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Shadow of a Woman (1946)

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A young bride's marital bliss is replaced by shades of suspicion when she suspects that her husband is trying to starve his young son to death in order to claim an inheritance the boy is ... See full summary »



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Title: Shadow of a Woman (1946)

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Complete credited cast:
Helmut Dantine ...
Brooke Gifford Ryder
David G. MacKellar
John Alvin ...
Becky Brown ...
Genevieve Calvin
Joe (as Dick Erdman)
Peggy Knudsen ...
Louise Ryder
Don McGuire ...
Lisa Golm ...
Larry Geiger ...
Philip Ryder
Monte Blue ...
J. Scott Smart ...
Timothy Freeman (as Jack Smart)
Leah Baird ...
Mrs. Calvin
Lottie Williams ...


A young bride's marital bliss is replaced by shades of suspicion when she suspects that her husband is trying to starve his young son to death in order to claim an inheritance the boy is entitled to. Written by Daniel Bubbeo <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis






Release Date:

14 September 1946 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der Schatten einer Frau  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Otchi Tchornya
Traditional Russian tune
[First dance number played at the Gypsy Room]
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User Reviews

"I've Made a Terrible Mistake!"
9 May 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The beautiful and financially independent Brooke Gifford comes to regret her hasty marriage to quack "Doctor" Eric Ryder. Too late, she discovers their marriage is just a ruse to get custody of his son back and steal his inheritance. Why did she marry him in the first place? He's a divorced guy with a bizarre health food fixation (he's written a book called "Are You Eating Yourself Into the Grave?"). But it's the usual story. She was lonely; there weren't many marriageable men around during just-ended WWII. Slickly manipulative Eric, in the typical style of abusive men, swept her off her feet. Brooke's now older-and-wiser narration tells the story in the form of flashbacks.

This fascinating postwar film (over) dramatizes the way women were sucked back into domesticity after years of emotional and financial self-sufficiency during the war--and the pitfalls it held for them. Thank god Brooke still has some money and a house in San Bernardino--it gives her the means to fight back. It also enables her to have a terrific wardrobe--just because her husband's a potential murderer doesn't mean she can't look great. And you can be sure that cheapskate Eric wouldn't pop for all those trips to the hairdresser and manicurist, either.

Eric's health-food fixation is interesting, too. We think of healthy food as virtuous these days, but this film shows that in postwar America, too much of a concern with nutrition was considered quackery, if not worse (and in this case, it is worse). Eric, talks with a bogus European accent--"Have face in me, my dahling!" he tells Brooke. There's also a lot about women being "tired" in this film. Eric is always telling women they're "tired" so he can get them out of the way. How tired can these women actually be? They probably worked twelve hour shifts during the war and now they're supposed to be fragile?

The title, "Shadow of a Woman" is significant. The way women were driven from the public sphere into lives of forced domesticity after the war indeed led them to become shadows of their former selves.

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