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The Old Maid (1939)

 -  Drama  -  2 September 1939 (USA)
7.8
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 1,973 users  
Reviews: 31 user | 9 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:
...
...
Delia Lovell
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
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Storyline

Delia marries Jim, not Joe After Delia breaks her engagement to Clem and marries Jim, Clem promises to marry Delia's cousin Charlotte, but he dies at the battle of Vicksburg leaving Charlotte an unwed mother. She and her daughter Tina, presumably an orphan, move in with Delia who legally adopts the girl. Charlotte watches her daughter grow up and get married, never able to claim her as her own. CORRECTION; Delia breaks her engagement to Clem, in favor of wealthy Jim. Cousin Charlotte comforts Clem, and becomes pregnant. Clem dies in the war before he can marry her, and Charlotte raises her daughter as a "foundling." When Jim's brother, Joe, falls in love with Charlotte, Delia, out of spiteful jealousy, destroys the forthcoming wedding, and eventually takes Charlotte's child from her. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

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

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

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

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

Soundtracks

Battle Hymn of the Republic
(circa 1856) (uncredited)
Music by William Steffe
Played in the score when Clem leaves
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Irresistible Tosh
11 December 2005 | by (Derry, Ireland) – See all my reviews

One of Bette Davis' best films and a great weepie; an unashamed Victorian melodrama but made with great panache and played with all the stops out. When Miriam Hopkins jilts her financee George Brent, cousin Bette gives herself to him and gets pregnant. When Brent goes off and gets himself killed Davis disappears out West so she can have the baby, raise her as an orphan and save what vestige of honour she has left. Years later, when Hopkins discovers the truth, she takes the child to be raised as her own while Davis lurks on the sidelines as old maid Aunt Charlotte. (This is the movie in which Davis gets to utter the immortal lines on her daughter's wedding night, 'Tonight she belongs to me. Tonight I want her to call ME mother!'). The film has a good pedigree. The original play won the Pulitzer Prize and was based in turn on an Edith Wharton novel. Tosh it may well be, but it is irresistible.


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