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:
7.8/10   1,860 votes »
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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:
Excellent early Bette Davis film See more (30 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)
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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
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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:
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:
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 Stardust: The Bette Davis Story (2006) (TV)See more »
Soundtrack:
Yankee DoodleSee more »

FAQ

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21 out of 37 people found the following review useful.
Excellent early Bette Davis film, 25 July 2003
Author: Wayne Malin (wwaayynnee51@hotmail.com) from United States

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.

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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
This Movie Ripped My Heart Out seahawk3133
Better Than Dark Victory IMHO rockwell_lancer
Whom Clem loved--was Charlotte right? roseytrebles
Resemblance to same characters in . . . lora64
The whole story in Bette Davis's face.... beseelisa2
most and least favorite scenes blueeyedbear
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