Secret Beyond the Door
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.