Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Sunday, March 30, 2008


Maureen O'Hara
A WOMAN'S SECRET (1949) Director: Nicholas Ray.

Flashbacks relate what led up to the shooting of young singer, Susan Caldwell (Gloria Grahame), nicknamed Estrellita, who is the protege of Marian Washburn (Maureen O'Hara, pictured), who took over Susan's career when she lost her own singing voice just as she was on the verge of making it. This sounds like it might make for a very juicy soap opera at the very least, but what results is a pretty boring, minor-league account, with Marians' boyfriend Luke (Melvyn Douglas) talking the whole business over with police inspector Jim Fowler (Jay C. Flippen); Mary Philips is fun as Fowler's take-charge wife. Flashbacks are not very riveting or compelling. Victor Jory is fine as an impresario who is smitten with Susan, and Bill Williams turns up as a man from her past. Gloria Grahame is excellent as Susan, but the movie that surrounds her is a comparatively dull disappointment.

Verdict: Not even worth wasting a rainy day for. *1/2.

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