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A Woman's Secret (1949)

Approved | | Drama, Film-Noir, Mystery | 7 February 1949 (USA)
Failed singer Marian Washburn confesses she shot her friend, successful singer Susan Caldwell, but her manager Luke Jordan and Detective Fowler doubt her story and cannot establish a reasonable motive.

Director:

Nicholas Ray

Writers:

Herman J. Mankiewicz (screen play), Vicki Baum (novel)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Maureen O'Hara ... Marian Washburn
Melvyn Douglas ... Luke Jordan
Gloria Grahame ... Susan Caldwell
Bill Williams ... Lee Crenshaw
Victor Jory ... Brook Matthews
Mary Philips ... Mary Fowler
Jay C. Flippen ... Jim Fowler
Robert Warwick ... Roberts
Curt Conway Curt Conway ... Doctor
Ann Shoemaker ... Mrs. Matthews
Virginia Farmer ... Mollie
Ellen Corby ... Nurse
Emory Parnell ... Desk Sergeant
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Storyline

Susan is in the hospital with a bullet near her heart. Marian has told the police that she shot Susan in a rage as Susan was giving up singing. Marian and Luke found Susan when she was a failure. A singer with a limited range, she was a diamond in the rough which Marian and Luke taught how to walk, dress and talk. With the singing lessons, Marian had hoped that she would have the career that Marian would have had if she had not lost her voice. Even though Susan is a scatterbrain girl, Luke does not believe that Marian would have been capable of shooting her. Luke hopes that Detective Fowler will be able to find out the truth and free Marian. Written by Tony Fontana <tony.fontana@spacebbs.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

I had to stop her ... at any cost ... that's why I pulled the trigger !


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

7 February 1949 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Mortgage on Life See more »

Filming Locations:

Hollywood, California, USA

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Box Office

Budget:

$853,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

RKO Radio Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Nicholas Ray and Gloria Grahame met while shooting this film. They were married in Las Vegas shortly after completing the film. They chose Las Vegas because Ray loved to gamble and to allow Grahame to get a quickie divorce (after the required six weeks of residency in Nevada) from actor Stanley Clements. The day the divorced was granted, the two married. See more »

Goofs

During the "incident" at the beginning of the film the shadow of the boom mike is visible in the reflection of the mirror. See more »

Quotes

Susan Caldwell: I think I'll take a little water first. It clears your throat you know.
[gulps water for twelve seconds]
Luke Jordan: All clear?
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening and closing credits are displayed on a page of sheet music. See more »

Soundtracks

Paradise
(uncredited)
Music by Nacio Herb Brown
Lyrics by Gordon Clifford
Sung by Maureen O'Hara on the phonograph
Also sung by Gloria Grahame (dubbed by Kaye Lorraine)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Only A Small Amount Of Alternate Probabilities
28 March 2008 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

With elements of All About Eve, Mildred Pierce and Trapeze in it, A Woman's Secret hardly rates as being as good as one of the three films mentioned. Maybe the title is wrong, there really is no secret about anything here.

If A Woman's Secret has earned any place at all in cinema history it's because director Nicholas Ray met and fell for Gloria Grahame on the set of this film. He became her second husband.

As for the film, retired singer now manager Maureen O'Hara has a quarrel with her protégé Gloria Grahame. Later on when Grahame is shot and critically wounded, O'Hara is brought in for questioning.

Composer and critic Melvyn Douglas in a character based on parts of Alexander Woollcott, Clifton Fadiman, and Oscar Levant just simply doesn't believe the whole thing. He lobbies vigorously on O'Hara's behalf with investigating detective Jay C. Flippen. But it's Flippen's wife, Mary Phillips, who actually finds the key. The answer is really rather obvious, but it's how the story is unraveled that's the key to the film.

Nicholas Ray went on to direct a whole lot better films and the suspense factor just isn't there for me in this one. The very professional cast go through their required paces. Others in the ensemble include Victor Jory as a criminal attorney that Douglas brings in for O'Hara who knows both of them and Bill Williams, a former GI who was to marry Grahame.

With their only being a small amount of alternate probabilities other than O'Hara trying to commit murder, there's not much of a secret to A Woman's Secret.


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