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Shadow of a Woman (1946)

A young bride's marital bliss is replaced by shades of suspicion when she suspects that her husband is trying to starve his young son to death in order to claim an inheritance the boy is ... See full summary »


Joseph Santley


Whitman Chambers (screenplay), C. Graham Baker (screenplay) | 1 more credit »


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Complete credited cast:
Helmut Dantine ... Dr. Eric Ryder
Andrea King ... Brooke Gifford Ryder
William Prince ... David G. MacKellar
John Alvin ... Carl
Becky Brown ... Genevieve Calvin
Richard Erdman ... Joe (as Dick Erdman)
Peggy Knudsen ... Louise Ryder
Don McGuire ... Johnnie
Lisa Golm ... Emma
Larry Geiger Larry Geiger ... Philip Ryder
Monte Blue ... Mike
J. Scott Smart ... Timothy Freeman (as Jack Smart)
Leah Baird ... Mrs. Calvin
Lottie Williams Lottie Williams ... Sarah


A young bride's marital bliss is replaced by shades of suspicion when she suspects that her husband is trying to starve his young son to death in order to claim an inheritance the boy is entitled to. Written by Daniel Bubbeo <dbubbeo@cmp.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

murder attempt | See All (1) »


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Release Date:

14 September 1946 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Der Schatten einer Frau See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


This film's earliest documented telecast took place in Cincinnati Monday 17 September 1957 on WKRC (Channel 12); it first aired in Boston Wednesday 16 January 1957 on WBZ (Channel 4), in Bloomington IN Saturday 30 March 1957 on WTTV (Channel 4), in Portland OR Tuesday 16 April 1957 on KLOR (Channel 12), and in San Diego CA Tuesday 21 May 1957 on KFMB (Channel 8). See more »


When Eric and Brooke are driving in the country from their city honeymoon hotel, they are in a dark car and pass an open area on the right. There is an abrupt edit as can be noted in the changed shadows on the right, before the car that is following them closely can be seen. See more »


References Ruggles of Red Gap (1935) See more »


Otchi Tchornya
Traditional Russian tune
[First dance number played at the Gypsy Room]
See more »

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User Reviews

"I've Made a Terrible Mistake!"
9 May 2006 | by maryszdSee all my reviews

The beautiful and financially independent Brooke Gifford comes to regret her hasty marriage to quack "Doctor" Eric Ryder. Too late, she discovers their marriage is just a ruse to get custody of his son back and steal his inheritance. Why did she marry him in the first place? He's a divorced guy with a bizarre health food fixation (he's written a book called "Are You Eating Yourself Into the Grave?"). But it's the usual story. She was lonely; there weren't many marriageable men around during just-ended WWII. Slickly manipulative Eric, in the typical style of abusive men, swept her off her feet. Brooke's now older-and-wiser narration tells the story in the form of flashbacks.

This fascinating postwar film (over) dramatizes the way women were sucked back into domesticity after years of emotional and financial self-sufficiency during the war--and the pitfalls it held for them. Thank god Brooke still has some money and a house in San Bernardino--it gives her the means to fight back. It also enables her to have a terrific wardrobe--just because her husband's a potential murderer doesn't mean she can't look great. And you can be sure that cheapskate Eric wouldn't pop for all those trips to the hairdresser and manicurist, either.

Eric's health-food fixation is interesting, too. We think of healthy food as virtuous these days, but this film shows that in postwar America, too much of a concern with nutrition was considered quackery, if not worse (and in this case, it is worse). Eric, talks with a bogus European accent--"Have face in me, my dahling!" he tells Brooke. There's also a lot about women being "tired" in this film. Eric is always telling women they're "tired" so he can get them out of the way. How tired can these women actually be? They probably worked twelve hour shifts during the war and now they're supposed to be fragile?

The title, "Shadow of a Woman" is significant. The way women were driven from the public sphere into lives of forced domesticity after the war indeed led them to become shadows of their former selves.

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