6.3/10
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14 user 3 critic

Secret People (1952)

Approved | | Crime , Drama | 29 August 1952 (USA)
This tale of intrigue finds Valentina Cortese involved in an assassination plot. She helps the police apprehend the conspirators after an innocent bystander is accidentally killed.

Director:

Thorold Dickinson

Writers:

Thorold Dickinson (from his original story), Joyce Cary (with acknowledgements to) | 3 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Valentina Cortese ... Maria (as Valentina Cortesa)
Serge Reggiani ... Louis
Charles Goldner Charles Goldner ... Anselmo
Audrey Hepburn ... Nora
Angela Fouldes Angela Fouldes ... Nora (as a child)
Megs Jenkins ... Penny
Irene Worth ... Miss Jackson
Reginald Tate Reginald Tate ... Inspector Eliot
Norman Williams Norman Williams ... Sergeant Newcome
Michael Shepley ... Manager of the British Pavilion
Athene Seyler ... Mrs. Reginald Kellick
Sydney Tafler Sydney Tafler ... Syd Burnett
Geoffrey Hibbert Geoffrey Hibbert ... Steenie
John Ruddock John Ruddock ... Daly
Michael Allan Michael Allan ... Rodd
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Storyline

In 1930, Maria Brentano and her younger sister Nora flee to London after their father is murdered by a European dictator. Seven years later, during a weekend trip to Paris, Maria unexpectedly meets Louis, her former lover who is now plotting the assassination of the dictator. Maria and Nora become involved in the plan, which goes tragically wrong when the time bomb they plant kills an innocent bystander. Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

starvation | See All (1) »

Taglines:

LOOK OUT FOR THIS MAN! HE LIVES! AND LOVES! AND MURDERS!

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

29 August 1952 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Die Verblendeten See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Ealing Studios See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System) (Gaumont Kalee Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Two of the themes included in the musical score of the film, composed by Roberto Gerhard, are the traditional Catalan Christmas carols "La Mare de Déu" and "El cant dels ocells", the last one had being popularized much before by the great violoncellist _Pau Casals_. The reason is that Roberto Gerhard, born in Valls, province of Tarragona (Catalonia), was friend since his childhood of _Pau Casals_, born in El Vendrell, province of Tarragona and a great connoisseur of Catalan popular music. The tune of "La Mare de Déu" was also used by the well known Catalan musician _Xavier Cugat_, born in Girona (Catalonia), into his song "My shawl". See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: LONDON 1930 See more »

Soundtracks

Valse brillante As-dur Op.34-1
Written by Frédéric Chopin
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Could be made today
24 August 2014 | by blanche-2See all my reviews

Simply put "Secret People" is about terrorism.

Maria Brentano (Valentina Cortese) and her younger sister Nora (Angela Fouldes/Audrey Hepburn) are sent to live in London with a friend of their father's; he is ultimately killed by a European dictator, Galbern. Maria becomes a citizen and changes her name to Brent and works in her guardian's restaurant, while Nora pursues a career as a dancer. Seven years pass, and their guardian takes them for a weekend in Paris. There, Maria sees her boyfriend Louis (Serge Reggiani), from whom she has been separated for seven years.

Serge and his group are now plotting the assassination of Galbern, who is visiting London. He arranges for Nora to be hired for a private party which will be attended by Galbern, and Maria will be a guest. He pressures her at the last minute to carry a bomb and pass it to someone who will be at the party. The plan goes awry and a waitress is killed. Horrified, Maria goes into a sort of witness protection and is sent back to help capture Louis and his group.

Terrorism coming into and hurting ordinary people, fanatics who believe in their cause -- it resonates today. The acting is very good. Valentina Cortese is excellent as a loving and protective woman drawn into something by the man she loves. Audrey Hepburn is sweet and very girlish as Nora, and Serge Reggiani as the smooth Louis does a great job. This role must have hit close to home for Reggiani; his father was a prominent anti-fascist and fled Mussolini in order to protect his family. Everyone in the film is good.

Valentina Cortese was interviewed for the Audrey Hepburn biography on which I worked. She adored Hepburn, and the two of them used to go to nightclubs together and even at one point tried smoking cigars. So it was especially interesting for me to see this film. Despite some negative reviews here, I found this a worthwhile film.


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