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The Secret Fury (1950)

6.9
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 367 users  
Reviews: 14 user | 3 critic

During the ceremony marrying Ellen and David, a stranger stands up when that phrase "if anyone knows why these two may not be joined..." is spoken. The stranger announces that Ellen is ... See full summary »

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Title: The Secret Fury (1950)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Ellen R. Ewing
...
David McLean
Jane Cowl ...
Aunt Clara Ewing
Paul Kelly ...
District Attorney Eric Lowell
...
Gregory Kent
Elisabeth Risdon ...
Dr. Twining
Doris Dudley ...
Pearl Collins
Dave Barbour ...
Lucian Randall
...
Leah
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Storyline

During the ceremony marrying Ellen and David, a stranger stands up when that phrase "if anyone knows why these two may not be joined..." is spoken. The stranger announces that Ellen is already married. Ellen however insists she is not, and the strain of proving she is telling the truth pushes her mind towards a breakdown and results in the death of the man she has supposedly already married (among others.) Ellen is charged with this death. But David believes in her innocence and sets out to uncover the conspiracy and the reason behind it. Written by Ron Kerrigan <mvg@whidbey.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

conspiracy | trial | murder | insanity

Taglines:

The Stranger at her wedding was a messenger of Fear and Evil! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

21 February 1950 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Die schwarze Lawine  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Vivian Vance's film debut. See more »

Goofs

When David McLean (Robert Ryan) looks at the reflection of the name of the boat "MONSOON" it appears upside down, of course, but also backwards: it should have looked like "WONSOON", not "NOOSNOW" which is what Ellen (Claudette Colbert) believed it was. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Balarrasa (1951) See more »

Soundtracks

The Jazz Me Blues
(uncredited)
Written by Tom Delaney
See more »

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User Reviews

 
What's a "Noosnow"?
25 April 2010 | by (Claremont,USA) – See all my reviews

Is Ellen (Colbert) losing her mind—is she already married? The trouble is what she remembers happening is not what a bunch of other people remember. So what's going on.

About half way through, the movie turns from high-key lighting into noir. But then Ellen's fiancée is the great noir icon Robert Ryan. Except here, he's basically a good guy, although those inventive opening scenes where he can't get into his own wedding prove he's a quirky sort. Colbert gets to show her acting chops by running through about every emotion in the book. And I couldn't help thinking of the previous year's The Snake Pit (1948) as I watched her breakdown.

It's a tense, riveting mystery as we try figuring out what's going on. Ellen seems so convincing, but then so does the damning evidence against her. The screenplay effectively draws the noose ever tighter around Ellen's sanity up till the end. Then the script nosedives with some ridiculous motivation that's just too implausible to fly (without giving it away). Too bad, since the movie could have excelled without this unfortunate lapse.

There's one scene that intrigued me. Hoping to unravel the mystery, Ellen and David enter what looks like a spacious, well-lit livingroom. There, what only can be described as a cutting-edge jazz ensemble is laying out the cool sounds of the time. Draped languorously across a couch is an equally cool-looking blonde. It's a highly suggestive scene, and clearly an effort at creating exotic atmosphere. But, the banal setting and the high-key lighting drain the needed visual impact. It's almost like someone (director Ferrer, the producers?) was afraid of too much "atmosphere", (contrast with the super-evocative jazz scene in the classic DOA {1950}). Thus, a potential highlight is allowed to pass by.

All in all, it's unfortunate that the fine acting, inventive touches, and genuine suspense are challenged by a key lapse in the plausibility of the screenplay. Otherwise it's an effective little thriller.


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