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A Woman's Secret (1949)

Approved  |   |  Drama, Film-Noir, Mystery  |  5 March 1949 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.1/10 from 888 users  
Reviews: 32 user | 13 critic

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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Complete credited cast:
Susan Caldwell
Lee Crenshaw
Brook Matthews
Mary Philips ...
Mrs. Mary Fowler
Detective Inspector Jim Fowler
Robert Warwick ...
Assistant District Attorney Roberts
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 »


During the "incident" at the beginning of the film the shadow of the boom mike is visible in the reflection of the mirror. See more »


Luke Jordan: Where do you come from?
Susan Caldwell aka Estrellita: Azusa. Azusa, California.
Luke Jordan: Azusa?
Susan Caldwell aka Estrellita: It's kind of a made-up word. Different letters. They put them together - that's how they got the name. Everything from A to Z, USA. A-ZU-SA.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening and closing credits are displayed on a page of sheet music. See more »


Written by Manuel M. Ponce
Sung by Gloria Grahame (dubbed by Kaye Lorraine)
See more »

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User Reviews

Good drama
8 March 1999 | by (Mountain View, Ca.) – See all my reviews

Maureen O'Hara should have been a star, she was a brilliant singer but her vocal chords gave out just as she was about to make it big. Rather than fade away, she used her formidable drive and intelligence to manage another singer to stardom, the lovely but dense Gloria Grahame. As the movie opens she is arrested for shooting Grahame, and the movie tells their story in flashback form.

I liked this movie a lot, it's intelligent and engrossing, and one of the few films of the period to focus on the relationship between two women. They need each other to achieve anything, but are complete opposites. O'Hara is focused, driven, smart, savvy and lives for her work; and Grahame is a dim-witted, good-natured bimbo who'd just like to enjoy life. The conflicts between them grow and grow as the movie progresses, building up until we come back to the shooting of Grahame.

The performances are good, as they should be in a character-driven film like this. O'Hara is as strong and smart as she usually is, and enjoys the chance to explore feelings not found in her usual romantic roles. It's priceless to watch her react to Grahame's blitherings. Grahame gives one of her best performances here (I've never been impressed with any others, truth to tell), she has a lovely time dropping bricks in polite company and blithely accepting the adoration of every man she meets.

Worth a look if you're in a mood for interesting people, not explosions.

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