Her Sister’s Secret by Edgar G. Ulmer (1946, 86 min., 35mm). Her Sister’s Secret is a melodrama of two sisters, one of whom has a child out of wedlock, the other unable to have children but willing to adopt, leading to a conflict that Bertolt Brecht would later rework in The Caucasian Chalk Circle. The film demonstrates an uncommon flair for the complicated nature of emotions, for the frivolity of love, the difficulties of motherhood, and the barely concealed jealousy of the sister, while pitting itself against the unwritten Hollywood laws of a puritanical America, where a single mother has to be “punished.” Indeed, unlike standard Hollywood melodramas, here there are neither villains nor any moral condemnation, qualities that are common to German exile productions. Description written by Jan-Christopher Horak, UCLA Film & Television Archive.
Preservation funding provided by The Film Foundation and The Franco-American Cultural Fund.