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My Forbidden Past (1951)

Passed | | Crime, Drama, Romance | 21 April 1951 (USA)
Barbara Beaurevel lives with her aunt and cousin in New Orleans in the late 1800's. In love with Mark Lucas, a research doctor at Tulane University, her plans to marry him are thwarted. ... See full summary »


Robert Stevenson


Polan Banks (novel), Marion Parsonnet (screenplay) | 1 more credit »




Complete credited cast:
Robert Mitchum ... Dr. Mark Lucas
Ava Gardner ... Barbara Beaurevel
Melvyn Douglas ... Paul Beaurevel
Lucile Watson ... Aunt Eula Beaurevel
Janis Carter ... Corinne Lucas
Gordon Oliver ... Clay Duchesne
Basil Ruysdael ... Dean Cazzley
Clarence Muse ... Pompey
Walter Kingsford ... Coroner
Jack Briggs ... Cousin Philippe
Will Wright ... Luther Toplady


Barbara Beaurevel lives with her aunt and cousin in New Orleans in the late 1800's. In love with Mark Lucas, a research doctor at Tulane University, her plans to marry him are thwarted. Barbara's family is of the high society stratum, but her late grandmother was not in fact, and the connection with her is something Barbara's aunt is most anxious to conceal. When Barbara inherits a fortune from her grandmother's side of the family, she uses it to try and win back Mark. Written by Ron Kerrigan <mvg@whidbey.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


BOB and AVA rock ol' NEW ORLEANS! (original print ad) See more »


Crime | Drama | Romance


Passed | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Both Ann Sheridan and Polan Banks sued Howard Hughes for not respecting the contract clauses replacing Sheridan by Ava Gardner on loan from MGM. See more »


[first lines]
Barbara Beaurevel: Good-bye. Until tomorrow.
Dr. Mark Lucas: No. I'm taking a boat to South America. Tonight at eight o'clock.
Barbara Beaurevel: But, how long will you be gone?
Dr. Mark Lucas: A couple of months. I've got the university to send me.
Barbara Beaurevel: Why didn't you tell me?
Dr. Mark Lucas: I wanted to cut it sharp - with a knife.
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Referenced in Rules Don't Apply (2016) See more »

User Reviews

Full-Blooded Melodrama set in the Late Nineteenth Century Deep South
18 December 2014 | by l_rawjalaurenceSee all my reviews

MY FORBIDDEN PAST does not full its punches. It is a full-blooded melodrama set in a time and place where social distinctions matter. Barbara Beaurevel (Ava Gardner) and her cousin Paul (Melvyn Douglas) live in comfortable gentility with Aunt Eula (Lucile Watson). They believe in the kind of social niceties that dictate one's choice of marriage partner, as well as one's future life; those who fail to make the grade are abruptly rebuffed. Hence when Barbara falls in love with industrious yet self-made researcher Mark Lucas (Robert Mitchum), trouble is bound to occur. Robert Stevenson's film boils up to a satisfying courtroom climax in which an inevitable deus ex machina allows a happy ending to take place.

Despite the fact that the film remains relentlessly studio-bound (with only a few second unit shots denoting time and place), it makes a creditable effort of portraying a world riddled with hypocrisies, where Lucas is treated with as much disdain as the African American servant (Clarence Muse) working for the Beaurevel family. Douglas makes an eminently hissable villain with his thin pencil mustache and courtly manners, that do not prevent him from making a pass at Lucas' wife (Janis Carter) in a self-interested act of revenge for Lucas' falling in love with Barbara. Mitchum looks uncomfortable in the cloistered surroundings of a research laboratory, but becomes a formidable adversary for Douglas. Gardner doesn't have much to do, except proclaim her love for Lucas in a series of close-ups; this task she accomplishes competently. Given the constraints of her background, we cannot help but sympathize with her as she tries to escape through love.

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Release Date:

21 April 1951 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Carriage Entrance See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

RKO Radio Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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