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Paul Bartel (writer)
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A woman suspects that someone has clandestinely been filming her life and that her friends and acquaintences are seeing the movies in secret screenings. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
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User Reviews:
A Well-Kept `Secret' See more (10 total) »


  (in credits order)
Amy Vane ... Jane
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Philip Carlson ... Dick

Barry Dennen ... Psychiatrist
Connie Ellison ... Helen
Gordon Felio ... Mr. Troppogrosso
Camille Fife ... Second Secretary
Glenn Johnson ... Disc Jockey (voice)
Mara Lepmanis ... First Secretary
Estelle Omens ... Jane's Mother
Mimi Randolph ... Waitress / Ticket Seller / Nurse

Directed by
Paul Bartel 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Paul Bartel  writer

Produced by
Paul Bartel .... producer
Burt Bluestein .... associate producer
Bob Schulenberg .... producer
Fred Wellington .... associate producer
Original Music by
The Rusty Nails 
Cinematography by
Fred Wellington 
Film Editing by
Sam Moore 
Production Design by
Bob Schulenberg 


Additional Details

30 min
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

The film was remade, 15 years later, as an episode of "the Amazing Stories", co-starring film-maker Paul Bartel in a key-role.See more »
Crew or equipment visible: The shadow of the camera is visible during the track into the restaurant.See more »
Movie Connections:
References La récréation (1961)See more »


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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful.
A Well-Kept `Secret', 21 October 1998
Author: Eugene Kim ( from Arlington, Virginia, USA

Three decades ago, a young, up-and-coming movie director named Paul Bartel pulled together a lot of shoestrings to produce this wonderfully resourceful little black comedy (less than 30 minutes long) about Jane, an office secretary who comes to realize that her life is being secretly filmed for a shadowy outfit called The Secret Cinema. Some critics have pointed to what they see as a striking similarity between this film and "The Truman Show." But there's at least one crucial difference: Whereas Truman Burbank's environment is completely fabricated, Jane's life in New York is very real, although it's being manipulated by the filmmakers.

Bartel uses his budgetary and technical limitations to excellent advantage: the cheap-looking black & white photography, the obviously looped dialogue, the stock music and canned sound effects are very much in keeping with this low-budget movie about low-budget moviemaking.

Bartel later remade "The Secret Cinema" as an episode of Steven Spielberg's NBC anthology series "Amazing Stories." The remake starred Penny Peyser as Jane, Griffin Dunne as Dick and Bartel himself as Jane's psychiatrist. The NBC version was, I thought, terrible; it was over-produced, over-written and over-acted, and totally lacking the charm of the original. Worst of all, it failed to adequately convey the story's basic premise that Jane's life was being secretly filmed. (The remake also offers an ending completely different from the darkly humorous resolution of the first film.)

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