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 MOVIE: NORA PRENTISS (!947)

Screenplay by Paul Francis Webster, N. Richard Nash, Jack Sobell

Directed by Richard Sherman

Ann Sheridan, Kent SmithNora Prentiss

San Francisco Dr. Richard Talbot meets flame-haired singer Nora Prentiss accidentally. Or more accurately, Nora Prentiss has an accident and the doctor comes to her aid.

Now, the good doctor isn’t the kind to have an affair. He’s punctual, hardworking, has a wife and two children. He’s looked up to in the community. And yet…

He wants to divorce his wife. That evening he arrives home late, as is now the usual trend. The house is full of family and friends celebrating his daughter’s sixteenth birthday. His wife meets him in the driveway, knowing he hasn’t remembered the event. In her hand she has a wrapped gift for their daughter. She urges her husband to take the gift inside, and pretend he bought it– a watch their daughter had longed for. In his daughter’s eyes her father is a hero.

The doctor feels ashamed of himself and grateful to his wife. He calls Nora. He can’t tell his wife just yet, but he will. Nora breaks off with him.  She tells him she is moving to New York.  Oh, the agony!

Late one evening, a regular patients arrives unannounced at the doctor’s office. The man has severe chest pain and suddenly collapses, dying of a heart attack. Both men are the same height. weight and age.

The doctor is alone. No one has seen the man enter. The doctor knows the man is without friends and family in the city. Who will miss him? The doctor  sees the opportunity to fake his own death. He dresses the dead man in his clothing, complete with his jewelry and money clip. Gasoline helps his car to explode and the body to char.

He can be with Nora! He’s free now or is he?

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