Luke Jordan: You know one of these days you're going to be singing that song on Broadway and I'm just going to be walking up and down the theater. Mankiewicz adopts the same prismatic-flashback technique he'd used so well in Citizen Kane for the 1949 filmic soap opera A Woman's Secret.
Mankiewicz  screenplayKnown TriviaNicholas Ray and Gloria Grahame met while shooting this film. Based on a novel by Vicki (Grand Hotel) Baum, the film begins with the shooting of nightclub singer Susan Caldwell (Gloria Grahame).
They chose Las Vegas because Ray loved to gamble and to allow Grahame to get a quickie divorce (after the required six weeks of residency in Nevada) from actor 'Stanley Clements' (qv). Marian Washburn (Maureen O'Hara), who'd coached Susan into the Big Time, confesses to the shooting. They chose Las Vegas because Ray loved to gamble and to allow Grahame to get a quickie divorce (after the required six weeks of residency in Nevada) from actor Stanley Clements.
A singer with a limited range, she was a diamond in the rough which Marian and Luke taught how to walk, dress and talk.
Neither Marian's piano-player friend Luke Jordan (Melvyn Douglas) nor police inspector Fowler (Jay C.
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. Flippen) completely buy her story, and it is their probing investigation of the facts that sparks the flashback parade. Even though Susan is a scatterbrain girl, Luke does not believe that Marian would have been capable of shooting her.
The film details in sometimes clever, sometimes maudlin fashion the perils of living one's life vicariously through the accomplishments of others.
Though filmed before director Nicholas Ray's "official" debut feature They Live by Night, A Woman's Secret was released afterward.

Barker known as makeup artist (uncredited) Jack Barron known as makeup artist (uncredited) Hazel Rogers known as hair stylist (uncredited) Fae M. Rather thanfade away, she used her formidable drive and intelligence to manage anothersinger to stardom, the lovely but dense Gloria Grahame. Theconflicts between them grow and grow as the movie progresses, building upuntil we come back to the shooting of Grahame.The performances are good, as they should be in a character-driven film likethis. O’Hara is as strong and smart as she usually is, and enjoys thechance to explore feelings not found in her usual romantic roles.
Vicki (Grand Hotel) Baumwrote the novel, adapted for the screen by Herman (Citizen Kane) Mankiewicz,directed by the young Nicholas (In A Lonely Place) Ray and photographed byGeorge Diskant.
Grumpy musical gadfly Douglas doesn’t buy the confession, andmost of the movie unfolds through a series of flashbacks told from variouspoints of view. Marian puts her heart and soul into making Estralitaeverything she would have been, but Susan feels stifled and decides to endit all. Marian catches her in the act of trying to shoot herself andattempts to wrest the gun from her, but in the struggle Susan is shotanywayand lies near death with a bullet lodged close to her heart. Mariandecidesto claim that she shot Susan because she realizes she drove her to suicideanyway and it opens another can of worms into her deep psyche of trying topossess another person and attempt to live vicariously through them thatwill remain unexplained. Marian is in jail and the case will be closedwithher admission of guilt, but Luke believes in her and insists on waitingforSusan to come to and tell the true story. As luck would have it, Susandoesand the closing scene is Marian being released and proposing to Luke.
For mostof his career, he sailed through roles that were beneath his abilities.He delivers his lines here with a dry wit and is delightful. The story is told inflashback, and is reminiscent of All About Eve, although as if told inreverse. Melvyn Douglas is a forerunner of Addison de Witt and theviewer can see resemblances in the other characters.

Mankiewicz’ssecond last screenplay, this piece of film noir has more to it thanjust that.
In particular, Gloria Grahame and MaryPhilips have excellent characters, which they both embody very well.There are also some interesting bits of camera-work in the darkerscenes, and the film brings the intriguing elements of the mysterygenre to light very well.
Not too much happens in terms of the film’splot, the film does not end on a very solid note and there are otherminor quibbles that one could have. Because she was Jewish, sheand her husband left Germany in the 1930s and she became a Hollywoodscreenwriter. Susan is the singing sensation Estralita butshe is fed up with the grind of public appearances and radio shows andwants to retire. She and Marion go upstairs, there is a shot and whenpolice come, Marion calmly confesses that she fired the gun that couldfatally have injured Susan.Luke Jordan (Melvyn Douglas) and Brooke Matthews (Victor Jory) getinvolved. She has just the right amount of quirkinessand knowing innocence as Susan, who just happens to have a great voice.She is happy for Marion to do all the work, promoting, booking, pushingher to practice etc. Luke follows to keep an eye on them but Susan hasalready gone, pursuing a man to Algiers, with the promise of a place inan Opera company.
Needless to say, there was no Opera company.On the ship back to New York, Susan, with a new name, Estralita, meetsBrooke and sweeps him off his feet!!! Flippen isalso very good as the Inspector who feels something is amiss withMarion's confession.
This movieisn’t well known and Ray did go on to make some better films like OnDangerous Ground and Johnny Guitar.
The movie starts out with GloriaGrahame being shot and being close to dying and Maureen O’Hara saysthat she shot her.

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