Secret People ★★★½

Two young women whose father has been murdered by an autocratic regime are raised by an uncle in England. The older girl ( Valentina Cortese) fondly remembers a young man (Serge Reggiani), one of the members of her father’s resistance group. Her pacific father’s method of resistance was writing about democratic change. Seven years after the death of her father, Cortese meets Reggiani again. He romances her and persuades her to help his, now violent, resistance group assassinate the dictator. Cortese is revolted by the results of the assassination attempt and tells Scotland Yard about the plot. To protect her from retaliation by Reggiani’s group, Scotland Yard changes her appearance and her name and intend to resettle her in another country. However, Reggiani’s return and his approaches to her sister (Audrey Hepburn) brings Cortese back into a final confrontation with him.

The moral of the story is that the opponents of an autocratic regime can become as violent, ruthless and harmful to the innocent as the men they oppose.

Director Thorold Dickinson made only 17 films, but a couple of them are quite memorable, including two starring Anton Walbrook, the first version of Gaslight (1940) and The Queen of Spades (1949).