MOVIEmeter
Top 5000
Up 17,858 this week

The Old Maid (1939)

 -  Drama  -  2 September 1939 (USA)
7.8
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.8/10 from 1,917 users  
Reviews: 30 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.

Director:

Writers:

(screen play), (based on the play by: Pulitzer Prize), 1 more credit »
0Check in
0Share...

On Disc

at Amazon

Editors' Spotlight

Fall TV Premiere Week

Many of your favorite shows are coming back, along with plenty of series premieres. Here's a list of the shows premiering between Sunday, September 21 and Friday, September 26.


User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 42 titles
created 09 Dec 2012
 
a list of 36 titles
created 20 Apr 2013
 
a list of 32 titles
created 20 Jul 2013
 
a list of 29 titles
created 11 months ago
 
a list of 434 titles
created 7 months ago
 

Related Items

Search for "The Old Maid" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: The Old Maid (1939)

The Old Maid (1939) on IMDb 7.8/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Old Maid.
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A young woman (Stanley Timberlake) dumps her fiancée (Craig Fleming) and runs off with her sister's (Roy Timberlake) husband (Peter Kingsmill). They marry, settle in Baltimore, and Stanley ... See full summary »

Director: John Huston
Stars: Bette Davis, Olivia de Havilland, George Brent
Deception (1946)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A piano teacher believes that her fiancé, a cellist, was killed on the battlefield. When he returns alive, they marry, but are menaced and threatened by a wealthy, egotistical composer she started dating on the rebound.

Director: Irving Rapper
Stars: Bette Davis, Paul Henreid, Claude Rains
The Sisters (1938)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Three daughters of a small down pharmacist undergo trials and tribulations in their problematic marriages between 1904 and 1908.

Director: Anatole Litvak
Stars: Errol Flynn, Bette Davis, Anita Louise
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

When lovely and virtuous governess Henriette Deluzy comes to educate the children of the debonair Duc de Praslin, a royal subject to King Louis-Philippe and the husband of the volatile and ... See full summary »

Director: Anatole Litvak
Stars: Bette Davis, Charles Boyer, Jeffrey Lynn
Dark Victory (1939)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A young socialite is diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour, and must decide whether she'll meet her final days with dignity.

Director: Edmund Goulding
Stars: Bette Davis, George Brent, Humphrey Bogart
Dangerous (1935)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

An alcoholic actress who is considered a dangerous jinx is rehabilitated, but she then shows that she's as dangerous as ever.

Director: Alfred E. Green
Stars: Bette Davis, Franchot Tone, Margaret Lindsay
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Mary Donnell, a young legal secretary with a past, elopes with a client's son, but his father has the marriage annulled without knowing she's pregnant.

Director: Edmund Goulding
Stars: Bette Davis, Henry Fonda, Anita Louise
Marked Woman (1937)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A crusading DA persuades a clip joint "party girl" to testify against her mobster boss after her innocent sister is accidentally murdered during one of his unsavory "parties."

Directors: Lloyd Bacon, Michael Curtiz
Stars: Bette Davis, Humphrey Bogart, Lola Lane
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Popular and beautiful Fanny Trellis is forced into a loveless marriage with an older man, Jewish banker Job Skeffington, in order to save her beloved brother Trippy from an embezzlement charge and predictable complications result.

Director: Vincent Sherman
Stars: Bette Davis, Claude Rains, Walter Abel
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A schoolteacher becomes the mentor of a talented young miner and seeks to get him into a university.

Director: Irving Rapper
Stars: Bette Davis, John Dall, Nigel Bruce
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Seasoned grifter Dolly Crandall returns to the 'badger game' but has a change of heart when she falls in love with a young man she believes is a rich Southerner.

Director: Robert Z. Leonard
Stars: Norma Shearer, Lowell Sherman, Gwen Lee
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Spinster poetess Susan Grieve lives in a Manahattan apartment where naval hero Slick Novak comes with her for a nightcap. Next morning they visit her Connecticut farm where Novak tells her ... See full summary »

Director: Bretaigne Windust
Stars: Bette Davis, Janis Paige, Jim Davis
Edit

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
Edit

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 »
Edit

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  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The 1935 Pulitzer Prize-winning play opened at the Empire Theatre in New York on Jan. 7, 1935 and ran for 305 performances. The leads were played by Judith Anderson and Helen Menken. Marjorie Lord, who later gained fame as the wife of Danny Thomas on TV's Make Room for Daddy (1953), was a replacement cast member in a supporting role. Producer-Director Ernst Lubitsch bought the rights to the play, intending to star both Judith Anderson and Helen Menken in a Paramount production, but he sold the rights to Warner Bros. in Jan. 1939. 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 ...
[...]
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

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

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Excellent early Bette Davis film
25 July 2003 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Superb soap opera takes place from the 1860s to the 1880s. Miriam Hopkins spurns long-time fiancee George Brent to marry another man. Her cousin, Bette Davis, also loves Brent and "comforts" him before he goes off to war. He dies in the war and leaves her pregnant. She secretly has the baby and tells nobody except Hopkins. Hopkins, now a rich widow, convinces Davis to let her adopt the child so she will have a name. She does and watches her child grow up treating Hopkins like her mother and Davis with contempt as an old maid.

The story is very sudsy but the script has wonderful, literate dialogue and the picture is very elaborately made. But what really puts the picture across is the superb acting by Hopkins and Davis. They both hated each other passionately off screen but you'd never know it on screen. The scenes when they're friends or rivals are just great--every single line rings true and they play their roles to the hilt. A real surprise is seeing Hopkins play a sweet woman at the end--she certainly wasn't like that in real life! And the very last scene in the movie will bring a tear to your eye--just Bette Davis' reaction to something really hits.

A great film--don't miss it! A must if you're a Bette Davis fan.


23 of 39 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Whom Clem loved--was Charlotte right? roseytrebles
What do you think about Clem? achal-1
Better Than Dark Victory IMHO rockwell_lancer
most and least favorite scenes blueeyedbear
Funny sound glitch beamsamuel1
The whole story in Bette Davis's face.... beseelisa2
Discuss The Old Maid (1939) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?