Lady of Secrets (1936)

Approved   |    |  Drama


Lady of Secrets (1936) Poster

Because of a very unhappy affair she had earlier in her life, a woman shuts herself off from the rest of the world.


5.8/10
20

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  • Ruth Chatterton and Otto Kruger in Lady of Secrets (1936)
  • Ruth Chatterton and Otto Kruger in Lady of Secrets (1936)
  • Ruth Chatterton, Otto Kruger, Marian Marsh, and Lloyd Nolan in Lady of Secrets (1936)
  • Lionel Atwill, Otto Kruger, and Marian Marsh in Lady of Secrets (1936)
  • Lionel Atwill in Lady of Secrets (1936)

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Reviews & Commentary

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User Reviews


3 July 2012 | sobaok
6
| Ruth Chatterton's "comeback picture" after 2 years off the screen ...
Early into the telling of Lady of Secrets we discover that Chatterton's character, Celia, has a troubled past that easily surfaces into emotional outbursts. A Fourth of July parade with marching soldiers outside Celia's window sets her off like a firecracker. "Put on your uniforms and beat your drums!" she cries. "Tell the world that war is glorious. Let's have another one!" When she calms down, and wistfully calls out, "Michael ... Michael ... I've got to learn to forget"--we assume that the man she speaks of is among the dear departed.

Celia's younger sister, Joan (Marian Marsh) punishes the young man she loves, by announcing her engagement to a middle-aged millionaire, David (Otto Kruger). Celia is up front with the fiancé and tells him, nicely, "I don't feel this marriage should take place. If I find I'm right, I shall declare war on it." The simpatico between the talented actors, Chatterton and Kruger, is tangible. So far, Lady of Secrets holds the interest.

Halfway into the film, Celia is left alone to reminisce. We have the misfortune of experiencing a flashback which hammers more nails than necessary into the cross she bears, as well as the film's coffin. Any subtlety that Lady of Secrets had quickly vanishes. Instead, we look aghast as Chatterton is asked to portray Celia as a sixteen-year-old. A younger shade of blonde, giddy innocence, and clever lighting cannot disguise the fact that Baby Jane Hudson (Chatterton was 43) is attempting a comeback. 17 minutes of drudging up things we already suspect, deflates any delicacy the film possessed.

Lady of Secrets attempts to regain the charm, tempo and poignancy it had, but it comes too late. The inflated flashback has become a burdensome anchor, dragging its weight and the film with it.

Even so, I recommend this film for the talents of Chatterton and Kruger. Marian Marsh does well as the naive, younger sister. She and Chatterton got along well during the production, sharing a mutual interest in horses, and taking morning rides together in Griffith Park.

Critic Reviews


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Storyline

Plot Summary


Genres

Drama

Details

Release Date:

21 February 1936

Language

English


Country of Origin

USA

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