Tuesday, June 8, 2010

One Girl's Confession (1953) and Joran van der Sloot

image from Film Noir Photos

I've been working my way through the various films in the Bad Girls of Noir collections (Vol. 1 and Vol 
2) when I came across this little gem: One Girl's Confession (1953).  This film is pretty unusual for a noir in one respect: the story focuses on a female protagonist. If you look at the history of major film noirs, Out of the Past (1947),  The Killing (1956),  Double Indemnity (1944), The Asphalt Jungle (1950), etc. they all have female characters who play significant roles in the story, but everything revolves around the male lead. So to watch a film noir about a woman was very refreshing.

One Girl's Confession is a story about Mary Adams (Cleo Moore), a hardworking girl who seems down on her luck even though her outrageously good looks seem to hypnotize men. She works at a restaurant owned by the same sleazy scumbag that ruined her own father financially years ago. When she sees the scumbag hoarding money, she decides to take revenge and steals the dough and hides it. Fully knowing the extent of what she's done, she happily confesses and is willing to serve out a jail sentence. The only hitch is that she won't reveal where the cash is stashed. It's waiting for her once she gets out of the clink. However, when Mary is put on probation and is released earlier than she thought, the life she was plotting out for herself doesn't quite work out the way she planned.

After I watched the film, I headed off to the gym to work off some tension and get some cardio. While on the elliptical, I caught a glimpse of the king of major sleazy scumbags, Joran van der Sloot on one of the gym's televisions. My ire towards that poor excuse for a human being helped me burn off some extra calories. Now you may be asking, so what does that have to do with One Girl's Confession?

Here is the asshole in question.

Joran van der Sloot has been tied to missing American teenager Natalie Holloway since she disappeared in Aruba on May 30th, 2005. On May 30th, 2010, exactly five years later, he's now tied to the murder of Stephany Flores Ramirez, who was found dead in Sloot's hotel room in Peru. This piece of s**t who is pretending to be a man was tried several times for the Holloway murder but couldn't be convicted. Even though undercover agent Patrick van der Eem got van der Sloot to reveal that he dumped Holloway's body into the ocean, Sloot still got away with his crime.  So off he went to the Netherlands to get high and traffic prostitutes. The story of Joran van der Scumbag is a long and complicated one that I won't go into here but at least you get the jist.

Now let's compare van der Sloot with Mary Adams:

Mary Adams - Committed a crime (theft), confessed and gave herself in, served her sentence, at several times was willing to give away the fruits of her crime ($$$) to help others, faced hardship but learned her lesson.

Joran van der Sloot - Committed a crime (murder), kept quiet about certain details and got help from his daddy, never served a sentence, tried to extort money, never learned his lesson and killed again.

I came away from One Girl's Confession with a good feeling inside. I came away from all the news coverage of Joran van der Sloot with incredible anger. Mary Adams is poor trying to make ends meet, van der Sloot comes from privilege. Mary tries to be kind while Sloot thinks other people are beneath him. 

I was so affected by these two stories that I just had to write this post. It's so interesting how both of these stories, of two polar opposite characters (one fictional and one unfortunately real), intersected. It just goes to show how easy it is to relate classic films to every day life.


  1. I guess this isn't a *huge* coincidence, since the DVD collection just came out, but I just saw this a couple of nights ago! I was most looking forward to seeing Night Editor--the other flick on the disc, but I ended up being so charmed by Cleo Moore. I loved her straightforward take on the character--and I thought she had some good support in the cast as well. It was a much better movie than I expected and it renewed my interest in the B's. Thanks for writing about it!

  2. KC,

    Great coincidence! I was searching online but it doesn't seem like a lot of bloggers have reviewed it. Maybe we are just now getting to it.

    I liked Night Editor, but One Girl's Confession blew me away. It's really on the upper echelon of B noirs.

    Thanks for linking to this post too!

  3. Like you, van der Sloot angers me. I was not happy that he got away with Miss Holloway's murder. And the fact that he was able to murder again angers me even more. I just pray Peru has a death penalty and that it is something slow and very painful!


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