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The Second Woman (1950)

6.4
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 546 users  
Reviews: 28 user | 4 critic

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:
...
Jeff Cohalan
...
Ellen Foster
John Sutton ...
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
Jason Robards Sr. ...
Stacy Rogers (as Jason Robards)
Steven Geray ...
Balthazar Jones
Jimmie Dodd ...
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 'SPELLBOUND' a masterpiece of suspense like this! 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 »

Quotes

Jeff Cohalan: Let's see what the tea leaves say about you... there's a trick my grandmother taught me; she learned it from an old witch in Ireland.
Ellen Foster: And so you've been drinking coffee ever since.
See more »

Connections

References Rebecca (1940) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Shades of Rebecca
6 August 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Robert Young is one seemingly unlucky guy in "The Second Woman," a 1950 film also starring Betsy Drake, Morris Carnovsky, John Sutton, Florence Bates and Henry O'Neill. This was probably a 'B' noir; like "Shining Victory" and "The Uninvited," it is reminiscent of "Rebecca" - in fact, the beginning narration is basically a paraphrase of "Last night I dreamt I went to Manderlay." This film even goes so far as to have Florence Bates playing Drake's aunt; she was Mrs. DeWinter's employer in "Rebecca." Drake is Ellen Foster, a young woman en route by train to visit her aunt when she meets her aunt's attractive neighbor, Jeff Cohalon (Young). He's built a fantastic house that, her aunt informs Ellen, no one has ever been in. He built it for his bride-to-be, and she was killed in a car accident before the wedding. Since then, several people - his almost father-in-law, Ben (O'Neill), to whom Jeff is like a son, and a psychiatrist, Dr. Hartley (Carnovsky) have been concerned about Jeff. He seems absent-minded and moody. Then strange things begin to happen to Jeff - he has to shoot his horse when it breaks its leg apparently while in its stall; his dog dies; the color on a painting he owns suddenly fades; and roses he brings into the house die immediately. Ellen, who works with actuarial tables, is darn suspicious - there is too much bad luck, and either Jeff himself or someone who wants him destroyed is behind it.

"The Second Woman" is a decent film with good, if unexciting, acting. Robert Young made several noirs in the '40s, and he did them well - you really don't know here if he's sinister or if he's a victim. Drake is a bland costar. Carnovsky, O'Neill, Sutton and Bates give good support. Sutton strikes the right note as a man who hates Jeff.

Like dozens and dozens of post-World War II, there is an emphasis on psychology. Considering what our soldiers went through in World War II, it's not surprising that it was a hot topic. Here the big word is paranoia. But as anyone will tell you, just because you're paranoid doesn't mean someone's not out to get you.


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