Shortly before shedding her snakeskin vamp persona for good by wrapping herself in the ermine confines of Nora Charles, Myrna Loy terrified and terrorized as the murderous mesmerist Ursula Georgi in the pre-Code horror show Thirteen Women. Following a racist sorority's cruel rebuff, half-caste Ursula embarks on a blood-thirsty trail of deceit and murder until only one woman (Irene Dunne) is left to face her.
Aside from the allure and interest of its two leading ladies -- each on the cusp of their ascension into cinema legend -- Thirteen Women's delights are rather more diabolical and devastating than the more domestic concerns of a traditional "Women's Picture." From its breathless and terrifying (and arrestingly staged) opening aerial atrocity through its stabbings, suicides and hidden bombs, Thirteen Women's relentless pace startles and astonishes, ever driven by Loy's portrayal of Ursula's unalloyed and unapologetic evil.
In this suspenseful drama, an embittered woman exacts revenge upon the 12 women who wronged her in college. The trouble began when the woman, who was of Japanese and Indian heritage, was ejected from a college sorority because she wasn't white. Still angry, the woman hires an astrologer to create 12 terrifying horoscopes for each of the dastardly dozen. These grim predictions terrify the victims into doing dreadful things. One commits suicide, while another commits murder. More mayhem ensues until the astrologer makes some dire predictions about the vengeful woman herself. She doesn't like it, and using her psychic powers she forces him in front of an oncoming train. She then resumes her revenge by trying to poison the son of the remaining woman. This causes a police inspector to get suspicious, and he follow the murderous woman to the train station where she plans to kill the woman. A chase ensues culminating in the evil woman's demise.
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