Working title: The Squirrely Chick



No, probably not. It's a 40s film set in the thrilling, wide-open world of Bangor, Maine c. 1820. When we meet the Strange Woman she's a bad-seed kid trying to drown a classmate; next shot, she's all grown up and wild as the wind in the woods:



Recognize? Never had a reputation as a great actress, although she is fondly remembered as a scientist. Of course, since she's a wild free spirit, she earns the disapproval of the Pucker League:



Also wary of her wiles, it's Alfred the Butler:



Really, it is Alfred the Butler. It's a bit surprising to see guys who were old on TV when it was in color appear a an older guy in a black-and-white movie from the forties.

The Strange Woman schemes to marry an olderrich man, then turn her new son-in-law into a murderer so she can get everything. Oh, she's bad. But she's not completely bad, which somehow fits the actress. It ought be more interesting, but the movie seems to walk with waterlogged boots through a slough of cold oatmeal, and spends half its time setting up glamour shots for its star.

She earns them:





In the first half of the movie there's a touch of Scarlett O'Hara in Hedy's performance, and I got hopeful when she fell for this fellow:



Cad of all cads, George "The Cad" Sanders. But he plays an upright guy here, which is no fun at all. I can't imagine audiences at the time loved it, or hated it; it just . . . was.