6.1/10
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34 user 20 critic

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 »
Show more on IMDbPro »

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

Gloria Grahame's (uncredited) singing double in this film was Kaye Lorraine. Maureen O'Hara sang her own songs. 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

Good drama
8 March 1999 | by otterSee all my reviews

Maureen O'Hara should have been a star, she was a brilliant singer but her vocal chords gave out just as she was about to make it big. Rather than fade away, she used her formidable drive and intelligence to manage another singer to stardom, the lovely but dense Gloria Grahame. As the movie opens she is arrested for shooting Grahame, and the movie tells their story in flashback form.

I liked this movie a lot, it's intelligent and engrossing, and one of the few films of the period to focus on the relationship between two women. They need each other to achieve anything, but are complete opposites. O'Hara is focused, driven, smart, savvy and lives for her work; and Grahame is a dim-witted, good-natured bimbo who'd just like to enjoy life. The conflicts between them grow and grow as the movie progresses, building up until we come back to the shooting of Grahame.

The performances are good, as they should be in a character-driven film like this. O'Hara is as strong and smart as she usually is, and enjoys the chance to explore feelings not found in her usual romantic roles. It's priceless to watch her react to Grahame's blitherings. Grahame gives one of her best performances here (I've never been impressed with any others, truth to tell), she has a lovely time dropping bricks in polite company and blithely accepting the adoration of every man she meets.

Worth a look if you're in a mood for interesting people, not explosions.


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