6.1/10
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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

This film was a flop at the box office, resulting in a loss of $760,000 ($8M in 2019 for RKO according to studio records. See more »

Goofs

In the flashback scene of the shooting , Gloria Grahame says "Maureen" instead of Marian , Maureen O'Hara's character's name . See more »

Quotes

Jim Fowler: I'll admit mister that I've heard stories that make less sense than that. They happen to be true.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Soundtracks

Let Him Go, Let Him Tarry
(uncredited)
Traditional
Sung by Maureen O'Hara
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A WOMAN'S SECRET (Nicholas Ray, 1949) **1/2
28 September 2007 | by Bunuel1976See all my reviews

Though not really a noir, this emerged a surprisingly compelling melodrama. That said, prior to its late-night Italian screening, the notoriously eccentric commentator Enrico Ghezzi stated that the film – Ray's second – was forced on him by Dore Schary; it is evident because, if there's an auteur at work here, it's screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz (Ray's treatment, however, is sufficiently stylish to overcome the essential impersonality with which he approached the material and, at least, through working on this film, he met future wife Gloria Grahame!).

Even if controversy still rages over Mankiewicz' exact contribution to CITIZEN KANE (1941), he gives this one a similar flashback structure; of course, comparisons to Orson Welles' magnum opus won't do Ray's more modest effort any favors, so I won't make any! Still, while not especially memorable, the film can stand on its own two feet – thanks largely to a fine cast (an unusually aggressive Maureen O'Hara, the volatile Grahame, the typically cynical Melvyn Douglas, Victor Jory as a wealthy but love-struck middle-aged man, Jay C. Flippen as an understanding police inspector). By the way, amusing though it is, the film's injection of humor is rather atypical for Ray – particularly in the figure of Flippen's wife, who likes to carry out her own sleuthing!


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