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The Old Maid (1939)

Approved  |   |  Drama  |  2 September 1939 (USA)
7.8
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 2,122 users  
Reviews: 31 user | 10 critic

The arrival of an ex-lover on a young woman's wedding day sets in motion a chain of events which will alter her and her cousin's lives forever.

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Writers:

(screen play), (based on the play by: Pulitzer Prize), 1 more credit »
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Title: The Old Maid (1939)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
George Brent ...
Clem Spender
...
...
Tina
...
Dora
James Stephenson ...
Jim Ralston
Jerome Cowan ...
Joe Ralston
William Lundigan ...
Lanning Halsey
Cecilia Loftus ...
Grandmother Lovell
...
Jim
Janet Shaw ...
Dee
...
John (as DeWolf Hopper)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Rod Cameron ...
(scenes deleted)
Raymond Rayhill Powell
Edit

Storyline

After a two-year absence, Clem Spender returns home on the very day that his former fiancée, Delia, is marrying another man. Clem enlists in the Union army and dies on the battlefield, but not before finding comfort in the arms of Delia's cousin, Charlotte Lovell. The years pass and Charlotte establishes an orphanage and eventually confesses to Delia that her dearest young charge, Tina, is an fact her own child by Clem. Jealousy and family secrets threaten to tear the cousins apart. Written by L. Hamre

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Vividly, unforgettably, a woman's love starved soul is revealed. All those strange secrets she locks in her heart ... moments of rapture and of heartbreak ... longings that no man can fathom. Of these has the year's finest picture been woven!

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

2 September 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Velha Ama  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Victor System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

There was a lot of bad blood between Miriam Hopkins and Bette Davis. Davis had won an Oscar For "Jezebel", a role that Hopkins had played on Broadway and had expected to play in the movie. To make things worse, Davis had had an affair with Anatole Litvak, Hopkins' husband, while making "The Sisters". See more »

Goofs

When Dee is married, the invitation states the year as 1884. Later, when Tina is to marry, the announcement reads 1881 - three years earlier. See more »

Quotes

Charlotte Lovell: She thinks I can't understand her. She considers me an old maid.
Delia Lovell Ralston: My dear.
Charlotte Lovell: A ridiculous, narrow-minded old maid. What else can she ever think of me?
Delia Lovell Ralston: Poor Charlotte.
Charlotte Lovell: Oh, but you needn't pity me. Because she's really mine. If she considers me an old maid, it's because I've deliberately made myself one in her eyes. I've done it from the beginning so she wouldn't have the least suspicion. I've practised everything I've ever had to say to her, if it was important, so that I'd sound like an old maid ...
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

The opening credits are shown on facsimiles of wedding invitation cards. See more »

Connections

Spoofed in The Film Fan (1939) See more »

Soundtracks

Bridal Chorus (Here Comes the Bride)
(1850) (uncredited)
from "Lohengrin"
Music by Richard Wagner
Played as background music and hummed by Bette Davis
Reprised at Delia's weddimg and on a music box before Dee's wedding
See more »

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User Reviews

New Spin on an Old Maid
10 February 2003 | by See all my reviews

This film would be just another period melodrama: over-scored,sugar-coated, and glossy-slick (especially for a Warners' film) -- except for two things: Bette Davis and Bette Davis.

Bette is truly a revelation in this film, which required her to age twenty years in the flesh but many more than that in spirit - as she turned from a fresh, extremely sympathetic young girl to an "old maid" of forty or so, a bitter, intimidating woman.

Her ability to integrate completely disparate human traits into one cohesive character is amazing - a must see.


20 of 36 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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