See if you can find a copy of 1947’s Repeat Performance.  It was one of those unusual films because small indie studios had to use talent that wasn’t tied up by major studios.

Joan Leslie had gotten out of her contract at Warners and the story is that Jack Warner blacklisted her at other major studios.  But Eagle Lion signed her and found a top notch cast for this fascinating film, a tidy film noir if there ever was one. Leslie co-stars with Virginia Field, Richard Basehart, Tom Conway (above) and Louis Hayward.

If someone gets to live a year over again will she make the same mistakes? Will she still be a murderer?

A bit of trivia: The film was remade as a TV movie in 1989 as Turn Back the Clock and Joan Leslie made a cameo appearance as a party guest.

Leslie made a few more films but turned her attention to TV in the mid 50s and worked right up to the 90s. Look for her on a Murder She Wrote episode where she and Teresa Wright play dotty old sisters who may be murderers a la Arsenic and Old Lace.

Joan is gone now but she will be with us every New Year’s Eve as we watch Repeat Performance.

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