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
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.