The Secret Heart (1946)

97 mins | Drama | December 1946

Director:

Robert Z. Leonard

Producer:

Edwin H. Knopf

Cinematographer:

George Folsey

Editor:

Adrienne Fazan

Production Designers:

Cedric Gibbons, Edward Carfagno

Production Company:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
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HISTORY

The film opens with the following written prologue: "There are three things you cannot hide; Love--Smoke--And a man riding on a camel--An old Arabian proverb." A Jun 1944 HR news item indicates that Irene Dunne was slated to star in the film opposite Walter Pidgeon. According to the CBCS, actor Nicholas Joy was originally cast in the part played by Lionel Barrymore. A late Sep 1946 HR news item noted that scenes featuring Barrymore were filmed one month after principal shooting was completed. A Lux Radio Theatre version of the story, starring Pidgeon and Deborah Kerr, was broadcast on 25 Oct ... More Less

The film opens with the following written prologue: "There are three things you cannot hide; Love--Smoke--And a man riding on a camel--An old Arabian proverb." A Jun 1944 HR news item indicates that Irene Dunne was slated to star in the film opposite Walter Pidgeon. According to the CBCS, actor Nicholas Joy was originally cast in the part played by Lionel Barrymore. A late Sep 1946 HR news item noted that scenes featuring Barrymore were filmed one month after principal shooting was completed. A Lux Radio Theatre version of the story, starring Pidgeon and Deborah Kerr, was broadcast on 25 Oct 1948. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
30 Nov 1946.
---
Daily Variety
29 Nov 46
pp. 3-4.
Film Daily
4 Dec 46
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
4 Jun 44
p. 1
Hollywood Reporter
17 May 46
p. 13.
Hollywood Reporter
23 May 46
p. 13.
Hollywood Reporter
7 Jun 46
p. 18.
Hollywood Reporter
2 Aug 46
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
9 Aug 46
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
12 Aug 46
p. 13.
Hollywood Reporter
30 Sep 46
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
29 Nov 46
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
30 Dec 46
p. 6.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
26 Oct 46
p. 3274.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
30 Nov 46
p. 3334.
New York Times
26 Dec 46
p. 28.
Variety
4 Dec 46
p. 13.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Robert Z. Leonard Production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
WRITERS
Based upon an orig story and adpt by
Based upon an orig story and adpt by
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
COSTUMES
Cost supv
MUSIC
Mus score comp and adpt
SOUND
Rec dir
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
PRODUCTION MISC
Unit mgr
SOURCES
SONGS
"I Can't Give You Anything But Love," music and lyrics by Dorothy Fields and Jimmy McHugh.
DETAILS
Release Date:
December 1946
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 25 December 1946
Production Date:
27 May--1 August 1946
retakes in early August and late September 1946
Copyright Claimant:
Loew's Inc.
Copyright Date:
4 December 1946
Copyright Number:
LP737
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
97
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
11864
Passed by NBR:
Yes
SYNOPSIS

After completing his three-year service in the Navy, Chase N. Addams returns to his stepmother's home in New York, where he is greeted by his loving girl friend, Kay Burns, and his sister Penny. When Chase learns that Penny has dropped out of high school and has been spending her days in her room playing her piano, he knows that she is still brooding over the death of their father, who passed away when they were children. Lee, Penny's stepmother, is concerned about Penny's odd behavior and discusses her problem with Penny's psychiatrist, Dr. Rossiger. When Rossiger asks Lee about Penny's early childhood in rural Rhode Island, Lee tells him that she married Larry, an investment banker, when Penny was five years old, and that Larry died two years later. Lee then recalls the time just prior to her marriage, when she was traveling by boat from England to America: On board the ship, Lee meets Chris Matthews, a close friend of Larry, and after five days at sea, the two begin a romance. The affair ends, however, when Lee tells Chris that she is sailing to America to marry Larry, the man her mother had earlier forbidden her to wed because he was an alcoholic. After the wedding, Lee spends the next year trying fight Larry's alcoholism and working to win Penny's confidence. One day, Lee, frustrated by her failed attempts to reform her husband, accepts Chris's invitation to a party, which she attends without Larry. At the end of the evening, Chris and Lee stop to inspect a police investigation along the road near a cliff. When Lee learns that the commotion is over ... +


After completing his three-year service in the Navy, Chase N. Addams returns to his stepmother's home in New York, where he is greeted by his loving girl friend, Kay Burns, and his sister Penny. When Chase learns that Penny has dropped out of high school and has been spending her days in her room playing her piano, he knows that she is still brooding over the death of their father, who passed away when they were children. Lee, Penny's stepmother, is concerned about Penny's odd behavior and discusses her problem with Penny's psychiatrist, Dr. Rossiger. When Rossiger asks Lee about Penny's early childhood in rural Rhode Island, Lee tells him that she married Larry, an investment banker, when Penny was five years old, and that Larry died two years later. Lee then recalls the time just prior to her marriage, when she was traveling by boat from England to America: On board the ship, Lee meets Chris Matthews, a close friend of Larry, and after five days at sea, the two begin a romance. The affair ends, however, when Lee tells Chris that she is sailing to America to marry Larry, the man her mother had earlier forbidden her to wed because he was an alcoholic. After the wedding, Lee spends the next year trying fight Larry's alcoholism and working to win Penny's confidence. One day, Lee, frustrated by her failed attempts to reform her husband, accepts Chris's invitation to a party, which she attends without Larry. At the end of the evening, Chris and Lee stop to inspect a police investigation along the road near a cliff. When Lee learns that the commotion is over her husband, who jumped to his death, she faints in Chris's arms. A photographer quickly snaps their picture, and a local scandal ensues. A larger scandal soon follows, however, when it is discovered that Larry had been stealing money from his investors. Lee refuses to tell Penny the truth about their father's death, and instead tells her that he died of a heart attack. She later moves the family to New York and gets a job in real estate, hoping to make enough money to repay the investors that Larry had fleeced. After Lee concludes her story, Rossiger advises her to take her family back to Rhode Island to live there for the summer. The doctor hopes that the move will cure Penny of her troubling childhood memories, and will help her to transfer her attachment to her father to someone real and alive. Penny reluctantly agrees to go to Rhode Island with Lee and Chase, and they are joined by Chase's friend, Brandon Reynolds. While a romance blossoms between Penny and Brandon, Lee rekindles her romance with Chris. When Penny complains to Chase that their stepmother has been neglecting her family and is only interested in her work, Chase tells Penny the truth about why Lee works so hard. One evening, Lee discovers that Penny has developed an obsessive love for Chris and fled into the night when she saw Lee and Chris embrace. Lee finds her distraught stepdaughter at the same cliffside location where Larry killed himself, and arrives just in time to prevent her from jumping to her death. After Lee tells Penny the complete story about her father's life, Penny returns to school, graduates and resumes her romance with Brandon. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.