6.4/10
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28 user 4 critic

The Second Woman (1950)

Approved | | Drama, Film-Noir, Mystery | 7 July 1950 (USA)
In flashback from a 'Rebecca'-style beginning: Ellen Foster, visiting her aunt on the California coast, meets neighbor Jeff Cohalan and his ultramodern clifftop house. Ellen is strongly ... See full summary »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Ellen Foster
...
Keith Ferris
Florence Bates ...
Amelia Foster
Morris Carnovsky ...
Dr. Hartley
Henry O'Neill ...
Ben Sheppard
Jean Rogers ...
Dodo Ferris
Raymond Largay ...
Major Badger
Shirley Ballard ...
Vivian Sheppard
Vici Raaf ...
Sue - Secretary
...
Stacy Rogers (as Jason Robards)
Steven Geray ...
Balthazar Jones
...
Mr. Nelson (as Jimmy Dodd)
Smoki Whitfield ...
Elmer - Porter (as Smokey Whitfield)
Cliff Clark ...
Police Sergeant
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Storyline

In flashback from a 'Rebecca'-style beginning: Ellen Foster, visiting her aunt on the California coast, meets neighbor Jeff Cohalan and his ultramodern clifftop house. Ellen is strongly attracted to Jeff, who's being plagued by unexplainable accidents, major and minor. Bad luck, persecution...or paranoia? Warned that Jeff could be dangerous, Ellen fears that he's in danger, as the menacing atmosphere darkens. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Not since Hitchcock's REBECCA such a Masterpiece of Suspense! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

7 July 1950 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Here Lies Love  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The 'Matador' roses in this film are fictitious. The 'Matador' floribunda rose was not introduced until 1972. See more »

Goofs

In the opening scene, the Robert Young character is discovered suffocated by heavy carbon monoxide in a sealed garage, but nobody else coming in the garage is affected by the deadly gas. See more »

Quotes

Ellen Foster: Lightning can strike in the same place twice but not six times.
See more »

Connections

References Rebecca (1940) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Truly Intelligent "B" Myystery; One of the Real Sleepers of Noir in Every Way
26 June 2005 | by See all my reviews

This fine "B" film project is basically a psychological film, in the category of the many 1940s and 50s films that were made to explore depth-of-character and motivation. The idea their producers had was to go beyond the inspector calling and assembling suspects in the drawing room to detail who'd done a murder; in the newer mysteries, emphasis was placed upon gradually discovering clues and lines of inquiry, upon revealing actions, pretenses, questionings and complex relationships. This "modern" peeling away of layers of truth relating to an old crime's influence often works brilliantly in my judgment, especially in this movie, Not the least of this unpretentious and beautifully- photographed work's accomplishments is its avoidance of Freudian and false notions that so often muddy attempts to understand individuals' characters in film; Freud applies only to totalitarian societies. Here the investigator is in fact a beautiful woman, very intelligently played as insurance expert and woman-in-love by Betsy Drake. The object of her interest is a man who may or may not be crazy, well-portrayed by Robert Young. He has been suffering a series of accidents or breakdowns that are ruining his life; he has begun to doubt his own sanity. But she insightfully feelss someone is trying to wreck his career and his hopes for happiness. Their search for the perpetrator of the acts being done against him help them to unravel the mystery of his late wife's death and the secrets of the usual nasty small United States town and its equally small-minded citizens (a favorite target of intellectuals in the period, genuinely or not). The director was James V. Kerns, the cinematographer Hal Mohr, whose work was outstanding also. The cast apart from the attractive and bright leads was comprised of Morris Carnovsky, Jean Rogers, Steven Geray, Shirley Ballard, John Sutton and Florence Bates, all well-cast and in top form.. This film was an attempt to do on a low-budget what "Spellbound" had been able to accomplish; the house architect Young designs is outstanding modern architecture; the music by Bernard Nussbaum and the Tschaikovsky excerpts used are I believe add to the atmosphere very nicely. And the relations between characters, acerbic or warm, are unusually well-realized in dialogs and blocking.. This is a true sleeper, with its roots in "The Fountainhead"; and one that deserves much more attention that it has ever received; many elements of an intriguing mystery-noir storyline are quite successfully filmed here indeed.


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