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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
...
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
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The final movie role for Jean Rogers. 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

Jeff Cohalan: Ellen, you'd better go now. You're not safe with me. Do you understand?
Ellen Foster: Suppose I don't want to be safe?
See more »

Connections

References Rebecca (1940) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Noir Meets the Carmel Coastline
12 August 2010 | by (Claremont,USA) – See all my reviews

What this b&w noir has going for it is the scenic grandeur of the central California coastline. The roiling sea and rocky outcrops, along with the ultra-modern (circa 1950) cliff house, provide an unusual backdrop to this psychological drama. Bad things keep happening to architect Jeff (Young) for no apparent reason, starting with the highway death of his wife. Enter Ellen (Drake) who seeks to uncover the mystery, though the finger of guilt begins to point at a grieving Jeff who may now be unhinged.

Both the script and the staging are excellent until the climax, which should have been reconsidered from both ends, especially the ludicrous gunshot that seemingly takes minutes to register. Drake's an appealing actress and projects intelligence in the part. At the same time, she's unusual for a decade that emphasized buxom sex-goddesses, which she definitely is not. She and Young do make a well-matched screen couple. However, Young's performance is rather strange. I don't know if he was reaching for a particular effect, but his low-key demeanor never changes despite the many provocations. Unfortunately, it borders on both the boring and the implausible.

Nonetheless, it's an intriguing mystery and a real treat for the eye thanks to cinematographer Hal Mohr. Also, I can't help noticing that Harry Popkin produced this film, along with the noir classic DOA (1950) and such imaginative B-movies as The Well (1951) and The Thief (1952). I expect it was he who insisted on the scenic locations for this film, proving that noir need not be confined to gritty urban settings. Anyway, I think it's fair to surmise that Popkin was a producer, unlike many, who understood the artistic side of movie-making. It shows here.


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