The Second Woman (1950) - Plot Summary Poster


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  • In flashback from a 'Rebecca'-style beginning: Ellen Foster, visiting her aunt on the California coast, meets neighbor Jeff Cohalan and his ultramodern clifftop house. Ellen is strongly attracted to Jeff, who's being plagued by unexplainable accidents, major and minor. Bad luck, persecution...or paranoia? Warned that Jeff could be dangerous, Ellen fears that he's in danger, as the menacing atmosphere darkens.


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  • Jeff Cohalan (Robert Young) is a successful architect who spends most of his free time in an isolated modernistic cliff-top home he has designed and built overlooking the ocean. The reason Jeff spends his time alone is because of his responsibility for his fiancées death in a car accident the night before their wedding. When Jeff meets Ellen Foster (Betsy Drake), a young insurance investigator who has come to Carmel to visit her aunt, strange accidents begin to occur in his house with his horse breaking his leg, his dog eating poison, his house burning to the ground, and then having his business sabotaged. Ellen confers with family physician Dr. Hartley (Morris Carnovsky) who thinks Jeff may be suffering from a guilt complex involving the death of his fiancée and may be dangerous to himself and others. When Jeff starts doing strange things in the middle of the night Ellen steps in to prevent any more accidents, but runs the chance of endangering her own life.

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