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 »
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 <email@example.com>
Greer Garson must have been on holiday or working on another film at MGM when The Secret Heart was being cast. Claudette Colbert stepped into her shoes to play the female lead in another film that by all rights should be on the list of Walter Pidgeon/Greer Garson films.
The Secret Heart concerns stepmother Claudette Colbert concerned for the welfare of her two stepchildren, Robert Sterling and June Allyson, particularly Allyson. June is a talented pianist but she's increasingly withdrawing from the world citing a heart condition that cardiologists can't find a reason for. When Claudette sees psychologist Lionel Barrymore, she tells Barrymore about her marriage with their late father, Richard Derr and the tragic circumstances and gossip that surrounded his death.
The cure prescribes Dr. Barrymore is to be found at their New England coastal farm where Derr died and this might unlock Allyson's psychosis. Of course a whole lot of the family's dirty linen gets an airing before the film concludes.
Walter Pidgeon has not all that much to do, but be the tower of strength as the best friend of Derr and the man Colbert was really secretly in love with. The film is carried by the leading women of the cast, Colbert and Allyson. The two play well off each other, especially Allyson. This was quite a change from the usual goody-goody girl next door types she was always cast.
I should also single out Richard Derr who in the few scenes he has suggested a brooding melancholy that you will remember throughout the film. His performance has to be good in order to understand why Allyson is the way she is.
The Secret Heart is a nice psychological soap opera with Claudette Colbert standing in nicely for Greer Garson.
5 of 6 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?