A Woman's Secret (1949)

Approved   |    |  Drama, Film-Noir, Mystery


A Woman's Secret (1949) Poster

Failed singer Marian Washburn confesses she shot her friend, successful singer Susan Caldwell, but her manager Luke Jordan and Detective Fowler doubt her story and cannot establish a reasonable motive.


6.1/10
1,277

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  • Melvyn Douglas in A Woman's Secret (1949)
  • Melvyn Douglas in A Woman's Secret (1949)
  • Melvyn Douglas and Victor Jory in A Woman's Secret (1949)
  • Maureen O'Hara and Melvyn Douglas in A Woman's Secret (1949)
  • Maureen O'Hara and Melvyn Douglas in A Woman's Secret (1949)
  • Gloria Grahame in A Woman's Secret (1949)

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Reviews & Commentary

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User Reviews


13 October 2011 | dougdoepke
Lesser Ray
No need to recap the plot, which I couldn't do anyway. In fact, just what the screenplay is aiming at may be the movie's biggest secret. Is it a mystery—well no, since early on the camera shows Marian (O'Hara) pulling the trigger. Is it a noir—hardly, since the atmosphere is pretty conventional. Is it a love story (a Ray specialty)—well maybe, except who loves whom is not always clear. Sure, a movie doesn't have to be pigeon-holed to be good. But the trouble here is that Secret is simply too muddled to fit anywhere, and that's despite a luminescent turn from the incomparable Gloria Grahame.

Director Ray was especially expert at getting triumphs from love story actresses—Cathy O'Donnell, Allene Roberts, Natalie Wood, et al. No wonder Grahame fell for him in real life. However, critics are right: Jory and Douglas are both a shade too old (circa, 50) for 20-something O'Hara and Grahame. Plus, pity poor Bill Williams whose one-note, unnecessary part suggests he wandered onto the wrong set. Then there's the ill- advised comedy relief from the cop's wife that erupts half-way through as if some studio higher-up suddenly intervened.

Hard to believe cult director Ray had anything to do with this muddle. Clearly, he only went through the motions, probably as a result of an unwanted studio assignment (RKO). Too bad. But, I doubt anyone could have salvaged such confused material.

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