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The Second Woman (1950)

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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 501 users  
Reviews: 27 user | 5 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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Title: The Second Woman (1950)

The Second Woman (1950) on IMDb 6.3/10

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Complete credited cast:
Jeff Cohalan
Ellen Foster
John Sutton ...
Keith Ferris
Florence Bates ...
Amelia Foster
Morris Carnovsky ...
Dr. Raymond Hartley
Henry O'Neill ...
Ben Sheppard
Jean Rogers ...
Dodo Ferris
Raymond Largay ...
Maj. Badger
Shirley Ballard ...
Vivian Sheppard
Vici Raaf ...
Sue, Sheppard's Secretary
Jason Robards Sr. ...
Stacy Rogers (as Jason Robards)
Steven Geray ...
Balthazar Jones
Jimmie Dodd ...
Mr. Nelson (as Jimmy Dodd)
Smoki Whitfield ...
Albert, Club Car Waiter (as Smokey Whitfield)
Cliff Clark ...
Police Sergeant


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 <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


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


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

7 July 1950 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Second Woman  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


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


Ellen Foster: You think Jeff burnt down his own house and poisoned his own dog? That's impossible, no man in his right mi...
Dr. Raymond Hartley: That's right, no man in his *right* mind would do that.
See more »


References Rebecca (1940) See more »

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User Reviews

If It weren't for bad luck I'd have no luck at all
14 January 2012 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

Michael Curtiz directs Robert Young and Betsy Drake in an American style Rebecca like movie where we find Robert Young being saved from the gasoline fumes of a running motor in a locked garage by Drake and her aunt Florence Bates. We then get a flashback and why Young is in such a desperate straight that he would resort to suicide.

The flashback takes place over a two year period where promising architect Young has had such a streak of bad luck and unfortunate and unhappy events that it reminded me of that old song from HeeHaw, "if it weren't for bad luck I'd have no luck at all". Gloom, despair and agony on Robert Young.

It begins with his intended bride Shirley Ballard being killed in an automobile crash the day before the wedding. After that Young does meet Drake and they could get something going, at least Drake would like to. But Young keeps having all these terrible events occur, his house burns down, his dog is poisoned, his horse suffers a broken leg in its stall, etc., he doesn't want for anyone else to get close.

Of course its all no accident and there's no real suspense in terms of who's behind it all. I will say there is an interesting coda after the confrontation between Young and his tormentor, but you'll have to see The Second Woman for that.

Rounding out the cast is Morris Carnovsky, Henry O'Neill, and John Sutton in the role of the George Sanders like cad. The Second Woman holds up well after 60 years and fans of today will like it.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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