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Her Sister's Secret (1946)

Not Rated | | Drama | 23 September 1946 (USA)
A WWII tale of romance that begins during New Orlean's "Mardi Gras" celebration when a soldier and a girl meet and fall in love. He asks her to marry him but she decides to wait until his ... See full summary »



(novel), (screenplay)

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Complete credited cast:
Richard 'Dick' Connolly
Pepe - New Orleans Cafe Owner
Bill Gordon
Mr. Dubois
New Orleans Wine Salesman
Winston Severn ...
Billy Gordon
Helene Heigh ...
Frances E. Williams ...
Mathilda (as Frances Williams)
Rudolph Anders ...


A WWII tale of romance that begins during New Orlean's "Mardi Gras" celebration when a soldier and a girl meet and fall in love. He asks her to marry him but she decides to wait until his next leave. He is sent overseas and she does not receive his letter and feels abandoned, but she does find out she is pregnant. She gives the child to her married sister and does not see her child again for three years. She returns to her sister's home to reclaim the child, and the soldier, who has been searching for her, also turns up. The sister is not interested in giving up the child. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

sister | based on novel | See All (2) »


There are two ways a woman can love...IN GLORY and IN DESPAIR! These sisters knew them both!




Not Rated | See all certifications »





Release Date:

23 September 1946 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El secreto de su hermana  »

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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User Reviews

Mr. Ulmer in the Douglas Sirk mode.
29 June 2009 | by See all my reviews

It is nothing if not puzzling, that despite all the attention Mr. Ulmer's other work receives, "Her Sister's Secret," remains consigned to some no man's land--ignored, ignored, ignored...

Very bewildering indeed, since, Mr. Ulmer is clearly working above his usual constraints, as is evidenced by the fact that it doesn't look like a PRC film at all! By some feat or other, a bit more coin was dropped here and it shows.

Working this time without his usual collaborators, (or should we say culprits?) producer Leon Fromkess and art director Paul Palmentola) Ulmer achieves something completely unlike the pulp antics of "Monsoon" or "Delinguent Daughters,"--a posh women's picture in the Douglas Sirk mode--all velvet and satin and ball masques.

Indeed, the film looks for all the world like one of Ross Hunter's early black and white dramas for Universal--(before he ascended into Eastmancolor heaven)-such are the film's physical and aural accoutrements, (among the latter note the use of a celestial choir in the fadeout just as in 1959's "Imitation of Life").

To avoid "spoilers" suffice it to say that the story hinges on a well born young miss who finds herself in trouble after an indiscretion with a furloughed soldier during Mardi Gras. Though Miss Coleman's character mentions her extreme "shame," the picture avoids the moral implications of her dilemma in favor of the unavoidable emotional attachment she feels toward her child.

To the picture's credit it strongly emphasizes the permanent natural and ethical link that maternity imposes, (this would be an excellent film for pro-abortionists to see.)

That the principal players are Phillip Reed, soulfully beautiful Nancy Coleman, and tres chic Margaret Lindsay assures the audience of three very good looking leads. In addition it offers veteran player Henry Stephenson a good part preparatory to his trek to Albion in order to film David Lean's "Oliver Twist," (didn't Ulmer rub shoulders with interesting people?)

Though bereft of Eugene Shufftan's fabled expertise on this project, Mr. Ulmer was lucky to secure the services of Franz Planer, a superb cinematographer in his own right, who manages deftly smooth boom maneuvers amidst the moody settings (the work of art director Edward Jewell). This is most evident in the film's superb opening, in which Mr. Planer rides his camera through the flying confetti and contorted, gyrating and swaying movement of the masqued revelries of the Mardi Gras, (this film anticipates, on a smaller scale, the carnival sequence in "Saraband for Dead Lovers").

The settings include the terraced New Orleans restaurant where the film opens, Mr. Stephenson's private library, an Arizona Sanitorium, Central Park and Miss Lindsay's swank Manhatten duplex apartment, which seems to take some of its stylistic cues from Premingers "Laura," (all white on white satin with the requisite terrace.)

And being a women's picture a nod must go to "Donn" who provided the Misses Coleman and Lindsay with a mouth watering wardrobe, which serves as a reminder at what a dear sartorial cost the cultural meltdown of recent decades has wrought--one won't find on screen elegance like this today. Why the milliner alone must have made a killing on this picture! And take a gander at that satin lined split sleeve number Miss Lindsay wears in her final scene.

All told, this is a smoothly turned and consistently interesting treatment of a perennial problem--and deserves a far higher place on the list of Mr. Ulmer's credentials than "Jive Junction".

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