Director: King Vidor, Writers: Lenore J. Coffee, based on Stuart Engstrand's novel. The Cinematography was by Robert Burks who according to Imdb, later became the favorite cinematographer of Alfred Hitchcock he became an expert in forced perspective techniques which were widely in use at the time as cost-saving measures, or in B-movies. Burks did special effects work on major productions like Arsenic and Old Lace (1944), The Unsuspected (1947) and Key Largo (1948).
It stars, Bette Davis, Joseph Cotten, Ruth Roman, Minor Watson, Dona Drake, Regis Toomey and David Brian. Bette Davis chews the scenery as slutty femme fatale Rosa Moline, the smoldering under the surface, small town doctors wife, who is bored out of her gourd with her lot in life. Everyday one of her rituals is getting dressed to the nines and going down to the station to watch the Chicago train collecting wolf whistles and gossip along the way.
This is one of those films that is so obvious that it transcends bad, so bad it's good. It's a hoot. A melancholy tale of a woman on a downward spiral. With again some nice Noir cinematography by Burks.
Married to a dedicated but impoverished physician Dr. Moline (Joseph Cotton) in a Podunk (actually Loyalton, California) a small Wisconsin lumber mill town, Rosa carries on an illicit affair with Neil Latimer (David Brian) a wealthy industrialist who lives in Chicago but has a hunting lodge up in the Forest near Rosa's fly spec of a town.
|Joseph Cotten doing what he does best playing the helpless troubled cuckold.|
|Ros Moline town floozie (Bette Davis)|
|Moose Lawson (Minor Watson) drunk|
|Neil Latimer (David Brian)|
After their tryst, Rosa heads back to her dreary home life. She doesn't hide her dissatisfaction.
|"What a dump!"|
Vidor visually hits you over the head with the various stages of Rosa's eruption starting with flickering reflections through a bedroom window on a wall above a tossing and turning Rosa to an backgrounds shots of an over the top flaming tee pee burner, nice touch:
|Rosa gets the blow off "I fell in love with somebody else."|
|Rosa not happy|
Rosa comes crawling back to Podunk and the Doc and all is well for a while until Neil pops back into her life telling her that he is in love/lust with her after all, but now she is pregnant with the Doc's baby and Moose threatens to tell Neil. Rosa has plans for Moose.
|aiming at Moose|
|Rosa trying to abort her child by her husband|
|The train to hell|
This Noir meller mixes adultery, with abortion and murder. After Rosa's attempt to miscarry by jumping off a road embankment is unsuccessful she is bedridden with a burning fever that makes her delirious she feels trapped in Podunk. She is determined to leave and she dresses and stumbles towards the station and the steaming locomotive that beckons to her for her trip to Hell.