Julie (1956): Andrew Stone’s Film Noir, Starring Doris Day, Louis Jourdan and Barry Sullivan

Andrew L. Stone directed Julie, a minor film noir and a minor Doris Day vehicle, co-starring Louis Jourdan and Barry Sullivan.

The film features the subplot of a stewardess piloting an aircraft to safety, a theme later used in Airport 1975 (1975) and parodied in Airplane! (1980). ents

Day plays a former stewardess, a widow named Julie Benton (Doris Day), flying for “Amalgamated Airlines.”  She’s terrorized by her insanely jealous second husband, Lyle (Louis Jourdan).

It becomes a life-or-death matter after friend Cliff Henderson (Barry Sullivan) relays his suspicions to Julie that her first husband’s death may not have been a suicide.

Later, when Lyle confesses the murder to her, Julie flees with Cliff’s help, but police are unable to arrest Lyle.

Julie and Cliff hire a car and drive north to San Francisco where Julie changes her identity, and returns to her former airline job.

In a confrontation with Cliff, Lyle shoots him and finds out Julie’s location. Warned that Lyle may be on her flight, Julie spots him, but Lyle kills the pilot before being shot himself.

Julie gets vital instructions on how to fly the aircraft, and her nightmarish experience finally ends.

The tale (whose working title was If I Can’t Have You) is voice-over narrated by Julie.

Made on a modest budget of $785,000, Julie was profitable at the box-office, earning $1.4 million in the US and Canada and $1.2 million internationally.

In the same year, Doris Day made another serious film, Hitchcock’s superb thriller, “The Man Who Knew Too Much,” which was a huge hit.

Cast
Doris Day as Julie Benton
Louis Jourdan as Lyle Benton
Barry Sullivan as Cliff Henderson
Frank Lovejoy as Det. Lt. Pringle
Jack Kelly as Jack (co-pilot)
Ann Robinson as Valerie
Barney Phillips as Doctor on Flight 36
Jack Kruschen as Det. Mace
John Gallaudet as Det. Sgt. Cole
Mae Marsh as Hysterical Passenger

Credits:

Directed and written by Andrew L. Stone
Produced by Martin Melcher (Day’s husband manager at the time)
Music by Leith Stevens
Cinematography: Fred Jackman Jr.
Edited by Virginia L. Stone
Production company: Arwin Productions
Distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release date October 17, 1956
Running time: 99 minutes

Note:

I am grateful to TCM for showing the film on February 11, 2019.

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