Movie: Because Of You (1952)

Some people know they have reached rock bottom when they wake up in bed with the wrong person, or they suddenly find themselves digging for food in a dumpster. 

Few people expect their path their life takes to end up at “magician’s assistant”, but that is where Loretta Young finds herself after doing a stint in prison, working as a nurse, getting married, having a child and then essentially getting herself and her daughter kidnapped by an old flame.  It’s the age-old story and in, keeping with tradition, she is soon travelling the country, working kid’s parties with a magician.

Wait a minute…that’s pretty goddamn weird, actually, and Because Of You is an odd film.  It never seems to settle into what it wants to be.  One thing is for certain is it isn’t film noir, which is what I was led to believe it is.  Mostly, this is soap opera, with the performances aiming for the rafters.

In a nutshell, Young’s character consistently gets dealt a bum deal in life, though she also does herself few favors.  She loses custody of her daughter to her ex-husband and years pass before Young works herself back into her life, side-stepping her ex in the process.

Her kid is the pretty morbid type, which I thought made her more interesting.  I was surprised to see a child with such a bleak demeanor in a film from the 50’s.  She’s so despairing, she looks like she starts each day by trying to put her head in her EZ Bake oven.

Needless to say, everything will work out in the end and that little girl will start adhering to society’s norms—and become a far less interesting character.  Because Of You is a movie that takes a strange and circuitous route to where it’s going, but is really just conventional melodrama.

Dir: Joseph Pevney

Starring Loretta Young, Jeff Chandler, Alex Nicol

Watched on Kino Lorber’s blu-ray set Film Noir: The Dark Side of Cinema V