In Boston, the over-weight spinster Charlotte Vale is a repressed woman without self-esteem and completely dominated by her wealthy mother Mrs. Henry Vale. When her sister-in-law Lisa Vale brings the renowned psychiatrist Dr. Jaquith, who is her friend, to visit Charlotte, he invites her to spend some time in his sanatorium. Soon Charlotte transforms in a sophisticated and confident woman and travels in a cruise to South America. She meets architect Jerry Durrance, who is married, and they have a love affair in Rio de Janeiro. Six months later, she returns home and confronts her mother with her independence and own free will. One day, Charlotte has an argument with her mother and she dies of a heart attack. Charlotte becomes the heir of the Vale's fortune but she feels guilty for the death of her mother. She decides to return to Dr. Jaquith's sanatorium whether she befriends Tina, who is the twelve-year-old daughter of Jerry rejected by her mother. She brings the girl to her house in ... Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
I'm the maiden aunt. Every family has one you know.
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Did You Know?
To play Charlotte before her transformation, Bette Davis
asked costume designer Orry-Kelly
to pad her figure to suggest extra weight, then she had makeup artist Perc Westmore
give her thicker eyebrows. Her look in the film was a compromise. Originally she had wanted a more extreme look, but Hal B. Wallis
considered it too grotesque. See more
When Charlotte confronts Jerry in front of the fireplace about "The most conventional, pretentious, pious speech...", a crew member is visible in the mirror of the fireplace and quickly backs out of view. See more
Dr. Jasquith says that tyranny is sometimes expression of the maternal instinct. If that's a mother's love, I want no part of it.
(ca. 1755) (uncredited)
Traditional music of English origin
Variation in the score when the Statue of Liberty is onscreen See more