Kent Smith

Nora Prentiss (1947)

Nora Prentiss is less about Nora and more about Dr. Richard Talbot (Kent Smith).  When we meet Dr. Talbot, he is a successful, married doctor from San Francisco with two children.  However, he has become bored with his life and his marriage.  That all changes when nightclub singer Nora Prentiss (Ann Sheridan) is hit by a car.  Dr. Talbot brings her to his office and tends to her.  Her injuries are only minor, but the two begin to see each other more and more often.  First he comes to see her perform at a nightclub, then they have dinner together, and before we know it, they’re off to his vacation home  together.  Eventually, Dr. Talbot decides he wants to leave his wife, but can’t bring himself to actually ask for a divorce.  When a patient has a heart attack and dies in his office, Dr. Talbot places some of his personal effects on the man, puts him in his car and drives him to a deserted area, where he sets the car on fire and pushes it off a cliff.  Since now people would think he was dead, he was free to run off to New York with Nora and marry her.

But of course, faking your own death never really works out in movies.  He finds out the death is still being investigated back home, so he has to lay low to avoid possibly running into anybody he knew back home.  He didn’t tell Nora what he did and she doesn’t understand why they can never go out and do anything.  Nora eventually has to go back to work and gets a job singing in a new nightclub run by her old friend Phil Dinardo (Robert Alda).  But Dr. Talbot starts to suspect that Nora and Phil are having an affair.  His fears are unfounded, but his possessiveness drives him to confront Phil, which sets off a chain of events that leads to him being put on trial for murdering himself.