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Film Noir: A Woman’s Secret (1949)

Directed by: Nicholas Ray

Based on a novel by: Vicki Baum

Screenplay by: Herman J. Mankiewicz

Actors: Maureen O’Hara, Gloria Grahame, Melvyn Douglas

 Film Noir A_Woman_s_Secret-842061589-large

This film opens with an argument. Susan ( Grahame) a famous singer and her manager Marian ( O’Hara) are shouting at each other in the apartment they share. Susan runs upstairs into her bedroom and Marian follows. The viewer isn’t allowed inside the room.

A gun goes off. Noir style. The next scene shows Susan on the floor. The doctor reports she has a bullet lodged close to her heart. Marian admits to the crime.

But why would she do it? It doesn’t make any sense to Luke Jordan ( Douglas). The friend to both woman and the co-manager in Susan’s career seeks answers.

This film uses the classic noir element of flashbacks to tell the story. Only which flashbacks are true?

Triva: During the filming of A Woman’s Secret, Nicholas Ray married Gloria Grahame when he found out she was expecting a child. The marriage was doomed from the beginning and she fell for Ray’s son, Tony, who she would later marry in 1960.