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The Great Lie (1941)

 -  Drama  -  12 April 1941 (USA)
7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 2,126 users  
Reviews: 41 user | 11 critic

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.

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Writers:

(screen play), (novel)
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Title: The Great Lie (1941)

The Great Lie (1941) on IMDb 7.3/10

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
George Brent ...
...
Lucile Watson ...
...
...
Joshua Mason
Jerome Cowan ...
Jock H. Thompson
Charles Trowbridge ...
Sen. Ted Greenfield
Thurston Hall ...
Worthington James
Russell Hicks ...
Colonel Harriston
Virginia Brissac ...
Sadie
J. Farrell MacDonald ...
Dr. Ferguson (as J. Farrell Macdonald)
Addison Richards ...
Mr. Talbot
Sam McDaniel ...
Jefferson Washington
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Olin Howland ...
Ed, Arizona Ranch Hand (scenes deleted)
Edit

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  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

One of Mary Astor 's lines is, "Who brought me to this dump?" Eight years later Bette Davis said "What a dump!", one of her best known quotes, in Beyond the Forest (1949). Both original scripts were written by Lenore J. Coffee. See more »

Goofs

Maggie's hair changes length from one shot to another, sometimes reaching her shoulders, sometimes tightly framing her face. See more »

Quotes

Maggie Patterson Van Allen: Darling! I give up! You can paint the house white, the trees white...
See more »

Connections

Featured in The 75th Annual Academy Awards (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

The Sailor's Hornpipe
(uncredited)
Traditional
Played during the home movie scene
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.


15 of 15 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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