Cast & Crew
As film director Walter Darman demonstrates how he wants an actor to play a jail scene, extra Sherry Steward watches and learns from a friend that Darman, once a star in Europe, is now married to Lucille, the daughter of studio tycoon Charles Lester. Sherry is scornful of Darman's abilities but nonetheless accepts when another actress fails to appear and Darman offers her three lines. Sherry is overjoyed about her "big break" and calls her boyfriend Ronnie, who caustically tells her to stick to modeling. Despite Darman's gentle instructions, the sexy but talentless Sherry flubs her lines and he is forced to replace her. Sherry hysterically blames the director for humiliating her and begins planning her revenge. That night, as the Darmans enjoy cocktails with Lester, Sherry calls and pleads with Darman to meet her outside his house. Baffled by her urgency, Darman complies, and Sherry informs him that her cousin has obtained a compromising letter written by him and intends to blackmail him, and is also threatening to harm her if she does not cooperate. Darman scoffs at her tale and leaves, but as he is walking away, he sees three men muscle into Sherry's car and drive off. Darman rushes to call the police, but hangs up when he overhears his father-in-law pontificating that movie people are obligated to avoid scandal and bad publicity for the sake of the industry. Later that night, Darman obtains Sherry's phone number, and when he calls, she states that the thugs, who in reality were Ronnie and his friends, beat her up even though she paid them off. Sherry refuses Darman's offer to repay her and hangs up on him, then the next day, attends the film's wrap party dressed in a glamorous gown. Although he usually does not drink, Darman gets drunk and reveals that Lucille has gone away for the weekend. Sherry pretends that she does not have a ride home, and after Darman drives her, invites him in. Sherry then slips Darman a drugged drink and he passes out, after which she loosens his clothing and smears her lipstick on his shirt. When Darman awakens in the morning, Sherry pretends that they shared a night of passion, and Darman's presence at her home is witnessed by Ronnie, who comes over as Sherry had instructed him. Unable to remember what happened, Darman is doubtful that he had sex with Sherry but guiltily ignores her while editing his film. Lester, who often accuses Darman of making his films too "arty," interferes and insists that Darman reshoot part of the picture. When Darman objects, Lester responds that during his thirty years in the business, he has concocted the perfect formula for a successful movie: a little sex, violence, some comic timing and a happy ending. One day, Ronnie stops by the studio and, in front of Lester, asks Darman to call Sherry. Darman hurriedly tells Lester that Sherry is just a bit player seeking a break, but Lester is suspicious. At Sherry's house, she is gloating over Ronnie's actions when peddler Papasha arrives to collect her weekly payment for a coat he sold to her. Papasha tells her that retakes on Darman's movie begin next week, and so Sherry shows up at the studio to pressure him. She then calls him at his office and orders him to come to her home, where she tells him that she is pregnant. Horrified, Darman asks how much money she wants and is astonished when she demands $50,000. Darman hides when Papasha arrives for his payment, but overhears as he mentions the shirts Sherry ordered for her boyfriend. Desperate to get Papasha away from Darman, Sherry hustles him out, and her elderly neighbors witness her telling him to quit annoying her. Emerging from his hiding place, Darman tells Sherry he knows that she is lying, but she keeps up the pretense by crying as he storms out. Later, Sherry visits Darman's office, and realizing that he is trapped, Darman offers her $16,000, which is all the money he could raise. Sherry refuses his offer and states that she will ruin his career and marriage if he does not meet her original price. Upon learning that Darman's picture is to have a sneak preview, Sherry arranges for several of Ronnie's friends to be in the audience and disrupt the viewing, thereby giving Lester a bad impression of the picture. Lester and Lucille both turn against Darman when he wildly accuses Lester of planting the saboteurs, and when Lucille goes up to her room, she receives a phone call from Sherry, requesting that she come to her house. Uncertain, Lucille requests time to think, and the next day, Darman tells his secretary that he will be screening the picture alone in his office. After setting up a loop of sound effects on a moviola, so that it will sound as if he is watching the film, Darman slips out a side door and goes to Sherry's. There, Darman sneaks in and strangles Sherry to death. He then returns to the office and fools his secretary into believing he was there the entire time, but is shocked to receive a call from Lucille, who had decided to go to Sherry's and discovered her body. Darman returns to Sherry's home, where police inspector Collins is heading the investigation. Darman asserts that Sherry was a bit player pressuring him for a part, and that she must have wanted to appeal to Lucille for help. Collins searches for clues and soon after, visits Darman's office, where he tells the director his theory of how he could have killed Sherry. Collins relates the events exactly as they occurred, but then assures Darman that Papasha has been arrested for the crime, and that the news will appear in the evening papers. When Darman rushes out to buy the papers, however, he does not see the story, and realizes that Collins knows the truth. Darman turns himself, and later, from his jail cell, remembers directing the jail scene months before and bitterly states that although his story has followed his father-in-law's other dictates, there will be no happy ending.
Robert S. Eisen
The working title of this film was Turmoil. Hugo Haas's onscreen credit reads "Written, Produced and Directed by Hugo Haas." The Hollywood Reporter review mistakenly lists the picture's running time as 87 minutes. The Other Woman marked the screen debut of stage and television actor Jack Macy.