Cast & Crew
Joan Whittaker is in love with a young doctor named Richard Terrance, who refuses to marry her because he is just beginning his practice and has considerable debt. Angry at Terrance's refusal to marry her, Joan, while on a trip abroad, begins seeing an older, distinguished scientist and explorer, David Eastman. While in a park defending a stray dog from the mistreatment of boys, Joan's older sister Celia meets Eastman, and he confides in her that he has doubts about his impending marriage to a beautiful young woman, whom he suspects may be enamored of him simply because he is successful. Later Celia realizes that Eastman's fiancée is Joan, and when the three of them dine together at the Whittaker mansion, Celia, aware of Joan's love for Terrance, tells her that she is making a mistake in marrying Eastman. Joan leaves in anger after remarking that Celia cannot understand Joan's feelings because she has never been in love herself. Celia then remembers the time she fell in love in 1914 with Michael Harvey, a clerk at her father's bank: Her father is adamantly against the match, and hires two detectives to watch Michael. One day, Michael and the detectives have a fight, during which a gun goes off, mortally wounding one of the detectives. Because Michael is now a murder suspect, Mr. Whittaker sends him to Canada in order to preserve the family's reputation. Celia is pregnant, however, and she asks her mother to find Michael, but he has since gone to France as a soldier and cannot be found. Whittaker then takes Celia, her mother, and an English woman named Eccles to a chateau in France for the birth of the baby. War breaks, and their chateau is commandeered by the French for use as an emergency hospital. A few days before Celia's baby is born, Michael arrives at the chateau badly wounded and dies in Celia's arms. After the birth, Eccles and the Whittakers go to Paris, and Mr. Whittaker decides to call Celia's daughter, Joan, his own child. Back in the present, Eastman returns to Celia after taking Joan home and tells Celia he has no ill feelings toward her for trying to prevent the wedding. She then confronts her father about the marriage, but he insists Joan marry Eastman because his bank is failing. Defiant, Celia calls Joan into the library and is about to tell her that she is her mother, when Whittaker tells Joan that Celia is suffering from delusions. He then sends Celia to her house nearby, and the next day she is taken into custody by several nurses who believe she is mentally unstable. Eastman and Joan visit Terrance and explain that they are being forbidden to see Celia, and all agree that Eastman should demand to see her. When Eastman visits Celia at her home, she tells him that she is being held prisoner. The next day, during the wedding rehearsal, Celia and her nurse, Eccles, enter and Celia calls off the wedding. Joan then finally admits to her father that she loves Terrance. Eastman later visits Celia and confesses his love for her and that he has known for sometime that she is Joan's mother. He then proposes to Celia, and they are married a week before Joan and Terrance's wedding. Right before the ceremony, as Celia and Joan descend the stairs, Joan asks Celia if they are not more closely related than sisters. Celia then tells Joan that they should not think of yesterdays, but of the joys of tomorrows.
Father Neal Dodd
Alfred P. James
Lady of Secrets was originally titled No More Yesterdays (the title under which initial reviews appeared) and Maid of Honor. Variety indicates that "Celia's" affair with "Michael" is shown in flashback in the middle of the film, and the picture begins with "Joan" separating from "Terrance." According to the file on the film in the MPAA/PCA Collection at the AMPAS Library, in the original ending, "Celia" tells "Joan" that she is her mother; however, the Hays Office insisted that the film end with "Celia" continuing "to keep this secret to herself as part of her expiation."