Secret Beyond the Door... (1949)
Average Rating: 5.5/10
Reviews Counted: 13
Fresh: 7 | Rotten: 6
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: N/A
Critic Reviews: 4
Fresh: 3 | Rotten: 1
Average Rating: 3.5/5
User Ratings: 610
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
Jan 1, 1949 Limited
Apr 22, 2006
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Probably the most psychoanalytically oriented of his features, and because it's Lang, the murkiness is mainly a strength.
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.
Mental complexities of the principals makes it sometimes hard to sort out the various motivations used to spin the tale.
[Lang's] direction is masterly, imposing meanings and tensions through images that are spare, resonant and astonishingly beautiful. A remarkable film.
The most successful aspect of the production is the cinematography, which creates a shadowy world of false appearances, hidden meanings, and elusive truths.
Borrowing a plot from the Bluebeard legend, and chucking in a load of sub-Freudian hokum, Fritz Lang nonetheless makes a class act of this Gothic psycho-thriller.
Secret Beyond the Door ventures into some astounding arenas (even for Lang, who was an expert in paranoia), both of the mind and otherwise.
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