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The Old Maid (1939)

Approved | | Drama | 2 September 1939 (USA)
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.

Director:

Writers:

(screen play), (based on the play by: Pulitzer Prize) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
Clem Spender
...
...
Tina
...
Dora
...
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:
...
(scenes deleted)
Raymond Rayhill Powell
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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:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Victor System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

To get the effects of aging, Bette Davis didn't wear any eye makeup or lipstick, and makeup artist Perc Westmore used a pale, ashen base on her face. See more »

Goofs

The scene where Delia has come to the orphanage to speak with Charlotte, we can see Charlotte's sleeves change from rolled up to down several times within the shot. 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 ...
[...]
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Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Featured in Stardust: The Bette Davis Story (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

The Wedding March
(1843) (uncredited)
from "A Midsummer Night's Dream, Op.61"
Music by Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy
Played as background music after Dee's Wedding
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User Reviews

Bette and Miriam! Go girls go!
22 August 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Here is a classic film which I have never seen. According to lore, Bette Davis and Miriam Hopkins detested each other during the filming of this. Both actresses were forces of nature to be reckoned with, and, if anything, Miriam was even more of an upstager than Bette was. Both actresses however overcome their dislike for each other to turn in thoroughly terrific performances. Bette Davis is marvelous as the initially lovely and later repressed woman with a secret. Bette never turned in a bad performance, so it's natural to expect and get one here. Miriam Hopkins is, these days little-known to contemporary audiences and that's a shame, since she was really a terrific actress. The two stars spar subtly and not so subtly like two dogs circling each other for a fight. There is a satisfying ending which will bring a tear to your eye. The glossy Warner Bros. production has a marvelous Max Steiner score which dosn't hurt one bit. Two great actresses for the price of one, 23 years before "Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?"


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Whom Clem loved--was Charlotte right? roseytrebles
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