7.3/10
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43 user 13 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:
...
...
Pete
...
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)
...
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 40:52, Maggie's hand on Pete's shoulder changes. See more »

Quotes

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

Connections

Referenced in The Maltese Falcon (1941) 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

 
the great film
2 August 2006 | by (Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico) – See all my reviews

An amazing unfolding story that arises out of a ridiculously implausible plot that nevertheless is a classic film. Who needs a plot anyway when you have Mary Astor and Bette Davis fighting over the quietly cool George Brent? Throw in an unexpected pregnancy and a trip to the Arizona desert to keep the mother from having a miscarriage due to her bad habits, with boredom, sand storms, and endless cigarettes. The way it sounds is not at all like the impact it produces. There's one point in the film's second half when people might be thinking that it would be a good place to end the film, keeping the lie intact. But Edmund Goulding makes the absolute most of what follows, hitting the real ending with power and precision.


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