The Family Secret (1951 film)

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The Family Secret
Directed by Henry Levin
Produced by Robert Lord
Screenplay by Francis Cockrell
Andrew Solt
Story by Marie Baumer
James Cavanagh
Starring John Derek
Lee J. Cobb
Jody Lawrance
Music by George Duning
Cinematography Burnett Guffey
Edited by Al Clark
Distributed by Columbia Pictures
Release date
  • October 24, 1951 (1951-10-24)
Running time
85 minutes
Country United States
Language English

The Family Secret is a 1951 crime drama film directed by Henry Levin. The film has a film noir concept.[1] It was released by Columbia Pictures.


Law student David Clark kills best friend Art Bradley in self-defense after an argument. He flees, but later confesses to his father, Howard, a lawyer. The next morning, Howard expects his son to explain what happened to district attorney Redman, but instead David merely asks the DA if he can be of any help after another man, Joe Elsner, is arrested. Elsner is a bookie to whom the dead man owed a debt.

Marie Elsner comes to Howard Clark, asking that he represent her husband in court. David sits by his father's and the defendant's side at the trial. He has always been irresponsible, which is why secretary Lee Pearson keeps resisting David's romantic attentions, even though she is attracted to him. Howard Clark proves a key eyewitness to be a convicted perjurer. It looks like Elsner might be found innocent, but the stress causes him to have a fatal heart attack. David finally realizes he must turn himself in and promises to Lee he will lead a better life.



  1. ^ Park (2011), p. 147-148

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