IMDb > The Old Maid (1939)
The Old Maid
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The Old Maid (1939) More at IMDbPro »

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7.8/10   2,190 votes »
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Up 28% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Casey Robinson (screen play)
Zoe Akins (based on the play by: Pulitzer Prize)
View company contact information for The Old Maid on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
2 September 1939 (USA) See more »
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!
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. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
User Reviews:
New Spin on an Old Maid See more (33 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Bette Davis ... Charlotte Lovell

Miriam Hopkins ... Delia Lovell
George Brent ... Clem Spender

Donald Crisp ... Dr. Lanskell

Jane Bryan ... Tina

Louise Fazenda ... Dora

James Stephenson ... Jim Ralston
Jerome Cowan ... Joe Ralston
William Lundigan ... Lanning Halsey
Cecilia Loftus ... Grandmother Lovell

Rand Brooks ... Jim
Janet Shaw ... Dee

William Hopper ... John (as DeWolf Hopper)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Rod Cameron ... (scenes deleted)
Raymond Rayhill Powell
Sidney Bracey ... Charles - the Butler (uncredited)
Marlene Burnett ... Tina as a Child (uncredited)
Frederick Burton ... Mr. Halsey (uncredited)
Ricardo Lord Cezon ... Little Boy (uncredited)
Jack George ... First Orchestra Leader / Violinist (uncredited)
Winifred Harris ... Mrs. Halsey (uncredited)
Lois James ... Girl (uncredited)
Doris Lloyd ... Miss Ford (uncredited)

Directed by
Edmund Goulding 
Writing credits
Casey Robinson (screen play)

Zoe Akins (based on the play by: Pulitzer Prize)

Edith Wharton (and the novel by)

Produced by
Henry Blanke .... associate producer
Hal B. Wallis .... executive producer
Original Music by
Max Steiner 
Cinematography by
Tony Gaudio (photography)
Film Editing by
George Amy (film editor)
Art Direction by
Robert M. Haas  (as Robert Haas)
Costume Design by
Orry-Kelly (costumes by)
Makeup Department
Perc Westmore .... makeup artist
Helen Carpenter .... wig designer (uncredited)
Production Management
Jack L. Warner .... in charge of production
Al Alleborn .... unit manager (uncredited)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Jack Sullivan .... assistant director (uncredited)
Sound Department
C.A. Riggs .... sound
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Eugene Joseff .... costume jeweller (uncredited)
Music Department
Leo F. Forbstein .... musical director
Hugo Friedhofer .... orchestral arrangements
Crew verified as complete

Production Companies
  • Warner Bros. (presents) (as Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.) (A First National Picture)
DistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
95 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (RCA Victor System)
Australia:PG | Finland:S | USA:Approved (PCA #5227) | USA:TV-PG (TV rating)

Did You Know?

"Lux Radio Theater" broadcast a 60 minute radio adaptation of the movie on October 30, 1939 with Miriam Hopkins reprising her film role.See more »
Continuity: 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 »
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 aunt talking. Not her mother.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Featured in Rich in Love (1992)See more »
Battle Hymn of the RepublicSee more »


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19 out of 28 people found the following review useful.
New Spin on an Old Maid, 10 February 2003

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.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (33 total) »

Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for The Old Maid (1939)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Davis's finest performance? monterey59
Does anyone else think... cruisemama98
The whole story in Bette Davis's face.... beseelisa2
Resemblance to same characters in . . . lora64
Whom Clem loved--was Charlotte right? roseytrebles
Better Than Dark Victory IMHO rockwell_lancer
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