"A Woman’s Secret (1949), Nicholas Ray’s second film, is arguably one of the most maligned and ignored films of his career. While the criticisms seem well deserved (it is clearly one of the director’s weaker movies), the lack of any thorough, sustained criticism on the film is certainly not so deserved. Even enthusiasts of the director’s career, it seems, either circumvent the topic or write it off a failed contract-job in which Ray had little interest—thus justifying their own dismissive evaluations... What stands out in the finished film—and what aligns it with Ray’s characteristic interest in both marginalized, countercultural characters and tension-wrought relationships—is the interaction between Gloria Grahame and Maureen O’Hara. What could have been played as a strict ingénue/director binary becomes a complex power struggle, at once male/female and mother/daughter, which overflows with sexual and adolescent undercurrents..."
Cullen Gallagher is a Brooklyn-based writer, musician, and curator whose work has appeared in The Los Angeles Review of Books, The Life Sentence, Moving Image Source, Bright Lights Film Journal, Beat to a Pulp, NoirCon, Crimefactory, Film Comment, The L Magazine, The Brooklyn Rail, Fandor, Not Coming to a Theater Near You, Hammer to Nail, Spinetingler, Between Lavas, Reverse Shot, and Guitar Review. He records instrumental music as Modern Silent Cinema and plays in the hardcore band Night Squad.