The Second Woman is a 1950 film noir mystery-suspense film directed by James V. Kern and featuring Robert Young, Betsy Drake, John Sutton and Florence Bates. Sequences of the film were shot on the coastal areas of Monterey, California.
This psychological thriller tells the story of Jeff Cohalan (Young). He is a successful architect who is tormented because his fiancée, Vivian Sheppard, was killed in a mysterious car accident on the night before their wedding. Blaming himself for her death, Cohalan spends his time alone, lamenting in the state-of-the-art cliff-top home he had designed for his bride-to-be.
Cohalan notices that ever since the accident, he seems to be followed by bad luck. Without explanation, his horse turns up horribly injured and he must put it down, his dog is poisoned and dies. These events lead Cohalan to wonder if he has been cursed.
He meets a woman named Ellen (Drake), and they are immediately attracted to each other. She soon learns about Jeff’s past and begins to suspect that he may be much more in danger than he himself realizes.
It turns out that his partner in architecture, Ben Sheppard, was trying to destroy him. Sheppard, who was Vivian’s father, held Jeff responsible for her death. But the driver of the car had been a married man with whom Vivian was having an affair. Ben himself had a wife run away from him, and has a psychotic break when confronted with the truth behind his daughter’s car crash. Thinking Ellen is Vivian, and angry about his wife running off, Ben shoots at Ellen. Jeff gets hit protecting Ellen, but both survive.
Robert Young as Jeff Cohalan
Betsy Drake as Ellen Foster
John Sutton as Keith Ferris
Florence Bates as Amelia Foster
Morris Carnovsky as Dr. Hartley
Henry O’Neill as Ben Sheppard
Jean Rogers as Dodo Ferris
Raymond Largay as Major Badger
Shirley Ballard as Vivian Sheppard
Vici Raaf as Sue - Secretary
Jason Robards, Sr. as Stacy Rogers (as Jason Robards)
Steven Geray as Balthazar Jones
Jimmie Dodd as Mr. Nelson (as Jimmy Dodd)
Smoki Whitfield as Elmer - Porter (as Smokey Whitfield)
Cliff Clark as Police Sergeant