6.3/10
448
14 user 4 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

The film begins in 1930 with a key character reading a letter. The letter contains a line: "a poet has written, 'We must love one another or die.' This line is from a poem by W.H. Auden entitled "September 1, 1939." See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: LONDON 1930 See more »

Soundtracks

Valse brillante As-dur Op.34-1
Written by Frédéric Chopin
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User Reviews

 
Audrey Hepburn + Ealing Studios = Grim Espionage Drama!?
19 August 2009 | by alonzoiii-1See all my reviews

Valentina Cortese, daughter of pacifist anti-fascist, makes the best of exile in England with sister Audrey Hepburn. When the strongman who killed her father comes to England, will she resist the entreaties of her father's political friends to help them, or will she join THE SECRET PEOPLE? This is quite a good film -- but it is much more a character study of a woman who suddenly finds her ideals and her peace of mind threatened because of her position - then it is a straightforward spy vs spy drama. Audrey Hepburn, on the cusp of stardom, is given a role that highlights her talents without taxing her abilities. (She plays young and dangerously innocent beautifully. Her ability to do this is what makes the end of the film work.) But the movie rests on the ability of Valentina Cortese to seem intelligent but scared, vulnerable and terribly conflicted. This is a really good role that gets a really good performance.

Is this a classic for the ages? Not quite -- I like the characterization of one of the commenters as "near masterpiece". There's a deliberate lack of suspense in the film -- the results of one of the key actions in the film is so telegraphed in advance that the sequence surrounding it might be the dullest patch of the film, and the build up to the final climax is oddly lacking. But, if you have a dog- eared copy of Conrad's Secret Agent, you'll recognize the dark but dowdy milieu, and appreciate that Ealing's dedication to the use of location filming is put to good -- if very un-Ealing like -- use here.

Worth the time.


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