My Forbidden Past

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My Forbidden Past
My Forbidden Past FilmPoster.jpeg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byRobert Stevenson
Written byLeopold Atlas (adaptation)
Screenplay byMarion Parsonnet
Based onCarriage Entrance
1947 novel
by Polan Banks
Produced byPolan Banks
Robert Sparks
StarringRobert Mitchum
Ava Gardner
Melvyn Douglas
CinematographyHarry J. Wild
Edited byGeorge C. Shrader
Music byFriedrich Hollaender
Distributed byRKO Radio Pictures
Release date
  • April 21, 1951 (1951-04-21) (USA)[1]
Running time
70 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$1,150,000 (US rentals)[2]
From the trailer

My Forbidden Past is a 1951 film noir directed by Robert Stevenson and starring Robert Mitchum and Ava Gardner.[3] Adapted by Leopold Atlas from Polan Banks' novel Carriage Entrance.


In 1890s New Orleans, wrongly believing Barbara Beaurevelle (Ava Gardner) had stood him up on the eve of their elopement, Dr. Mark Lucas (Robert Mitchum) has returned from South America accompanied by Corinne (Janis Carter), a woman he married on the rebound. Determined to win him back, Barbara bribes her cousin (Melvyn Douglas) to break up the marriage, a cold-blooded scheme that ends in death and the doctor suspected of murder.



The film was to star Ann Sheridan. Under her contract she had co star approval. RKO claimed she refused all the names offered her and thus terminated the contract, replacing her with Ava Gardner. Sheridan sued RKO for $350,000. The case went to trial and in February 1951 the jury awarded her $55,162, being the minimum amount Sheridan would have earned during filming from April to August 1949 plus $5,162 for costs. It was shown that Sheridan would have approved Mitchum as a co star.[4]


The film recorded a loss of $700,000.[5]


  1. ^ "My Forbidden Past: Detail View". American Film Institute. Retrieved May 19, 2014.
  2. ^ 'The Top Box Office Hits of 1951', Variety, January 2, 1952
  3. ^ "My Forbidden Past (1951) - Robert Stevenson - Synopsis, Characteristics, Moods, Themes and Related - AllMovie". AllMovie.
  4. ^ $55,162 WON IN SUIT BY ANN SHERIDAN: Federal Jury on Coast Gives Actress Damages for Claim Against R.K.O. Studios Of Local Origin By THOMAS F. BRADY New York Times 7 Feb 1951: 47.
  5. ^ Richard Jewell & Vernon Harbin, The RKO Story. New Rochelle, New York: Arlington House, 1982. p256.

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