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The Secret of St. Ives (1949)

Approved | | Action, Adventure, History | 30 June 1949 (USA)
Anatole de Keroual is captured by the British in the Napoleonic war and imprisoned in the dungeon of Edinburgh Castle with six companions. Floria Gilchrist, coveted by the fortress ... See full summary »


(as Philip Rosen)


(short story "St. Ives"), (screenplay)

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Cast overview:
Luis Van Rooten ...
Paul Marion ...
Phyllis Morris ...


Anatole de Keroual is captured by the British in the Napoleonic war and imprisoned in the dungeon of Edinburgh Castle with six companions. Floria Gilchrist, coveted by the fortress commander, Major Edward Chevenish, falls in love with Anatole, and he with her, but Chevenish refuses Floria's plea for a pardon for Anatole unless she agrees to marry him. Anatole engineers an escape from the prison, and goes to London to straighten out affairs of the estate of his uncle, Viscount Victor St. Ives. There he is apprehended and put on trial for murder. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

viscount | trial | prison | pardon | murder | See All (50) »


Robert Louis Stevenson's famous adventurer!


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

30 June 1949 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

O Segredo de Saint Ives  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Final film as director for Phil Rosen. See more »


Version of St. Ives (1998) See more »

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User Reviews

A nice little adventure tale
21 June 2009 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

This story is from an unfinished manuscript by Robert Louis Stevenson that was finished by another author after his death. It concerns the adventures of a Frenchman, the Viscount of St. Ives.

The film begins with St. Ives incarcerated at Edinburgh Castle along with other soldiers from the Napoleonic Wars. While in prison, he receives regular visits from a local lady who had known him before the wars began. At about the same time, a solicitor from his uncle (who is from the English branch of the family). Apparently, he is the uncle's sole heir and the solicitor is there to give him some money to use to make his stay more comfortable. In actuality, the solicitor was working for a cousin who was looking to get rid of St. Ives. So, after giving him the money, the solicitor then went to the commandant of the prison to betray him! However, St. Ives IS able to escape and much of the film is spent with St. Ives and his lady friend roaming about the UK avoiding capture.

Eventually, St. Ives makes his way to London and meets with his uncle--and thus uncovering the plot against him by the cousin and the solicitor. Sadly, this homecoming is brief as the commandant arrives and arrests St. Ives not just for escaping but for a murder he did not commit. It seems that one of the prisoners made up a lie about the murder to get better treatment and now St. Ives is going to pay for this lie. Will St. Ives manage to get out of prison and avoid the hangman's knot? And what about the lady?

In many ways, this film plays an awful lot like another Stevenson story, "Kidnapped". Both have very similar themes and consist of escaped convicts being sought by the British military. So, if you like one of these tales, there's a good chance you'll like the other.

While I did enjoy this adventure tale, I was a bit annoyed by one of the story elements. St. Ives' lady friend posed as a servant boy. However, given how sexy she was, her pretending to be a boy was pretty silly. To make it worse, no one seemed to catch on to the ruse! Didn't her having boobs and a woman's voice give away the secret?! By the way, this film lacked the stars you'd usually see in such a film. While the production values were high, Henry Daniell was the only star in the film--and a rather minor one to boot.

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