Nicholas Ray – A Woman’s Secret (1949)


Susan is laying in the hospital with a bullet near her heart. Marian has told the police that she shot Susan in a rage as Susan was giving up her singing. Marian and Luke found Susan when she was a failure. A singer with a limited range, she was a diamond in the rough to which Marian and Luke taught how to walk, dress and talk. With the singing lessons, Marian had hoped that she would have the career that Marian would have had if she had not lost her voice. Even thought Susan is a scatterbrain girl, Luke does not believe that Marian would or was capable of shooting her. Luke hopes that Detective Fowler will be able to find out the truth and free Marian.

Something of an RKO chore for Ray, to be sure. But a nicely structured script by Herman J Mankiewicz (from a novel by Vicki Baum) – repeating the investigative flashback structure of Citizen Kane as it examines the events leading up to the death of ex-singer O’Hara’s devious and ungrateful protégée (beautifully incarnated by Grahame) – is well served by the civilised direction, which not only turns the Vicki Baum melodrama into a noir-ish mystery, but also stresses, as so often in Ray, the importance of interior space and the way it reflects/influences action. Entertaining, and less routine than it sounds.–_Nicholas_Ray.mkv– Woman’s Secret (1949) — Nicholas Woman’s Secret (1949) — Nicholas Ray.mkv

Subtitles:English (srt)

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