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Old Acquaintance (1943)

Approved  |   |  Drama, Romance  |  27 November 1943 (USA)
7.6
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 1,807 users  
Reviews: 26 user | 12 critic

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

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(screenplay), (screenplay) (as Lenore Coffee) , 2 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Millie Drake
...
Rudd Kendall
John Loder ...
Preston Drake
Dolores Moran ...
Deirdre Drake
Phillip Reed ...
Lucian Grant (as Philip Reed)
...
Charlie Archer
...
Belle Carter
Esther Dale ...
Harriet
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Storyline

Jealous of best friend Kit, a critically acclaimed but financially unsuccessful author and playwright, Millie writes a novel, the first in a string of bestselling trashy novels. After eight years of neglect and taking a backseat to Millie's fame, her husband Preston leaves her. Another decade passes and Kit announces her intention of marrying the decade-younger Rudd. Millie thinks Preston wishes to reconcile, only to discover he is engaged. He also admits that he was in love with Kit, who had turned down his many advances. Feeling Kit to blame for the failure of her marriage, Millie flies into a rage and confronts Kit. Later, learning of Rudd's affection for Millie's daughter Diedre, Kit graciously steps aside to bless their union. In the end, Millie and Kit make up, sharing a champagne toast for each one's old acquaintance. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

27 November 1943 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

L'impossible amour  »

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

At the beginning of the "Wonder Woman" episode "Wonder Woman In Hollywood" from 1977, a few vintage Warner Bros clips of Hollywood are shown. One of these shows a cinema from the main street with marquees for "Old Acquaintance". See more »

Goofs

When Kit enters house after Millie runs up stairs near beginning of film, backdrop of house across the street changes from shot to shot. See more »

Quotes

Kit Marlowe: Millie remembers the same things I do, that's important. For instance, she's the only person I know, who still remembers when I used to be called Chunky.
Preston Drake: I'd think you wouldn't want to remember that.
Kit Marlowe: But one does. Funny, one does.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Stardust: The Bette Davis Story (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

Drink to Me Only with Thine Eyes
(uncredited)
Music by R. Melish (1780?)
Whistled by Charles Jordan
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Old Rivalry
19 July 2005 | by (Milwaukee, WI) – See all my reviews

Long before "Beaches" and "The Turning Point", there was the film "Old Acquaintance" (1937?). Focusing on the familiar theme of longtime friendship that is tainted by jealousy and competition, one of the most remarkable things about it is that Davis actually plays the "nice" one this time around. "Old Acquaintance" begins with Kit (Davis), a writer who turns out books that appeal to female intellectuals, returns home to visit her old friend Millie (Hopkins). Kit and Millie basically grew up together, and despite Kit's seriousness and drive and Millie's concern for all things material, the two have forged a friendship that is pretty tight. When we first meet the two, Millie, married and pregnant with her first (and only) child, decides that she too can become an authoress, only she is going to write what she thinks the public wants; torrid potboilers (ala Danielle Steel) that are high on the sappy melodrama, and low on the substance meter. When Millie finds eventual success and becomes extremely wealthy, churning out book after book, her husband Pres (Loder), and child, Didi begin to feel neglected and eschewed, thanks to Millie's highly materialistic and "queen bee" attitude. They both turn to Kit, who has managed to stick around through all of this, Pres falling in love with her, and Didi looking to Kit as a surrogate mother. Despite Kit having reciprocal feelings for Pres, she insists that they can never come to fruition since Millie is her best friend, so he divorces Millie and leaves. Years later, still a success, Millie finds out that Kit and Pres were in love at one point, and despite the fact that neither followed through with their feelings, Millie blames Kit, now an accomplished and respected playwright, eventually turning Didi, now in her late teens, against her. The drama is further heightened when Kit finally agrees to marry Rudd (Young), her younger lover, right when he meets and falls in love with Didi, causing further conflict and heartache until Kit and Millie are left with the prospect of only being left with the other, despite their serious issues over the years.

I really enjoyed "Old Acquaintance" because it had all of the elements of a great melodrama; back-stabbing, unrealized and tragic love, Bette Davis. Whether she is playing the good soul or the evil one (most likely the latter), Davis does drama the best, and "Old Acquaintance" is a fine example of her work. Hopkins, who I previously have seen playing fairly harmless and airy characters in ("The Heiress") as well as endangered and misunderstood (the wrongfully accused school teacher in "These Three") really rolls up her sleeves and digs into this part with obvious relish. She is fantastic, and while you spend most of the movie hating her, you can't help but admire how well Hopkins performs the role. The supporting cast of Loder and Young are fairly solid, and Loder in particular is great as the put-upon, romantic and downtrodden husband. Part of you wants to smirk and call him a wuss and part of you wishes you could date him.

The story itself is full and solidly carries itself well from the beginning of the film until the end. Coupled with good acting and a couple of great slaps courtesy of La Davis, "Old Acquaintance" was a good, meaty film that I watched with great relish, wondering where it had been for the last 20 years I have spent watching all things classic film, and in particular, Bette Davis. There was nothing stupendous about "Old Acquaintance" that made me speak in tongues or anything, but it is a wonderful film that has fallen into relative obscurity over the years that deserves to be seen and enjoyed. 8/10 --Shelly


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