Susan Caldwell, a famous singer whose star continues to rise, arrives home one night intent on quitting so she can pursue other dreams. Her vocal coach, Marian Washburn, insists that she won't let that happen. After an argument between the two of them Susan retires to her residence where she is shot. Maureen confesses to the shooting but neither her ex-lover/ex-piano player, Luke Jodan, nor the police inspecto, Fowler, believe her simple story which sparks a probing investigation into the truth. Nicolas Ray's A Woman's Secret is an early film from the director that explores the pitfalls of living one's life vicariously though the successes of others. A Woman's Secret is a story that is told through almost entirely flashback, with scenes that reveal clues as to the true nature of the shooting. Some of these flashback sequences are impressively intricate and clever while others certainly feel overly sentimental. What is important throughout this journey is we learn of the relationship between Susan and Marian. Marian was promising singer who was struck by a are throat disease which effectively ended her dream. On the other hand, Susan is a very talented young woman in her own right but not nearly as passionate about singing professionally, unwilling at times to do the work necessary. The film captures both these woman quite well, never tipping its cap to the true nature of the shooting. The audience can relate to both of these women too, for example: While Marian can come off as overbearing, Susan could work harder at her goals. Nicholas Ray's A Woman's Secret is definitely a lesser entry by this legendary filmmaker but the film does provide a witty script and lots of flashbacks.
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