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The Secret Heart (1946)

 -  Drama  -  25 December 1946 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 274 users  
Reviews: 15 user | 2 critic

Brillant pianist Larry Addams allows his frustrated ambitions to ruin his life and commits suicide, leaving his wife, Lee, and two small children, Penny and Chase, under the stigma of ... See full summary »



(screenplay), (screenplay), 2 more credits »
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Title: The Secret Heart (1946)

The Secret Heart (1946) on IMDb 6.6/10

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Complete credited cast:
Lee Addams
Chris Matthews
Penny Addams
Dr. Rossiger
Chase N. Addams
Brandon Reynolds
Elizabeth Patterson ...
Mrs. Stover
Richard Derr ...
Larry Addams
Kay Burns
Eily Malyon ...
Miss Hunter
Ann Lace ...
Penny as a Child
Chase as a Child


Brillant pianist Larry Addams allows his frustrated ambitions to ruin his life and commits suicide, leaving his wife, Lee, and two small children, Penny and Chase, under the stigma of disgrace. Lee takes over and devotes her life to paying off Larry's debts and raising her two step-children. Prior to her marriage, Lee had turned down the proposal of Chris Matthews, wealthy ship builder and college friend of Larry's, but he had remained as a true friend to both. On the night of the suicide, Lee and Chris had attended a dinner party together and, horrified and shocked at the death, Lee sends Chris away, and for ten years does everything possible for the children to make up for the loss of their father. Bewildered by some of the strange stories concerning her father, the grown-up Penny (June Allyson) questions Lee and her brother Chase. Later, Penny meets and falls in love with Chris, not realizing he is the man Lee gave up. Written by Les Adams <>

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You'll share the intimate secrets of an amazing love affair! (original poster) See more »




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Release Date:

25 December 1946 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Secret Heart  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


After filming The Secret Heart (1946) together, Claudette Colbert and co-star June Allyson became such great friends in real life Colbert became godmother to Allyson's daughter Pamela. See more »


Featured in Hitchcock (2012) See more »


I Can't Give You Anything But Love
Music by Jimmy McHugh
Lyrics by Dorothy Fields
Sung by Marlene Dietrich
See more »

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User Reviews

Family Drama with a Strong Noirish Touch
8 December 2012 | by (Claremont,USA) – See all my reviews

An oddity that comes closest, I think, to a noirish family drama. Troubled Penny (Allyson) is obsessed with her dead father, causing problems with her stepmom (Colbert) especially when they become rivals over affections of family friend Chris (Pidgeon). It's a June Allyson seldom seen and a long way from her usual bubbly roles. Still, she handles the disturbed daughter's antics in effective fashion. Those scenes at cliff's edge bordering an eternal sea are eerily enchanting and a tribute to the production crew. This was a period following the war when movies with strong Freudian themes were popular, including Bewitched (1945) and The Snake Pit (1948). .

The acting is first-rate, and I especially like Sterling as the upbeat Chase who furnishes a counterpoint of normality to the moody family atmosphere. Pidgeon too is suavely effective, though his Chris seems a little dense about Penny's obvious designs on him. The version I saw (TMC) didn't include the narration by Hume Cronyn listed in the credits. Perhaps it's just as well since the movie works well enough without a voice-over. The ending is about what you'd expect from this Code enforced period and is way too pat for what's gone before. Nonetheless, it's an effective little exercise that manages a shade of difference from other programmers of the period.

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