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The Secret Heart (1946)

Not Rated | | Drama, Romance | 25 December 1946 (USA)
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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Complete credited cast:
Chris Matthews
Penny Addams
Dr. Rossiger
Chase N. Addams
Brandon Reynolds
Mrs. Stover
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 <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


SHE had the right to love him...but hesitated! (original poster) See more »


Drama | Romance


Not Rated | See all certifications »




Release Date:

25 December 1946 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Apolytrosis  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

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 »


La Plus que Lente
by Claude Debussy
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User Reviews

Artificial melodrama with psychological overtones...
3 November 2006 | by (U.S.A.) – See all my reviews

JUNE ALLYSON is really irritating in this one. She's got the petulance down pat, pouting throughout what is supposed to be her great dramatic role (musicals being her forte). MGM obviously hoped that this would prove to be a turning point in the way of future dramatics for the usually sunny June.

Seems she's supposed to be despondent over losing her dead father at an early age, unable to accept his death and unwilling to depart from his memory (like him, she plays piano constantly), unable to accept her step-mother, CLAUDETTE COLBERT, who is concerned about Allyson's psychosis--especially when Allyson starts imagining that Claudette's love interest (WALTER PIDGEON) is in love with her.

To give it class, MGM made sure they used some classical music for Allyson to play, gave it elegant sets and an overall polished look that might have worked well on a better film. But this is so obviously supposed to be a psychological tear-jerker to give Colbert and Allyson strong dramatic roles. Unfortunately, the contrivances are so pat and the overall effect so absurdly superficial that all you can do is hope JUNE ALLYSON will get over her dramatic ambitions and do the things she does best.

Nice cast, including ROBERT STERLING (as Allyson's more sensible brother), PATRICIA MEDINA, MARSHALL THOMPSON and LIONEL BARRYMORE (as a crusty old doctor), helps somewhat, but nothing can disguise the fact that they're all wasting their time in a phoney melodrama adrift in the usual Hollywood psycho-babble meant to be taken seriously.

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