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In the late 1800s New England, banker William Marlowe and his wife Martha have arranged for their daughter Mary to marry the officious and older Lord Hurley of England. Mary does not want ... See full summary »


Frank Borzage


Frances Marion (written for the screen by), Salisbury Field (additional dialogue) | 3 more credits »


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Credited cast:
Mary Pickford ... Mary Marlowe / Mary Carlton
Leslie Howard ... John Carlton
C. Aubrey Smith ... Mr. William Marlowe
Blanche Friderici ... Mrs. Martha Marlowe
Doris Lloyd ... Susan Channing
Herbert Evans ... Lord Hurley
Ned Sparks ... Sunshine
Allan Sears Allan Sears ... Jake Houser
Mona Maris ... SeƱora Lolita Martinez
Huntley Gordon ... William Carlton
Ethel Clayton ... Audrey Carlton
Bessie Barriscale ... Susan Carlton
Theodore von Eltz ... Robert Carlton
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Russell Simpson ... Doctor


In the late 1800s New England, banker William Marlowe and his wife Martha have arranged for their daughter Mary to marry the officious and older Lord Hurley of England. Mary does not want to marry Lord Hurley, but rather John Carlton, a lowly clerk at her father's bank. The two fell in love at first sight. When John and Mary's relationship is discovered by her parents, William discharges John. Knowing he can't get another job in New England, John decides to move west to California to start a new life off the land. Despite the probable hardships, Mary wants to go along and the two elope. They do face those initial hardships, most specifically an especially violent encounter with cattle rustlers, but they are able to carve out a successful life as ranchers. Twenty years, several children and a mansion of their own later, John is a popular choice to run for governor. Some past indiscretions may not only threaten his gubernatorial run but his marriage altogether. Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Western







Release Date:

16 March 1933 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Secretos See more »


Box Office


$531,641 (estimated)

Gross USA:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Mary Pickford Company See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Gary Cooper was originally announced at the male lead in this film. See more »


[first lines]
Mrs. Martha Marlowe: Flowers, food, champagne and whiskeys. Enough for about 40 people. That will cost money. And getting the money from your father, in these times, will not be simple. You seem very much interested, my pet.
Mary Marlowe: I fear I'm not the least interested, Mama.
See more »


Featured in The 48th Annual Academy Awards (1976) See more »

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User Reviews

A life made of small joys and big griefs
10 September 2009 | by dbdumonteilSee all my reviews

Today ,I'm still wondering how Frank Borzage could make so many wonderful movies for so many years !Think of it!"Secrets" came after "A farewell to the arms" and just before "a man's castle" followed by "no greater glory" and "little man what now?"!And there were plenty of masterpieces in the silent era and there were so many to come afterward.Who can compete with him?I'd like to know! "Secrets" is more of the same : the lovers against the hostile world,two lovers who will "see it through for their love is true".It is composed of three parts ,apparently disparate ,but when the movie is over ,you feel it's a seamless whole ,mainly after the old folks want to be alone to share their secrets .

First part displays echoes of Romeo and Juliet ,complete with ladder ,a bourgeois family and a romantic escape;in the second part ,Borzage shows us the heroine in a less comfortable house where drama gives way to tragedy:this scene in which Mary Pickford is holding her dead child is one of these heartrending moments which abound in Borzage's canon : other examples can be found in "no greater glory" when they carry the dead little soldier home or in "the mortal storm" ,when James Stewart holds Margaret Sullavan's body or in "young America" this drawing which shows the two boys flying.The last third can seem weaker by comparison but further acquaintance shows this: Borzage had already anticipated the future and its great sagas/serials which appeared in the fifties :and he made this in about 40 minutes whereas the others would take two or three hours.

Borzage was certainly equaled,but never surpassed.

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