6.8/10
3,893
48 user 51 critic

Secret Beyond the Door... (1947)

Not Rated | | Drama, Film-Noir, Mystery | 12 April 1948 (Sweden)
When a lovely woman and her new husband settle in an ancient mansion on the East coast, she discovers that he may want to kill her.

Director:

Fritz Lang

Writers:

Silvia Richards (screenplay), Rufus King (story)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Joan Bennett ... Celia Lamphere
Michael Redgrave ... Mark Lamphere
Anne Revere ... Caroline Lamphere
Barbara O'Neil ... Miss Robey
Natalie Schafer ... Edith Potter
Paul Cavanagh ... Rick Barrett
Anabel Shaw ... Intellectual Sub-Deb
Rosa Rey Rosa Rey ... Paquita
James Seay ... Bob Dwight
Mark Dennis Mark Dennis ... David Lamphere
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Storyline

In this Freudian version of the Bluebeard tale, a young, trust-funded New Yorker goes to Mexico on vacation before marrying an old friend whom she considers a safe choice for a husband. However, there she finds her dream man -- a handsome, mysterious stranger who spots her in a crowd. In a matter of days they marry, honeymoon and move to his mansion, to which he has added a wing full of rooms where famous murders took place. She discovers many secrets about the house and her husband, but what she really wants to know is what is in the room her husband always keeps locked. Written by Julie van Arcken <antigone@teleport.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Some Men Destroy What They Love Most!


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

12 April 1948 (Sweden) See more »

Also Known As:

Secret Beyond the Door See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$615,065 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (cut TV)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The grove of trees that Joan Bennett runs through when she flees the house is the same grove that the Wolf Man ran through in the 1941 film, also made by Universal. In particular, the tree she leans against is the same one that the Wolf Man is beaten under. See more »

Quotes

Celia Lamphere: Long ago I read a book that told the meaning of dreams. It said that if a girl dreams of a boat or a ship she will reach a safe harbor, but if she dreams of daffodils she is in great danger. But this is no time for me to think of danger. This is my wedding day.
See more »

Connections

Version of Grimm Masterpiece Theatre: Ao hi ge (1988) See more »

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User Reviews

Sub-Rebecca melodrama that has its moments visually but no consistency or substance in the material
10 September 2007 | by bob the mooSee all my reviews

Celia Barrett is a New Yorker with a trust fund and one of the city's most eligible single women. On a trip to Mexico she meets and falls for the charming Mark Lamphere, and later the couple marry. Returning to his home and pushing him to let her finance his passion for collecting "rooms", Celia starts to suspect that all might not be right with this perfect man she has landed and indeed the secrets in his house and in his past soon start to mount.

I watched this on the back of positive reviews from a couple of people on this site; perhaps I should have read further though because I didn't find the wonderfully intelligent noir that they claimed to have seen. Perhaps these commentators have not seen the film Rebecca which sort of covers similar themes but does it much, much better than this film does, but for me I found it hard to care about this. Visually I liked it and credit to Lang because his direction and work with his cinematographer does produce some really well set up scenes that do have great atmosphere. However this is not repeated in the material which is not as intelligent as it would like to think itself. Indeed it is terribly overwrought and melodramatic and offers little to counter it.

As a result the cast have to thanklessly play it up the best they can. I thought than Bennett did as good a job as she could have hoped to have done. She isn't brilliant though but she plays detective well. More important but not much cop is Redgrave; OK the blame lies more on the material than in his performance but given how little was conveyed by words at times, his performance was important but not up to the task.

Overall then, a fairly overdone melodrama that doesn't really convince in how it uses psychoanalysis to inform and direct its narrative. It may look great but the substance just isn't there from the start right down to the insultingly simplistic final scene.


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