7.3/10
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43 user 15 critic

The Great Lie (1941)

Approved | | Drama | 12 April 1941 (USA)
After a newlywed's husband apparently dies in a plane crash, she discovers that her rival for his affections is now pregnant with his child.

Director:

Writers:

(screen play) (as Lenore Coffee), (from a novel by)
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Won 1 Oscar. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Peter Van Allen
...
Lucile Watson ...
...
...
...
Jock Thompson
...
Senator Ted Greenfield
...
Oscar Worthington James
...
Colonel Harriston
Virginia Brissac ...
Sadie
...
Dr. Ferguson (as J. Farrell Macdonald)
...
Mr. Talbot
Sam McDaniel ...
Jefferson
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
...
Ed, Arizona Ranch Hand (scenes deleted)
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Storyline

Sandra and Pete elope but their marriage is invalid since she's not yet divorced. Sandra is, however, pregnant by Pete. Pete marries his former fiancée Maggie, then flies to South America where his plane crashes. Maggie pays Sandra to let her adopt Pete's baby. Pete returns "from the dead". Sandra and Maggie contend for Pete and the baby. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Sometimes there's a terrible penalty for telling the truth.

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

12 April 1941 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Far Horizon  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When Pete returns from seeing his lawyer, early in the film, he finds Sandra's agent in the living room listening to her latest recording. This is an excerpt from the first movement of the Piano Concerto No 4 in D minor by Anton Rubinstein, a great rarity and certainly not recorded by anyone else in 1941. It was possibly chosen by Max Steiner because it was no longer in copyright, but whatever the reason, it was a most unusual and sophisticated choice. See more »

Goofs

(at around 33 mins) The position of Pete's hands and arm changes between shots. See more »

Quotes

Sandra Kovac: Whoever heard of an ounce of brandy?
See more »

Connections

Featured in Bamboozled (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

For He's a Jolly Good Fellow
(uncredited)
Traditional
Played during the home movie scene
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Exaggerated Melodrama
24 April 2014 | by (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) – See all my reviews

In New York, the playboy Peter 'Pete' Van Allen (George Brent) marries the famous pianist Sandra Kovak (Mary Astor) after a party. A couple of days later, his lawyer Lock Thompson (Jerome Cowan) tell him that their marriage is not valid, since Sandra's divorce of the previous husband is not concluded. Pete is a distinguished pilot and he flies to Maryland to meet his former fiancée Maggie Patterson (Bette Davis) in her farm. Maggie tells that her uncle has offered a position of pilot to work for the government. Pete returns to New York and tells Sandra that they need to marry again on the next week. However she has a concert in Philadelphia and tells that she cannot marry him on that date. Pete travels to Maryland and tells Maggie that he is free to marry her. They get married and soon Maggie learns that Sandra is pregnant. However Pete is missing and the search party does not find him. Maggie seeks out Sandra and proposes to adopt her baby; in return she would give a generous amount for the pianist. However when Pete is found in Manaus, Sandra visits Maggie and Pete and blackmails Maggie, expecting to have the child and Pete back.

"The Great Lie" is an exaggerated melodrama with Bette Davis, Mary Astor and George Brent. Pete is a shallow character that does not work and leaves Sandra in a ridiculous way to stay with Maggie. The rivals do not have much reason to be with Pete. The conclusion is dull, with Pete giving up of his son. My vote is six.

Title (Brazil): "A Grande Mentira" ("The Great Lie")


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