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
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 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 »
The film begins in 1930. A character reads a letter quoting W.H. Auden--"We must love one another or die." But it is from the poem "September ,1939" and was written in the following month. See more »
The Secret People is worth seeing as much for what it did not accomplish as for what it did. It seems to me that only Hitchcock's Sabotage deals with the same sort of moral dilemmas that this film attempts to portray. Both Sabotage and Secret People were filmed in dark London streets and ominous back streets. In fact, the cinematography is literally so dark that it is often difficult to make out the action. In both films, an atmosphere of dread and secrecy hangs over the characters. However, despite the strong bond between the sisters, you never feel the same anguish shown in Sabotage by the wife of the saboteur. The film could have been a lot more forceful in setting up its moral conflicts. Of course, it is worth while just to see the young Audrey Hepburn dance classical ballet, something we were never to see again on film. And to see her before she became a major star. No Givenchy fashions in this one!
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