|Index||7 reviews in total|
Whatever suspense THREE SECRETS has is derived from the audience not
knowing (until the end) which woman's boy has survived a plane crash.
Each woman (ELEANOR PARKER, RUTH ROMAN and PATRICIA NEAL) thinks it's
her own abandoned five year-old son. As they wait patiently for more
news on the identity of the boy, each woman reflects in flashbacks on
what led up to their heart-breaking decision.
Robert Wise has directed all of the melodrama with some fine touches and a steady hand, so that Parker, Roman and Neal are all seen to advantage in a plot vaguely similar to that of A LETTER TO THREE WIVES in which three women await news on which husband deserted them.
Parker is a woman who had an illegitimate child; Roman had to give up her child while she served a jail term; Neal was a career woman who preferred career to domestic chores.
Sensibily acted and directed, it's a rather low-key melodrama that might not meet the demands of fans not enthusiastic about so-called chick flicks.
This marvelous 1950 film deals with 3 women who gave up their baby boy
for adoption. 5 years later, the child is involved in a plane crash
that killed his parents. Each of the women believe that the boy is
Patricia Neal, as one of the women, is a hard-nosed reporter. As with the others, the film goes back to show the situation that would lead them to give up the baby. Neal had divorced her husband only to learn that she was a reporter. A career woman, she could never care for a child or hold on to her marriage.
Then there is Ruth Roman who went to prison for killing her boyfriend. The latter wanted her to have an abortion when she told him of her pregnancy.
Eleanor Parker is a sweet woman who gave up an illegitimate child and is now happily married. You're rooting for Parker to be the mother. She can provide the boy with the proper upbringing. True, it will mean that she will have to tell her husband about her past, but she can provide the right nurturing environment.
Of course, the 3 women will come to the mountain area where the boy is in the plane. Neal will have to use her paper connections to get to who the real mother is.
As a reader, please connect to this film via your video store. It's well worth the trip.
Naturally, each of the women
Three women review their past lives while they wait for news that will
change the future totally for one of them.
But it isn't "Letter to Three Wives"!
Putting aside the shameless use of the formula from Mankiewicz' masterwork, "Three Secrets" is an enjoyable, well-written drama. Another similarity to "... Three Wives", and one that I have no objection to, is leads Patricia Neal, Eleanor Parker & Ruth Roman being mature, extremely attractive women; not a teenybopper or nymphet in sight.
A second movie that came to mind while watching "Three Secrets" was "The Big Carnival" with its media circus of cynical reporters covering and exploiting a disaster. However Wilder's film followed this one.
The beautiful Cole Porter tune `I get a kick out of you' is well used on the soundtrack.
A young boy is the sole survivor of a plane that went down in the mountains and a rescue mission of mountain-climbers are on their way to get him. The news flash reveals that today is his birthday and that he had been adopted through a certain agency. When Eleanor Parker hears this, she loses it, as she had given her baby up five years ago and that today would have been his birthday. She never told husband Leif Ericson. She hightails to the site where the press is stationed near the mountains. There she meets Patricia Neal and Ruth Roman, who both had used the same agency to give up their babies on the same day. Through the device of flashbacks, we are allowed the story of each and how each came to this point of their lives. This is excellent little film with great actresses for the lead roles, fleshing out the characters and making them three-dimensional. I grant you actresses like Bette Davis, Susan Hayward, and Joan Crawford has guts, but no one could quite deliver a line like Patricia Neal with her sarcastic coyness. And, Ruth Roman is one tough cookie, too. But the story is what really takes center stage with a taut pace and the outdoors being used to good advantage by the film's director. But who's baby is it? We are told, but there is more to it than any happy ending. The film reflects the struggles, loves, and yes secrets of three women, who were existing in a world and trying to come out a survivor, and that's what makes this film successful: the story of people. People are the story.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Most of the other reviews posted here have compared this movie unfavorably with Mank's A Letter To Three Wives and whilst there are similarities it is actually closer - as my summary indicates - to a much later movie, Buona Sera, Mrs Campbell, in which any one of three GIs could be the father of Gina Lollobrigida's now fully grown daughter. This time around any one of three women could be the mother of an adopted boy who is the sole survivor of an air crash. How so?Seems that Eleanor Parker, Patricia Neal and Ruth Roman all had a son born September 25th in the same year and all three, for various reasons, placed him with the Shelter Adoption Agency and signed away all rights. Now he is in the news and his date of birth revealed all three converge on the scene and we get their backstorys in flashback. It's a taut, well-handled entry and though light years short of Letter To Three Wives is nevertheless highly entertaining. All three leads are fine actresses - Parker picked up a Best Actress gong at Venice that same year for Caged - and the male support is interesting for nostalgia buffs throwing out such names as Frank Lovejoy, Ted de Corisa, Kenneth Tobey etc. Definitely recommend.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I am very surprised that they have not re-made this film with Paris
Hilton, Lindsay Lohan and Brittany Spears. This is the type of women's
film that calls to be updated, and focus on the three current ladies of
scandal. In this 1950 melodrama (directed by the legendary Robert
Wise), three women gather together at the base of Thunder Mountain
where a young boy has been stranded, still living after a plane crash
that took the lives of his adopted parents. The three women each think
they could be the boy's natural mother, and through flashback, the
audience learns their story. The first story surrounds unwed mother
Eleanor Parker who was about to tell her boyfriend about her pregnancy
when he announced he was returning to an old girlfriend. The second
story surrounds a career woman (Patricia Neal) whose marriage ends, and
rather than give up her position as head of a scandal magazine, gives
the child up instead. The third involves nightclub chanteuse Ruth
Roman, a gangster's moll who is forced to give up her child when she
murders the louse who was too chicken to break up with her. Get the
connection between the three current ladies of scandal? Two "bad girls"
and one "nice girl" gone wrong...
The problem with this film is the convoluted and sometimes unbelievable way it is told. Is it really realistic at all that Parker's new husband (Leif Ericksen) would happen to be one of the reporters covering the story and tell her about the child? She rushes to the scene of the crash where she encounters Patricia Neal, who recognizes her from the foundling home. Then, Roman storms in, drunker than all three of the current ladies I mention put together, and her story is revealed. And Ross Hunter's name is nowhere in sight on the producing credits for this movie.
In the film's favor, it is very fun to watch, the type of soap opera that would soon take over TV. In fact, the storyline could belong to any of the three good or bad girls of soon-to-be broadcast on daytime ("Search For Tomorrow's" Jo; "Guiding Light's" Meta, and "Love of Life's" Meg). In some ways, this film reminded me of "Ace in the Hole" (aka "The Big Carnival"), where reporters gather together along with the curious public while a man is trapped in a mine cave-in. The film has a nice conclusion where the two "bad girls" reveal themselves to be quite noble.
Spin offs, copy cats clones, Three Secrets is easily compared to its earlier & far better film A Letter To 3 Wives Basically both plots involve 3 women in a quandry.or a dilemma..in 3 Wives .one of their husbands has run away with another woman (Miss Addie Ross).. who which ? stream of conciousness flashbacks..witty & brilliantly directed by Joseph L.Mankiewiecz a superb cast & even better supporting cast "Letter "is one of the all time great films.."Tree Secrets 3 women face another dilemma, a boy is involved in a plane crash in the mountains. Boy was adopted by parents who were killed in crash..Boy survives crash 3 women gave birth to a boy same day..& gave up for adoption to the same shelter..Whos child is this? Does anyone care.?Yes it is agood film very a sorbing & very well acted. 3very good actresses Eleanor Parker Patricia Neal & Ruth Roman are the 3 women in despair,,and give very fine performances.Direction is very good also by future Oscar winner Robert Wise.. but a lot is borrowed from "Letter" the basic 3 women plot, the miasma, and the stream of concsiousness flashbacks.They worked well for "Letter" & work well here also... but the conclusion is smaltzy & the film lacks the wit and intelligence of its predecessor.. Worth seeing.. a "Chick" flick & some good actors involved..but Letter to 3 Wives is an original & a masterpiece !!
|Plot summary||Ratings||External reviews|
|Plot keywords||Main details||Your user reviews|
|Your vote history|