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The Madonna's Secret (1946)

Not Rated | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 16 February 1946 (USA)
The sister of a murdered model poses for the same artist to try to catch her killer.


(as William Thiele)


(original screenplay), (original screenplay) (as William Thiele)
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Cast overview:
James Harlan Corbin
Ella Randolph
Edward Ashley ...
John Earl
Helen North
Police Lt. Roberts
Leona Roberts ...
Mrs. Corbin
Hunt Mason (as Michael Hawks)
Clifford Brooke ...
Mr. Hadley
District Attorney
The Riverman
Geraldine Wall ...
Miss Joyce


The sister of a murdered model poses for the same artist to try to catch her killer.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

murder | See All (1) »


Not Rated | See all certifications »




Release Date:

16 February 1946 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ciúme Fatal  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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User Reviews

Super ambiance, dark and clever stuff, nothing brilliant beyond the visuals
13 March 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The Madonna's Secret (1946)

A psycho-mystery that broods and clunks along pretty well but too much a twist on a twist kind of movie. In fact, it's so obvious that the main character, a tortured artist, is suspected from the first minute, you know something else is up. What you don't suspect is what, and so by the end there is that final twist. I suppose this should or could have been a Vincent Price Gothic chiller, but in the hands of the leading man, Francis Lederer, it's a dark and serious affair. No camp allowed.

This comes near the end of director William Thiele's B-movie career (followed by a slew of Lone Ranger t.v. episodes and then, a step sideways for 36 shows of Cavalcade of America, a staple of 1950s American middlebrow normalcy). So we might be glad the movie is as good as it is, and I think the main reason is ace cinematographer John Alton. There are subtle movements of the camera that make an ordinary conversation take on depth, at least in terms of mise-en-scene. And the truly dramatic lighting (including some obvious back projection stuff of Lederer speeding in a boat at night) is great just to watch.

The series of women who pose and/or get themselves killed is curious--they do all look the same at a glance--and might have been more fun if extended a bit more. That is, they are all relatively cardboard characters, including the main character, who can't get out of his angst filled cliché, and so we can't really get involved emotionally in their fates. We just watch. And so thank you Mr. Alton for making that watching worth the ride. If you don't give a hoot about lights and camera, give this a by.

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