7.3/10
2,571
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

Mary Astor mimed playing the piano in this film extremely convincingly, being an accomplished pianist in her own right. However, the actual piano playing on the soundtrack was dubbed by Max Rabinowitz. When close-up shots were required, Norma Drury Boleslavsky 's hands are those we see on the piano. See more »

Goofs

At 49:16, Maggie's left hand goes from face to couch. See more »

Quotes

Violet: He always likes his little tune 'fore he goes to bed.
Sandra Kovac: Oh, musical?
See more »

Connections

Featured in Classified X (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

Piano Concerto No.1 in B flat minor, Op. 23
(1888) (uncredited)
Music by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Excerpts played over opening credits
Variations played often as background music
See more »

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User Reviews

 
The quintessential Warner Bros melodrama.
6 January 2010 | by (Canberra, Australia) – See all my reviews

To my mind this film is perfect - a classic example of what the studio system of the golden years of Hollywood could achieve. Strong direction, witty dialogue, beautiful music, sublime cinematography, crisp editing, gorgeous production design and costuming, brilliant performances - every element of this film is perfect.

Add to all that the daring (for its day) story-line, Bette Davis at the height of her dramatic powers and at her most beautiful, and Mary Astor delivering what I think is one of the great screen performances of all time, and you have a very special film indeed.

Although the film may seem to have dated elements, especially in the depiction of the African-American characters, if you let yourself watch the film with 1941 eyes you will be richly rewarded. Besides which the wonderful Hattie McDaniel brings so much depth to what could have been a simple stereotype.

As you can tell, I love this film. I understand Bette Davis and Mary Astor loved working together - and you can see that on the screen. The scenes between the two of them are electric, with so much being said beyond the words. Thank God Astor won an Oscar for her work here. She truly deserved it.


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