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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.

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

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Maria (as Valentina Cortesa)
... Louis
Charles Goldner ... Anselmo
... Nora
Angela Fouldes ... Nora (as a child)
... Penny
... Miss Jackson
Reginald Tate ... Inspector Eliot
Norman Williams ... Sergeant Newcome
... Manager of the British Pavilion
... Mrs. Reginald Kellick
Sydney Tafler ... Syd Burnett
Geoffrey Hibbert ... Steenie
John Ruddock ... Daly
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:

Language:

Release Date:

29 August 1952 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Die Verblendeten  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System) (Gaumont Kalee Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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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: "Hidden in each one of us is a secret person, often unknown even to ourselves. The force of circumstances can drive us to a point at which this inner character takes charge and alters the course of our lives." See more »

Soundtracks

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

 
A Complex and Thoughtful Thriller about Events Getting out of Control
6 April 2010 | by See all my reviews

Valentina Cortese here delivers an inspired performance as a refugee from either Italy or Spain who flees to London in the late 1930s with her younger sister because their father has been assassinated by the dictator who has taken over their country, modelled on General Franco. She takes refuge with Anselmo, a family friend who runs a London café. We skip forward by several years and the sister is now played by the young and charming Audrey Hepburn, who gets to do some of her ballet dancing in the film. All should be well, but it isn't. Anselmo decides to take the two gals to Paris for a weekend, and there they meet 'Louie', Valentina's lost love from Italy. He has become a member of the terrorist underground and is trying to assassinate his country's dictator, who is about to visit London where there will be a chance at a garden party. Louie has changed, become hardened and ruthless, and he uses the sweet-natured Valentina and her love for him as the means to get to London and ends up persuading her to carry a small bomb into the garden party, where it misfires and kills a waitress. She is arrested and blurts everything out to Scotland Yard. The terrorist group will kill anyone who spills the beans, so Scotland Yard have to give her an assumed identity and she is not allowed to see her beloved sister again. Everything gets more and more harrowing, and unlike Valentina's far-fetched previous film, HOUSE ON TELEGRAPH HILL (1951, see my review), the story here is very convincing. We begin to realize how one toe in the water in such cases can easily lead to you drowning! Serge Reggiani makes a very powerful Louie, who is able to manipulate people and make them do what he wants. Irene Worth makes an early and sympathetic film appearance as a police woman. This film is very well written and directed by Thorold Dickinson and is something of a lost gem which has fortunately now been issued on DVD.


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