The Secret of Polichinelle (play)

The Secret of Polichinelle
El secreto de Polichinela - comedia en tres actos (IA elsecretodepolic20919wolf).pdf
Spanish translation
Written by Pierre Wolff
Date premiered 3 January 1903
Place premiered Théâtre du Gymnase, Paris
Original language French
Genre Comedy

The Secret of Polichinelle (French: Le Secret de Polichinelle) is a 1903 comedy play by the French writer Pierre Wolff. A Boulevard farce it premiered at the Théâtre du Gymnase in Paris. It has been adapted into several different languages including English and Spanish. A 1904 American version was translated by Mildred Aldrich and staged at the Harlem Opera House.[1]


A respectable middle-class family discover that their adult son has had an illegitimate child with his mistress. Both husband and wife believe the other does not know and tries to keep it a secret from them.

Film adaptations

It has been adaptated into films on several occasions including: a 1913 short film The Secret of Polichinelle directed by Henri Desfontaines, a 1923 silent film The Secret of Polichinelle directed by René Hervil and a 1936 sound film The Secret of Polichinelle directed by André Berthomieu.[2] The same year a Swedish version The Family Secret was also produced, directed by Gustaf Molander.



  • Goble, Alan. The Complete Index to Literary Sources in Film. Walter de Gruyter, 1999.
  • Mason, Hamilton. French Theatre in New York: A List of Plays, 1899-1939. Columbia University Press, 1940.

Other Languages