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The Secret

The Secret title card

Year - 2007
Studio - Europacorp
Stars - David Duchovny, Lili Taylor, Olivia Thirlby
Director - Vincent Perez
Writing Credits - Ann Cherkis (screenplay), Hiroshi Saitô (1999 screenplay Himitsu), Keigo Higashino (novel)
Music - Nathaniel Méchaly


Optometrist Benjamin Marris (David Duchovny) and his wife Hannah (Lili Taylor) are trying to deal with their rebellious teenage daughter, Samantha (Olivia Thirlby), who accuses her mother of treating her like a child and not understanding her life. While arguing, the two are seriously injured in a highway car crash. Benjamin rushes to the hospital ER, where mother and daughter lie side by side, surrounded by medical staff. When Samantha's vital signs begin to flat line, Hannah holds her daughter's hand tightly and she dies, as Samantha simultaneously revives.

As Samantha regains consciousness, she is shocked, claiming to Benjamin that she is actually Hannah in her daughter's body. She is able to describe details of their life that only Hannah would know, and Benjamin eventually accepts the fact.

They mutually decide that Hannah must continue to live as Samantha, including continuing her high school studies. At school, Hannah has to contend with friends, teachers, and classes that she doesn't know anything about, and painfully learns how Samantha had described to her friends.

The Secret poster

Benjamin is very conflicted with his situation, not knowing whether to behave towards Hannah as his wife or daughter. He becomes jealous and protective when she starts to spend time with Samantha's defiant friends.

Hannah's persona increasingly alternates between mother and daughter and Benjamin realizes that Samantha is slowly returning. When the transformation is complete, he hands Samantha a videotape, saying that it is a "secret" from her mother and himself. In the video, Hannah (still in Samantha's body) tells Samantha that she does now, indeed, understand her life and that she wants her to find whatever it is in life that makes her happy.

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The Secret was remade from a 1999 Japanese film blanc, Himitsu.