DirectorFritz Lang Music directorMiklos Rozsa Duration LanguageEnglish
Release dateJanuary 1, 1948 (1948-01-01) (United States) WriterSilvia Richards (screenplay), Rufus King (story) Initial releaseDecember 29, 1947 (Hollywood) CastJoan Bennett (Celia Lamphere), Michael Redgrave (Mark Lamphere), Anne Revere (Caroline Lamphere), Barbara O'Neil (Miss Robey), Natalie Schafer (Edith Potter), Rosa Rey (Paquita) Similar moviesMarnie, Prime, The Apartment, (500) Days of Summer, The Talented Mr. Ripley, Death Wish
Secret Beyond the Door is a 1948 American film noir psychological thriller and a modern updating of the Bluebeard fairytale, directed by Fritz Lang, produced by Lang's Diana Productions, and released by Universal Pictures. The film stars Joan Bennett and was produced by her husband Walter Wanger. The black-and-white film noir drama is about a woman who suspects her new husband, an architect, plans to kill her.
The behavior of Mark Lamphere, an architect, turns strange shortly after his honeymoon with bride Celia, who begins finding out that Mark has many secrets.
It turns out he was married before, his wife died suspiciously and they have a son. He also has a fiercely loyal secretary, Miss Robey, whose face is disfigured.
Mark appears to be somewhat delusional and could be intending to murder Celia inside a room he keeps locked. The disturbed Miss Robey ends up setting fire to the house, whereupon Mark redeems himself in Celia's eyes by saving her life.
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
Mark Dennis as David Lamphere
The film recorded a loss of $1,145,000.
Secret Beyond the Door was released in the UK on DVD in November 2011 by Exposure Cinema. Olive Films released the film in the United States on DVD and Blu-ray on September 4, 2012.
Rotten Tomatoes, a review aggregator, reports that 54% of 13 surveyed critics gave the film a positive review; the average rating is 5.5/10. When the film was first released, film critic Bosley Crowther, gave the film a mixed review, writing, "If you want to be tough about it—okay, it's a pretty silly yarn and it is played in a manner no less fatuous by the sundry members of the cast. But 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. And that's why, for all its psycho-nonsense, this film has some mildly creepy spots and some occasional faint resemblance to Rebecca which it was obviously aimed to imitate." Variety called it arty and almost surrealistic. The motivations of the characters were described as occasionally murky. Jonathan Rosenbaum of the Chicago Reader called the film's murkiness a strength.