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  • As mysteries go, No Man's Woman runs in the league of those populous puzzles that fueled so many old Perry Mason episodes: a lot of suspects, one of whom will be fingered. But the movie preserves a starring performance by Marie Windsor, one of the all-time great broads of post-war poverty-row movies. She leads in more of them than one might think, most of them obscure (if not vanished) westerns, sci-fi cheapies, and crime programmers. But, top billing or not, we get to see less of Windsor in No Man's Woman that we might like – too many people want her dead.

    Among them: her industrialist husband (John Archer) whom she won't divorce unless he forks over a ruinous settlement; his girlfriend (Jil Jarmyn), whose pleas Windsor coldly rebuffs; Windsor's art critic paramour/business partner (Patric Knowles), who writes puff-pieces for her gallery and gets fired for conflict of interest (today they'd call it `synergy'); her loyal young assistant (Nancy Gates), whose fiancé she blithely tries to steal; and the fiancé (Richard Crane), onto whose boat she invites herself in order to seduce then blackmail him.

    Windsor, as one exchange between characters goes, is `a witch...whichever way it's spelled.' When her wicked-woman machinations have reached the boil, and just about everyone has indiscreetly remarked how they'd like to see her dead, a 3-a.m. intruder into her studio grants their wishes. And so the search for the murderer is on....

    Much like the roles Joan Crawford at this juncture in her career was playing in A-productions, Windsor's character is that of an honey-voiced schemer hiding her self-interest beneath a facade of piss-elegance – with every petty victory, the huge orbs of her eyes flash with satisfaction. She was more memorable in The Narrow Margin and The Killing (better movies), but what she delivers makes one wonder why she never broke out of the B-movie ghetto.
  • Remember how the Perry Mason show always started with a drama about a bunch of unfamiliar characters, one of whom went out of his or her way to be nasty to all the others, leaving a nice collection of suspects for the viewer to sort through after he or she was murdered? The beginning of this film, made two years before the Mason show debuted, will bring back memories of those episodes. There's no shrewd defense attorney or even a courtroom scene but, again Mason-like, it was filmed in sunny 1950's L. A. with slick professionalism and an almost anonymous cast, with the exception of renowned noir femme fatale Marie Windsor.

    As usual in such dramas, the cops set their sights on the wrong suspect. In this case, however, the suspects themselves work out who's the guilty party.

    In brief, a straightforward well-made little whodunit that moves along briskly and should keep you engaged for eighty minutes or so.
  • Windsor plays a conniving, unfaithful wife whose fed up husband wants to marry a "nice" girl and is willing to make her a fair offer in exchange for a divorce. She makes an exorbitant demand and ups the price by 100 grand after he responds by throwing a drink in her face. This is followed by her shocked father-in-law's remark "no matter how you look at it, that woman is a witch!" To which his son replies "no matter how you spell it either." A good example of some of the clever (not to mention funny) pseudo-profanity and "no-no" innuendo script writers had to develop back then.

    As usual, Windsor plays her part to the hilt and makes a very credible villain. Unfortunately, the script writers went overboard with her character, almost making her a caricature of herself. They exaggerate her "W" or "B"ness to such a degree that it becomes unrealistic and even comical. What self-respecting cold, calculating gold-digger would publicly commit adultery with her secretary's fiancée before she was done squeezing her husband? Windsor herself seems to display an inner grin even with her nastiest facial expressions. She no doubt realized how ridiculous some of the script was. In the movie, she owns and lives in an art gallery. Since the real Marie Windsor was a multi-talented individual who achieved some success as a painter and sculptress, I wonder if this is simply coincidental.

    I guess one purpose served by making her such a larger than life meanie is to make all the suspects seem equally likely to have killed her.

    A mix of true "noir" and standard "whodunit" hurt by overdone melodramatics, yet still worth seeing.
  • Marie Windsor stars as Carolyn Ellenson Grant, a nasty selfish lady. Her husband is desperate to divorce her, but she refuses and lives a completely separate life on his money. She also has a lover who she uses ruthlessly to get what she wants and along the way she decides to destroy a few lives for kicks. Eventually, she is killed and the police think the husband did it...not realizing practically EVERYONE had motives to do it! Can the poor hubby manage to prove his innocence?

    The first portion of the film is more enjoyable than the last...though it is overall a very good movie. Watching Windsor playing such a conniving and god-awful person is incredibly enjoyable and it's a part that Joan Crawford could have done well in at this time...though Windsor was quite convincing. Worth seeing...and a bit like film noir in many ways.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    If you love Marie Windsor, "The Narrow Margin" (1952) & "The Killing" (1956), you are certain to enjoy "'No Man's Woman." Here we see the statuesque beauty at her nasty best. Marie plays Carolyn Grant, a conniving, duplicitous,cheat who will do anything, short of murder, to get her way. She's highly successful too. Unfortunately, after double-crossing five people, one of them shoots her dead.

    The story is told in a linear format with no (or minimal) flashbacks. This alone makes it refreshing. Though Carolyn is "snuffed" about midway through the film, considerable screen time is devoted to the character and Marie takes the spot-light up to the point of her character's death.

    Carolyn has an arrangement with her husband. They live apart and he pays her an allowance plus the mortgage on her home. She also owns a gallery. You get the distinct impression that Carolyn was cheating on him, but it isn't clearly stated. Her husband, Harlow Grant (played by John Archer) has a new love interest, but Carolyn isn't about to give him up to divorce without a very lucrative settlement. This annoys both her ex and his new lady friend, Louise Nelson (played by Nancy Gates). Both now have a motive to get Carolyn out of the way.

    Add to this the fact that her business partner,Wayne Vincent (played by Patric Knowles) has just been fired and blacklisted as an art reporter for giving Carolyn far too much free advertising. Wayne asks Carolyn for help, but she turns him down because he's unemployed. Considering that his career was ended for helping her, Wayne is none too happy about Carolyn's attitude. Another "burn victim" with a motive.

    Finally, Carolyn goes after her assistant's boyfriend by inviting herself on a fishing trip with Dick Sawyer (played by Richard Crane). When her advances are rejected by Dick, Carolyn threatens to tell her assistant, Betty Allen (played by Jil Jarmyn) that Dick has been unfaithful. Dick rejects the threat and basically tells Carolyn that she's the nastiest woman he has ever met, and he has met quite a few as a soldier.

    We now have five people with sufficient motive to kill Carolyn.

    The police quickly determine that all five are prime suspects. It doesn't help that some lie about their whereabouts from the outset, that the husband was blind drunk and doesn't remember anything, and that three others have access to both the weapon and access to Carolyn's home.

    The second half of the movie is a straight up "who done it" with the expected plot twists and revolving prime suspects.

    It's certainly entertaining and the fact that the "flashback" device wasn't used makes it refreshing.

    This is a "B" picture though so don't expect any stand-out performances.
  • So, how many victims can the great Marie Windsor (Carolyn) double-cross in less than an hour. Let's see, I've got to four and still counting. Actually, I'll watch anything with the big-eyed seductress. She always looks like she's enjoying some delicious inner joke even as her sly characters aim to corrupt, especially the poor two-timed Elisha Cook in that great heist flick The Killing (1956). Here she gets what amounts to a showcase as the victims pile up. In my little book, Windsor deserves a lifetime Oscar as a true one-of-a-kind.

    The narrative starts out as a series of romantic entanglements, but shifts half-way through into a murder mystery. The mystery doesn't play that well since the focus is too spread out among the suspects. To me, it's the cast of B-movie familiars that carries the interest. Add up the delicious Windsor, a straight-up Archer, an officious Louis Jean Heydt, along with that grinning gnome Percy Helton, and the lordly Ankrum, and you've got characters worth watching. Then too, there's a revealing display of street scenes LA, circa 1955, along with a procession of tight female sweaters trailing behind the bosomy Marilyn Monroe.

    All in all, it's a good little time-passer from Republic with what amounts to a central surprise to give it note. (Hard to believe, but looks like {IMDB} Windsor, born in Salt Lake City, was a lifetime Mormon! Talk about appearances vs. reality.)
  • Above average murder mystery about a greedy, scheming woman who 'gets it' and the cops think the husband did it.

    Nothing original, but the film is a sprint from start to finish so you shouldn't get bored. For a supposedly 'B movie', this has an excellent cast of players. Lots of pretty girls, weather beaten cops and a hunk or two for the womenfolk...

    Marie Windsor is particularly fun to watch playing the manipulative wife... which she did twice, a year later, in Kubrick's 'The Killing' and Corman's 'Swamp Women'. (I wonder what she was like in real life!)

    The first half of the movie presents the case for 'offing' the nasty woman and the second half is spent finding out who-dunnit. The running time of just over an hour goes by quickly, there's not a moment wasted. You won't be disappointed in this 'Perry Mason' style caper.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    The wide eyed Marie Windsor has a blast in this deliciously fun B film noir as the long estranged wife of John Archer who refuses his settlement for a divorce when he falls in love with the sweet Nancy Gates. She then sets her eyes on Richard Crane, the hunky boyfriend of her naive assistant Jil Jamyn, utilize zing a fishing trip with him as an excuse for Jamyn to return her engagement ring. Slaps from Archer and a slap for Crane bring out more of the viper in Windsor, setting up plenty of motive for murder! Toss in Patric Knowles as Windsor's slimy art reporter lover, and the number of suspects expands greatly.

    This mixture of soap opera and film noir (with comic dialog filled with innuendo and bitchy asides) is plenty of fun, fully in tuned with Republic Pictures' ideal of even making the most of their glorious "B" films, the highest grade of programmers in the film industry. Windsor has a field day as this aging seductress, willing to seduce the husband she hates if it served a purpose. I'm grateful that they didn't cast Vera Ralston in the Windsor role as the high rating I give this would have been cut in half. I only wish that there was another 20 minutes of what lead to the separation of Windsor and Archer, but what's there in the 70 minutes is delicious fun.
  • Marie Windsor is a piece of work. She's living apart from her husband, John Archer, but taking half his earnings. He wants to get married to Nancy Gates, so he asks Miss Windsor for a divorce. She wants a continuing half his earnings, plus $300,000 in cash; his father can sell his half of the business. Meanwhile, Miss Windsor is partners in an art gallery with Patrick Knowles, and putting the moves on Richard Crane, who's engaged to her assistant, Jil Jarmyn. In fact, she's just got Miss Jarmyn to return her engagement ring by telling her she's carrying on an affair with Crane.

    So naturally she's shot by someone standing just offscreen. Enter the police.

    It's a cheaply shot Republic B movie, and while everyone is decent, their line deliveries are rather declamatory. It's directed by Franklin Adreon(1902-1979). He had been writing Republic serials since 1937, and had directed a few for a couple of years. Now he was directing movies, and television, but it looks like the habits of the serials had stuck with him: grind them out cheap, grind them out fast and don't worry about the nuances. It's a well-written mystery, but the execution of the film is dull, except for Miss Windsor and her nasty attitude. I'd've shot her myself.
  • It don't get more basic than this and even though, it has something that holds it up making it very interesting, Marie Windsor! And hopefully us men will never meet the woman she portrays because it would be hard to decide just which one of us killed her?
  • Marie Windsor is in her element as "Caroline" a scheming, rather greedy creature who finds herself - a bit like JR Ewing 25 years later - shot by a mysterious assailant. The police turn up and discover that there is no shortage of candidates; her husband (John Archer) from whom she has separated and is trying to extort an huge divorce settlement; her assistant (Jil Jarman) whose fiancée she is trying to steal for the fun of it and her business partner (Patric Knowles) whom she treats like dirt... The detective elements of this story are pretty straightforward but it's got some decent performances that keep you hooked for most of the last twenty of this seventy minuter.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    ***SPOILERS***Marie Windsor as gold digger Carolyn Grant is at her very best or better yet worst as she ends up destroying the lives of everyone that she comes in contact with before the laws of Karma-What comes around goes around- ends up catching with her and thus destroying her own. No one spills any tears over Carolyn's demise but it's up to the police lead the Capt. Hostedder played my the Morris Ankrum, the legendary "Eternal Colonel" himself, to find her killer who, in how meany people's lives that she wrecked, can be anyone within the city limits of L.A. We get to see Carolyn in action destroying the lives of those closes to her including Carolyn's long suffering husband Harlow, John Archer, whom she refuses to grant a divorce more to torture the poor guy then getting her greedy hands on his money whom he'd gladly give her just to get out of his life.

    As a side light Carolyn later destroys the warn and loving relationship of young Betty Allen,Jil Jamlym, and her fisherman boyfriend Dick Sawyer, Richard Crane, by tricking Dick, who tried his best to resist her advances, to take her on his boat as he left Betty out in the cold. It' later the Carolyn was gunned down that things in the movie really started popping. There was so many suspects in her murder that it made Capt.Hostedder's attempt of finding her killer an almost impossible task. That until the killer, someone else who got royally screwed by her, himself got a bit careless in retrieving a number of artifacts he left in her art studio that would have exposed him to the police.

    ***SPOILERS***It at first was Mr. Grant that was the prime suspect in Carolyn's murder in that he told everyone he came in contact with including bartender Sandy,Paul Bryar,how he would love to knock her off even if it would end up with him being strapped in the San Quentin gas chamber. The guy didn't even have an alibi in where he was at the time of Carolyn's murder! He claimed that he was asleep dead drunk in his car parked outside his favorite bar. As things turned out the person who in fact murdered Carolyn should have been easy to spot by the police in that off all the people that she screwed out of everything important to them he ended up getting the very worst of it.
  • st-shot3 November 2019
    B movie queen Marie Windsor was on the down side of her film career ( she'd make an Abbot and Costello the same year) when she made this drab thriller minus the thrills. A clunker from the get go with stilted performances Windsor's diabolical drive and heavy handed seduction methods somehow prevents you from looking away as she makes short work of the gullible crowd around her.

    Greedy scheming Carolyn Grant is murdered by someone in a group of cardboard character stereotypes. Given her abrasive and conniving style, the list of suspects is lengthy, the culprit however somewhat obvious.

    Once Carolyn has been iced we are left with a cast of characters in tepid consternation being grilled by anemic detectives. The only life in this film is Ms. Windsor's Carolyn laying waste to wimps and when she takes her last breathe the film does as well.