The Secret Fury is a little known film noir from 1950 directed by Mel Ferrer. It is based on a story by Jack Leonard, Leonard wrote a handful of stories for noir films in the 1950’s. He’s best known work today is The Narrow Margin. Here is a look at my review of The Narrow Margin:
The Secret Fury revolves around our main two characters, Ellen R. Ewing played by Claudette Colbert and David McLean played by Robert Ryan.
This film starts with David trying to get into a party of which he does not have an invitation. On the third attempt he gets in, only to get pulled aside by somebody that notices he does not fit in. The lady of the house brings David upstairs to change, because he is the groom at the wedding going on at the house. He soon changes into his tux while his lovely bride is on the other side of the door getting into her wedding gown. This film starts out with a bit of a slap stick comedy feel to show off the happy couple.
During the wedding ceremony, when the priest asks if anybody has a reason for these two not to be wed, a man jumps up. He states the bride is already married to another man! When a quick phone call is made to the marriage office of the county in which she is supposedly married, it proves to be true. The couple goes to investigate the marriage in which the bride has no memory. As they show up to this town, everybody remembers her as the happy wife of another man. Her and David soon find the first husband. When Ellen and her supposed first husband meet alone in a different room, we hear a gun shot. As David and the rest of the people flood into the room, we find Ellen standing over her first husband’s dead body and a gun at her feet.
Is Ellen crazy? Is she hiding something? Is she being framed? Does she have amnesia? Will David be able to figure out what is really happening?
This is an interesting film as it starts out as a happy feeling film and slowly gets darker and darker. Robert Ryan shows this change the most throughout the film as he goes from happy groom to an amateur hardboiled P.I.. Colbert is also very good as she goes from the happy bride to a mental case. I don’t know how any Robert Ryan film noir went under the radar for me, but it seems to have flown under the radar for a lot of fans. This is worth watching for film noir fans and Ryan fans especially. It may not be as great as some of Ryan’s other classics, but still worth a viewing.