Secret Beyond the Door (1948) - Rotten Tomatoes

Secret Beyond the Door (1948)

Secret Beyond the Door




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Secret Beyond the Door Trailers & Photos

Movie Info

Even star Joan Bennett and director Fritz Lang regarded The Secret Beyond the Door as the weakest of their collaborative efforts. Bennett plays spoiled socialite Celia, who falls recklessly in love with the handsome but emotionally complex Mark Lamphere (Michael Redgrave, in his first American film). After their wedding, Celia becomes uncomfortably aware that Mark's mild distrust of women is actually a deep-set, and potentially dangerous, hatred. Even when facing the possibility that she'll be murdered in her sleep, Celia remains loyal to her unbalanced husband. The slowly mounting tension is enhanced by the mood-drenched cinematography of Stanley Cortez and the feverish musical score by Miklos Rozsa. But when it's all over, The Secret Beyond the Door fails to linger in the memory in the manner of such earlier Lang-Bennett efforts as The Woman in the Window and Scarlet Street.more
Rating: Unrated
Genre: Drama, Mystery & Suspense, Classics
Directed By:
Written By: Rufus King, Silvia Richards
In Theaters:
On DVD: Apr 22, 2006
Universal Pictures


Joan Bennett
as Celia Lamphere
Michael Redgrave
as Mark Lamphere
Anne Revere
as Caroline Lamphere
Barbara O'Neil
as Miss Robey
Natalie Schafer
as Edith Potter
Paul Cavanagh
as Rick Barrett
Anabel Shaw
as Intellectual Sub-Deb
Rosa Rey
as Paquita
James Seay
as Bob Dwight
Kay Morley
as SubDeb
Crane Whitley
as Lavender Falls Coupl...
Virginia Farmer
as Lavender Falls Coupl...
Paul Fierro
as Fighter
Julian Rivero
as Proprietor
Paul Scardon
as Owl Eyes
Danny Duncan
as Ferret-Faced Man
Frank Dae
as Country Squire
Donna Martell
as Young Mexican Girl
David Cota
as Knife Fighter
Nolan Leary
as Station Agent
Wayne Treadway
as Beefy Man
Watson Downs
as Conductor
Donald Kerr
as Ticket Man
Robert Espinosa
as Altar Boy
Robert Barber
as Altar Boy
Tony Rodriguez
as Altar Boy
Peggy Remington
as Dean of Women
Harry Denny
as College President
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News & Interviews for Secret Beyond the Door

Critic Reviews for Secret Beyond the Door

All Critics (13) | Top Critics (4)

Probably the most psychoanalytically oriented of his features, and because it's Lang, the murkiness is mainly a strength.

Full Review… | February 25, 2013
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Mr. Lang is still a director who knows how to turn the obvious, such as locked doors and silent chambers and roving spotlights, into strangely tingling stuff.

Full Review… | April 4, 2011
New York Times
Top Critic

[Lang's] direction is masterly, imposing meanings and tensions through images that are spare, resonant and astonishingly beautiful. A remarkable film.

Full Review… | April 4, 2011
Time Out
Top Critic

Mental complexities of the principals makes it sometimes hard to sort out the various motivations used to spin the tale.

Full Review… | April 4, 2011
Top Critic

The result is heavy going and pretentious.

Full Review… | February 25, 2013
Radio Times

The most successful aspect of the production is the cinematography, which creates a shadowy world of false appearances, hidden meanings, and elusive truths.

Full Review… | February 25, 2013
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Audience Reviews for Secret Beyond the Door

definitely the weakest of the lang/bennett films but the very weird plot makes it worth watching. however the ending is a total copout

Stella Dallas

Super Reviewer


Considering the year it was made, it is quite a perverse film.
Some great visuals and a very interesting (if not overly complex) premise.
Part of both it's charm and short coming is the horribly dated dialog, but the potential is there for a great film.

Robert C

Super Reviewer

From a story standpoint, Secret Beyond the Door is nothing special. Actually, its pretty damn dull. It's the story of an impetuous marriage where the woman (the beautiful Joan Bennett in this case) gets more than she bargained for. By today's standards it comes off as silly and even predictable. And on top of it all, there are so many elements that could've added to the story so well but instead leaving you needing more. But since Fritz Lang directed Secret Beyond the Door and his visual style makes up for the story's numerous shortcomings, I forgave a lot. So much in the last act was a work of art that by the time you get to the end of this movie with its convenient ending you're just left with torn feelings because you saw something magnificent but had to endure this mundane story to see it. I don't know. See it yourself, make your own call...

Michael Gildea

Super Reviewer

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