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The Secret Fury is a 1950 American black-and-white psychological thriller film noir directed by Mel Ferrer and starring Claudette Colbert, Robert Ryan and Jane Cowl.[2]

The Secret Fury
Theatrical release poster
Directed byMel Ferrer
Produced byJack H. Skirball
Bruce Manning
Screenplay byLionel Houser
Story byJack Leonard
James O'Hanlon
StarringClaudette Colbert
Robert Ryan
Jane Cowl
Music byRoy Webb
CinematographyLeo Tover
Edited byHarry Marker
Loring Theatre Corporation
Distributed byRKO Radio Pictures
Release date
  • May 27, 1950 (1950-05-27)[1]
Running time
85 minutes
CountryUnited States


A wealthy classical pianist, Ellen, is accused of already being married when she attempts to take her wedding vows; the wedding guests are shocked. They temporarily call off the wedding and the couple tries to investigate why someone would accuse her of already being married.

With the help of a lawyer and the district attorney, the couple tracks down and questions the justice of the peace that signed her wedding papers. Even he recognizes her as the woman he married. Frustrated, the couple next visits the man to whom Ellen is accused of being married. In a back room a gunshot fires and Ellen is accused of killing the man. She breaks down after a lengthy trial, is eventually found not guilty due to insanity, and is sent to a mental institution. Meanwhile, her fiance David, still believing her innocence, begins to find clues that may help free her.



When released, critic Bosley Crowther lambasted the film, especially the screenplay, writing, "Things must be tough in the picture business when such a respectable cast as is in The Secret Fury, now on the Paramount's screen, descends to such cheap and lurid twaddle as this R. K. O. melodrama is, Claudette Colbert, Robert Ryan, Paul Kelly, Philip Ober, Jane Cowl and even José Ferrer in a 'bit' role are the major performers who expend more physical energy than intelligence on this wantonly unintelligible tale.... To lay any blame on the performers for the nonsense that takes place on the screen would be an obvious injustice."[3]


  1. ^ "The Secret Fury: Detail View". American Film Institute. Retrieved May 18, 2014.
  2. ^ The Secret Fury at the American Film Institute Catalog.
  3. ^ Crowther, Bosley. The New York Times, film review, June 22, 1950. Accessed: July 23, 2013.

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