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

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Overview

User Rating:
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Director:
Writers:
Casey Robinson (screen play)
Zoe Akins (based on the play by: Pulitzer Prize)
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for The Old Maid on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
2 September 1939 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
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!
Plot:
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:
Best of Warner's Era Films Not Directed by William Wyler See more (31 total) »

Cast

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

Did You Know?

Trivia:
"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 »
Goofs:
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 »
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 aunt talking. Not her mother.
[...]
See more »
Movie Connections:
Featured in Rich in Love (1992)See more »
Soundtrack:
Bridal Chorus (Here Comes the Bride)See more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
19 out of 36 people found the following review useful.
Best of Warner's Era Films Not Directed by William Wyler, 9 May 2008
Author: sissymaletopman (sissymale4topman@aol.com) from United States

Everyone who is a fan of Davis' knows that William Wyler (director of Jezebel, the Letter, and the Little Foxes) was Davis' "best" director because he could put her in her place and control her, forcing her to not over-act and use too many bits of business and gestures, etc to distract. Davis did not need mannerisms to get emotion across on screen and Wyler seemed to be able to tell her how to control that; she learned from him, for after Jezebel in 1938, she very rarely acted in a manner displaying lack of control that matched her pre-Jezebel career.

The Old Maid was directed by Edmund Goulding; I don't know much about him except that was considered a "women's film" director and was respected as a talented one. In any event, the Old Maid is the best of Davis' four 1939 films. which include Dark Victory, Juarez, and the Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex.

In the Old Maid, Davis with the help of Mr Goulding delivers a restrained yet compellingly provocative performance; the film spans a twenty year time period, beginning in 1861 or so with a young Davis ministering to her cousin Delia (played by the talented but very difficult Miriam Hopkins.) Although Miriam does her best to steal each scene from Davis, she never succeeds. Bette Davis is superb in this film; so much so that it really remains one of the few undated movies from the 1930s. True star quality is related to being able to connect with an audience over years and years of time. Ms. Davis certainly has this ability - never better displayed than in the Old Maid.

Favorite scenes: Charlotte (Davis' character) wedding preparation and Delia's subsequent lie - along with the next scene that takes place when Davis realizes that Hopkins' character has lied and ruined her life - watch Davis' face as she utters "it was wicked of you" to Hopkins- (who, by the way delivers a disappointing response.) Now that's star-quality acting!

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Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for The Old Maid (1939)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Does anyone else think... cruisemama98
Whom Clem loved--was Charlotte right? roseytrebles
This Movie Ripped My Heart Out seahawk3133
Better Than Dark Victory IMHO rockwell_lancer
Resemblance to same characters in . . . lora64
The whole story in Bette Davis's face.... beseelisa2
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