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The Great Lie (1941)

 -  Drama  -  12 April 1941 (USA)
7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 2,236 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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(screen play) (as Lenore Coffee) , (from a novel by)
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Title: The Great Lie (1941)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
George Brent ...
...
Lucile Watson ...
...
...
Jerome Cowan ...
Jock Thompson
Charles Trowbridge ...
Senator 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
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Olin Howland ...
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  »

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

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

Quotes

Violet: Vioet! Lunch! Ham, honey, cake, and coffee!
Violet: Jefferson!
[He enters]
Violet: Go out back and get that honey-glazed, peanut-fed, sweet Virginia ham.
Maggie Patterson Van Allen: You 'ain't gonna feed that man is you?
Violet: Jefferson, I'd feed the devil 'hiself if he done polished up the smile on Miss Maggie's face like that!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Maltese Falcon (1941) See more »

Soundtracks

The Man on the Flying Trapeze
(1867) (uncredited)
Music by Gaston Lyle
Played during the home movie scene
See more »

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User Reviews

 
missing husbands, mystery babies, warring ladies
23 January 2008 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

An average melodrama with a powerhouse performance by Mary Astor (if you've only seen her as Marmie in 'Little Women' she's a bit different here). Bette Davis and George Brent are former lovers still on the boil, and circumstances mean that he is passed between her and Astor depending on what's happened on a particular day. Then he goes missing in a plane, there's a baby, there's a plan ... and that's about it.

'The Great Lie' is a typical Warners potboiler, lengthy, not very believable, but with decent enough performances and production values. In the 1940s there were a lot of love triangles in the movies and a lot about the sanctity of marriage and the importance of children; this film is no exception. The husband may be a bit colourless, but the ladies he is involved with more than make up for that, although it is hardly Davis' best performance.


5 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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