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Woman in Hiding

Woman in Hiding(1949)

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After a car careens off a bridge into a river in the Smokey Mountains near the North Carolina town of Clarkville, Deborah Chandler Clark watches the rescue attempts from a hiding place in the woods. It was her car that crashed, and the searchers are looking for her body. While she watches, Deborah thinks back to the events that led to the accident: At the mill owned by her father, John Chandler, Deborah encounters the handsome Seldon Clark, general manager of the mill. He apologizes to Deborah for neglecting her and is surprised to learn that she is leaving town for New York. Although Deborah was romantically involved with Seldon, Chandler makes it clear that he disapproves of the man and his family, the original owners of the mill and the town's founders. Back at home, Deborah has finished packing when news comes that her father has been seriously injured. After he dies, Seldon proposes and eventually, Deborah accepts. When they arrive at a mountain cabin for their honeymoon, a woman named Patricia Monahan is waiting. She taunts Deborah by telling her that Seldon has been visiting her in Raleigh and that they have spent time together in this cabin. When Seldon slaps her, Patricia accuses him of marrying Deborah for her money and implies that he killed Chandler. An unnerved Deborah tells Seldon that she will have the marriage annulled. Seldon admits that he wants the mill and will stop her from leaving him. That night, Deborah sneaks from the cabin, unaware that Seldon is watching her. As she drives down the steep mountain road, she realizes that her breaks are dead, and shortly afterward, crashes. Later, Deborah awakens on the river bank onto which she managed to jump. She sees Seldon searching for her body, but evades him in the dark. Certain that no one will believe her story, Deborah decides to pretend to be dead until she can contact Patricia, who she hopes will back up her story. Leaving the bus in Raleigh, Deborah buys a paper, and Keith Ramsay, a former soldier now working at the newsstand, flirts with her. Flustered, Deborah hurries away. To her further distress, she learns that Patricia is out of town. Using the name Ann Carter, she finds a job as a waitress. In the meantime, Seldon, who is not convinced that Deborah is dead, offers a $5,000 reward for information about her. When Deborah sees her picture in the paper, she quits her job and takes the bus to Knoxville. Keith recognizes her immediately and follows her on to the bus. In Knoxville, he asks her to dinner and then calls Seldon. After telling Keith that he is unable to get to Knoxville, Seldon leaves the mill early and drives there. Keith and Deborah eat dinner and return to her hotel, which is filled with conventioneers. In the crowd, Deborah becomes separated from Keith. Seldon spots her and chases her into the stairwell. He starts to push her over the edge, but is interrupted by the conventioneers. The next morning, a hysterical Deborah tells Keith who she is and that Seldon has been trying to kill her. Later, Keith, who believes Deborah is emotionally disturbed, takes her to the train and a waiting Seldon. As he gets off the train, one of the conventioneers mentions seeing Seldon the night before, and Keith realizes that he has not been telling the truth. Meanwhile, Deborah learns that Seldon plans to have her committed to a mental institution. She escapes from the train and is joined by Keith, who has flown to meet her. Deborah finally finds Patricia, who agrees to help her but, after leaving Keith behind, delivers her to Seldon at the mill. Seldon decides to kill her the same way he killed her father, but in the dark mistakes Patricia for Deborah and pushes her to her death. Keith arrives and during the ensuing fight, Seldon is killed. Much later, Keith and Deborah arrive in Angels Cove, California, where they will begin their married life.