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They Won't Believe Me

They Won't Believe Me(1947)

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At his murder trial, Larry Balantine tells the jury how his supposed victim, Verna Carlson, met her fate: During an illicit rendezvous in New York, Larry's lover, Janice Bell, tells him that she wants out of their affair. When she reveals that she is moving to Montreal that night, Larry declares that he is leaving his wealthy wife Greta and going with her. As he is packing, however, Greta calmly informs him that she has rented a house in Beverly Hills, bought him a position in an investment brokerage firm and made reservations on a cross-country train. The money-loving Larry is unable to resist Greta's bait and, while vowing to be faithful to her, leaves Janice in the lurch. Once in California, however, Larry finds himself attracted to Verna Carlson, a secretary in his firm. The seductive Verna openly tells Larry that she is a gold digger and pursues him with wit and charm. Despite his loyalty pledge to Greta, Larry begins seeing Verna, whose former admirer, Trenton, is the firm's owner. Larry's late nights are eventually noticed by Greta, who confronts her husband and tells him that she has sold his interest in the brokerage house and bought a ranch in the mountains. Greta also confesses that, despite his infidelities, she cannot divorce him and still intends to support him as long as he is with her. Once again drawn by Greta's money, Larry agrees to move and is rebuffed firmly by Verna. At their isolated ranch, Greta flourishes, finding companionship with her devoted horse and enjoying rides in a hidden mountain valley. Larry, however, grows more and more lonely, and when Greta suggests that he arrange for a Los Angeles architect to build a guest house, he jumps at the chance to leave the ranch. To Larry's relief, Verna meets him in Los Angeles and agrees to run away to Reno with him for a price. Larry's plan is to write a $25,000 check on Greta's account, made out to the brokerage house, which Verna would then cash at work and steal. As prearranged, Verna takes the bus to the mountain town and reunites with Larry. On their way to Reno, Verna reveals to Larry that she was unable to carry out the theft, having fallen genuinely in love with him. Larry accepts their poverty with a smile and places a dimestore wedding ring on Verna's finger. Larry and Verna's happiness is short-lived, however, as a truck collides with them on the highway. Although Larry is thrown to safety, Verna is trapped in the car, which bursts into flames as it crashes. When the authorities identify Verna's charred body as Greta's because of the wedding ring, Larry decides to use their confusion to his advantage. He corroborates their assumptions and returns immediately to Greta's ranch, intent on shooting her. Greta, however, has committed suicide by throwing herself into her favorite valley ravine, and her death throws Larry into an emotional tailspin. To forget, Larry travels around Latin America and runs into Janice in Jamaica. After rekindling their romance, Larry is shocked to learn that Janice was sent to Jamaica by Trenton, who has been looking for Verna since her disappearance. Despite his discovery, Larry stays with Janice, who sincerely believes in his transformation. Eventually, however, Larry's deception unravels when the owner of the mountain store where Larry met Verna talks with Trenton and the police. At first, the police are unable to find a corpse, which they believe will be Verna's, at the ranch, but finally stumble on Greta's body in the ravine. Back at his trial, Larry concludes his story and awaits his fate. Despite Janice's continuing faith, Larry is so convinced that "they won't believe" him, that he tries to jump out the courthouse window just before the verdict is read. After Larry is shot dead by the bailiff, the jury declares him "not guilty."