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A Woman's Secret (1949)

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Susan is in the hospital with a bullet near her heart. Marian has told the police that she shot Susan in a rage as Susan was giving up singing. Marian and Luke found Susan when she was a ... See full summary »



(screen play), (novel)
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Title: A Woman's Secret (1949)

A Woman's Secret (1949) on IMDb 6.1/10

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Complete credited cast:
Marian Washburn
Luke Jordan
Susan Caldwell
Bill Williams ...
Brook Matthews
Mary Philips ...
Mrs. Fowler
Robert Warwick ...
Curt Conway ...
Ann Shoemaker ...
Mrs. Matthews
Virginia Farmer ...
Emory Parnell ...
Desk Sergeant


Susan is in the hospital with a bullet near her heart. Marian has told the police that she shot Susan in a rage as Susan was giving up singing. Marian and Luke found Susan when she was a failure. A singer with a limited range, she was a diamond in the rough which Marian and Luke taught how to walk, dress and talk. With the singing lessons, Marian had hoped that she would have the career that Marian would have had if she had not lost her voice. Even though Susan is a scatterbrain girl, Luke does not believe that Marian would have been capable of shooting her. Luke hopes that Detective Fowler will be able to find out the truth and free Marian. Written by Tony Fontana <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

5 March 1949 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Mortgage on Life  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Nicholas Ray and Gloria Grahame met while shooting this film. They were married in Las Vegas shortly after completing the film. They chose Las Vegas because Ray loved to gamble and to allow Grahame to get a quickie divorce (after the required six weeks of residency in Nevada) from actor Stanley Clements. The day the divorced was granted, the two married. See more »


Luke Jordan: You know one of these days you're going to be singing that song on Broadway and I'm just going to be walking up and down the theater.
Marian Washburn: Picketing?
Luke Jordan: No, I just won't have enough dough to buy a ticket
Marian Washburn: Oh, That be easy to fix, I just have you wait sit in my dressing room. Then maybe I'll have you get rid of the people that'll be waiting for my autograph
Luke Jordan: Make way of Ms. Washburn
Marian Washburn: Then I let you pinch so I can wake up.
See more »


Written by Manuel M. Ponce
Sung by Gloria Grahame (dubbed by Kaye Lorraine)
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User Reviews

Nicholas Ray directs Maureen O'Hara in interesting but flawed noir style mystery...
28 March 2008 | by (U.S.A.) – See all my reviews

A WOMAN'S SECRET is a melodramatic noir style mystery based on a Vicki Baum story, played in florid fashion by MAUREEN O'HARA, MELVYN DOUGLAS and GLORIA GRAHAME, all of whom are a bit over-the-top under Nichols Ray's direction.

O'Hara is the tough ex-singer promoter of the singing career of Grahame, and plays some of her argumentative moments as though she's Joan Crawford brandishing a gun in "Mildred Pierce". She gives the whole part a surface temperament of angry emotions that doesn't quite ring true, alternating with sweeter moments. She does get a chance to demonstrate her pleasant singing voice, unlike Grahame who is dubbed.

After confessing to shooting Grahame during a heated argument over Gloria's decision to quit her career, she tells her story in flashback. Her good friend, MELVYN DOUGLAS, also fills in some of her background with another flashback, a la "Mildred Pierce" and "Laura" techniques.

Douglas is a piano accompanist who refers to Grahame's singing voice as "a voice with hormones". He has some clever lines and plays the film's most believable character. BILL WILLIAMS shows up midway through the story as Grahame's friend (in a wasted role) who's anxious to see that O'Hara gets punishment for shooting Grahame. "I hope they hang her!"

Unfortunately, it's also at the midway point that the story starts to lose interest, as the mystery is slow to clear up and the story rambles on with still another flashback full of exposition by Douglas about past events.

A tighter script without all the flashbacks and a more direct way of telling the story might have made for improvements. As it is, it has a promising start but loses its way, stumbling in a strand of back stories long before any final explanation is given.

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