The Great Lie (1941)

Approved  |   |  Drama  |  12 April 1941 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.3/10 from 2,402 users  
Reviews: 42 user | 13 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.



(screen play) (as Lenore Coffee) , (from a novel by)
0Check in
Won 1 Oscar. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

The Old Maid (1939)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

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.

Director: Edmund Goulding
Stars: Bette Davis, Miriam Hopkins, George Brent
Deception (1946)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A piano teacher believes that her fiancé, a cellist, was killed on the battlefield. When he returns alive, they marry, but are menaced and threatened by a wealthy, egotistical composer she started dating on the rebound.

Director: Irving Rapper
Stars: Bette Davis, Paul Henreid, Claude Rains
A Stolen Life (1946)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

When a woman's twin sister is drowned, she assumes her identity in order to be close to the man she feels her sister took from her years before.

Director: Curtis Bernhardt
Stars: Bette Davis, Glenn Ford, Dane Clark
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A young woman (Stanley Timberlake) dumps her fiancée (Craig Fleming) and runs off with her sister's (Roy Timberlake) husband (Peter Kingsmill). They marry, settle in Baltimore, and Stanley ... See full summary »

Director: John Huston
Stars: Bette Davis, Olivia de Havilland, George Brent
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Old friends Kit Marlowe and Millie Drake adopt contrasting lifestyles: Kit is a single, critically acclaimed author while married Millie writes popular pulp novels.

Director: Vincent Sherman
Stars: Bette Davis, Miriam Hopkins, Gig Young
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

When lovely and virtuous governess Henriette Deluzy comes to educate the children of the debonair Duc de Praslin, a royal subject to King Louis-Philippe and the husband of the volatile and ... See full summary »

Director: Anatole Litvak
Stars: Bette Davis, Charles Boyer, Jeffrey Lynn
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Mary Donnell, a young legal secretary with a past, elopes with a client's son, but his father has the marriage annulled without knowing she's pregnant.

Director: Edmund Goulding
Stars: Bette Davis, Henry Fonda, Anita Louise
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Popular and beautiful Fanny Trellis is forced into a loveless marriage with an older man, Jewish banker Job Skeffington, in order to save her beloved brother Trippy from an embezzlement charge and predictable complications result.

Director: Vincent Sherman
Stars: Bette Davis, Claude Rains, Walter Abel
The Sisters (1938)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Three daughters of a small down pharmacist undergo trials and tribulations in their problematic marriages between 1904 and 1908.

Director: Anatole Litvak
Stars: Errol Flynn, Bette Davis, Anita Louise
Dangerous (1935)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

An alcoholic actress who is considered a dangerous jinx is rehabilitated, but she then shows that she's as dangerous as ever.

Director: Alfred E. Green
Stars: Bette Davis, Franchot Tone, Margaret Lindsay
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A schoolteacher becomes the mentor of a talented young miner and seeks to get him into a university.

Director: Irving Rapper
Stars: Bette Davis, John Dall, Nigel Bruce
Marked Woman (1937)
Crime | Film-Noir | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A crusading DA persuades a clip joint "party girl" to testify against her mobster boss after her innocent sister is accidentally murdered during one of his unsavory "parties."

Directors: Lloyd Bacon, Michael Curtiz
Stars: Bette Davis, Humphrey Bogart, Lola Lane


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 ...
J. Farrell MacDonald ...
Dr. Ferguson (as J. Farrell Macdonald)
Addison Richards ...
Mr. Talbot
Sam McDaniel ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Olin Howland ...
Ed, Arizona Ranch Hand (scenes deleted)


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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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




Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

12 April 1941 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Far Horizon  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


George Brent was a licensed pilot and did his own landings in the movie. See more »


At 40:52, Maggie's hand on Pete's shoulder changes. See more »


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


Referenced in The Maltese Falcon (1941) See more »


Slumber My Darling
(1862) (uncredited)
Written by Stephen Foster
Sung a cappella by Hattie McDaniel
Reprised by a young boy and an off-screen chorus
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Competent Melodrama
10 March 2000 | by (Cleveland, Ohio USA) – See all my reviews

"The Great Lie" provides an example of what the Warner

Bros. stock company could produce during the early 40s.

Bette Davis is her usual strong character, George Brent

his standard wooden but creditable personality, and Mary

Astor in a surprisingly fiery turn, is a performance which

contributes a winning balance.

The best scenes are confrontations and interactions between Davis and Astor, and they play the dramatics for

all they're worth.

It's an entertaining film, with an array of fine character

actors (including scene-stealing Hattie McDaniel) to bolster the proceedings. Max Steiner's score is on hand to

add atmosphere to the action.

24 of 28 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Mary Astor mygooger
Help! I missed something major here lostto
the first lie lkpo90
Song? SarahKayW
Cuba Libre nunezarnaldo
Copy of DVD? bjnevin
Discuss The Great Lie (1941) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: