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Secret People (1952)

Approved | | Crime, Drama | 29 August 1952 (USA)
This tale of intrigue finds Valentina Cortese involved in an assassination plot. She helps the police apprehend the conspirators after an innocent bystander is accidentally killed.

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(from his original story), (with acknowledgements to) | 3 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Maria (as Valentina Cortesa)
...
Louis
Charles Goldner ...
Anselmo
...
Angela Fouldes ...
Nora (as a child)
...
Penny
...
Miss Jackson
Reginald Tate ...
Inspector Eliot
Norman Williams ...
Sergeant Newcome
...
Manager of the British Pavilion
Athene Seyler ...
Mrs. Reginald Kellick
Sydney Tafler ...
Syd Burnett
Geoffrey Hibbert ...
Steenie
John Ruddock ...
Daly
Michael Allan ...
Rodd
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Storyline

In 1930, Maria Brentano and her younger sister Nora flee to London after their father is murdered by a European dictator. Seven years later, during a weekend trip to Paris, Maria unexpectedly meets Louis, her former lover who is now plotting the assassination of the dictator. Maria and Nora become involved in the plan, which goes tragically wrong when the time bomb they plant kills an innocent bystander. Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

starvation | See All (1) »

Taglines:

LOOK OUT FOR THIS MAN! HE LIVES! AND LOVES! AND MURDERS!

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

29 August 1952 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Die Verblendeten  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System) (Gaumont Kalee Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

While most sources (including this website) list the official release date of this film as 1952, the copyright notice on the title card of the actual film reads "1951". See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits: "Hidden in each one of us is a secret person, often unknown even to ourselves. The force of circumstances can drive us to a point at which this inner character takes charge and alters the course of our lives." See more »

Soundtracks

Valse brillante As-dur Op.34-1
Written by Frédéric Chopin
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User Reviews

 
Could be made today
24 August 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Simply put "Secret People" is about terrorism.

Maria Brentano (Valentina Cortese) and her younger sister Nora (Angela Fouldes/Audrey Hepburn) are sent to live in London with a friend of their father's; he is ultimately killed by a European dictator, Galbern. Maria becomes a citizen and changes her name to Brent and works in her guardian's restaurant, while Nora pursues a career as a dancer. Seven years pass, and their guardian takes them for a weekend in Paris. There, Maria sees her boyfriend Louis (Serge Reggiani), from whom she has been separated for seven years.

Serge and his group are now plotting the assassination of Galbern, who is visiting London. He arranges for Nora to be hired for a private party which will be attended by Galbern, and Maria will be a guest. He pressures her at the last minute to carry a bomb and pass it to someone who will be at the party. The plan goes awry and a waitress is killed. Horrified, Maria goes into a sort of witness protection and is sent back to help capture Louis and his group.

Terrorism coming into and hurting ordinary people, fanatics who believe in their cause -- it resonates today. The acting is very good. Valentina Cortese is excellent as a loving and protective woman drawn into something by the man she loves. Audrey Hepburn is sweet and very girlish as Nora, and Serge Reggiani as the smooth Louis does a great job. This role must have hit close to home for Reggiani; his father was a prominent anti-fascist and fled Mussolini in order to protect his family. Everyone in the film is good.

Valentina Cortese was interviewed for the Audrey Hepburn biography on which I worked. She adored Hepburn, and the two of them used to go to nightclubs together and even at one point tried smoking cigars. So it was especially interesting for me to see this film. Despite some negative reviews here, I found this a worthwhile film.


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