lucy Talbot
John Ridgely
as Walter Bailey
Robert Arthur
as Gregory Talbot
Wanda Hendrix
as Bonita Talbot
Helen Brown
as Miss Judson
Harry Shannon
as Police Lieutenant
James Flavin
as District Attorney
Don McGuire
as Truck Driver
Clifton Young
as Policeman
John Newland
as Reporter
John Compton
as Reporter
Ramon Ros
as Reporter
Jack Mower
as Sheriff
Fred Kelsey
as Turnkey
Gertrude Carr
as Mrs. Dobie
Richard Walsh
as Bystander
Tiny Jones
as Flower Woman
Georgia Caine
as Mrs. Sterritt
Dean Cameron
as Rod the Piano Player
Roy Gordon
as Oberlin
David Fresco
as Newsboy
Jack Ellis
as Doorman
John Ellis
as Doorman
Lee Phelps
as Doorman
Creighton Hale
as Captain of Waiters
Eddie Hart
as Policeman
Clancy Cooper
as Policeman
Al Bridge
as Reporter
Alan Bridge
as Policeman
Ross Ford
as Chauffeur, Billie
Ralph Dunn
as Detective
Eddy Chandler
as Detective
Fred Johnson
as Newspaper Man
Charles Jordan
as Clerk at Court
John Elliott
as Chaplain
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Critic Reviews for Nora Prentiss

All Critics (3)

Audience Reviews for Nora Prentiss

  • Jul 08, 2010
    the film synopsis leads one to believe that nora prentiss ruins the life of a respected doctor but as gorgeous as ann sheridan is, she's much too sweet for a femme fatale. this is considered a 'woman's noir' but the story is really that of dr. richard talbot, consumed by guilt and increasingly paranoid. it's hard for me to see why nora prentiss stands by him when he was too much a coward to simply ask his wife for a divorce. of course that would've been a much less dramatic film
    Stella D Super Reviewer
  • Aug 28, 2008
    Ann is very sensual and glam here, this was one of her biggest hits, the story is nothing you haven't seen before but she makes it worth your while.
    jay n Super Reviewer

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