Old Acquaintance (1943)

Approved  |   |  Drama, Romance  |  27 November 1943 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 1,918 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.



(screenplay), (screenplay) (as Lenore Coffee) , 2 more credits »
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Complete credited cast:
Millie Drake
Rudd Kendall
Preston Drake
Dolores Moran ...
Deirdre Drake
Phillip Reed ...
Lucian Grant (as Philip Reed)
Charlie Archer
Belle Carter
Esther Dale ...


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


Drama | Romance


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

27 November 1943 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

L'impossible amour  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Vincent Sherman wanted Eleanor Parker for the role of Deidre, but the studio stuck with original director Edmund Goulding's choice of Dolores Moran for the part. See more »


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 »


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 »


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

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User Reviews

Hopkins + Davis = Drama
20 July 2005 | by (Foster City, CA) – See all my reviews

Bette Davis really has her hands full in Vincent Sherman's 1943 gem, in which she battles it out with an "Old Acquaintance". The woman vs. woman war, so prominent in the films of the 1930s, '40s and '50s, gets some serious ammunition with this classic film. As excellent as it is, it is unfortunately not available on VHS/DVD, nor does it get the recognition bestowed upon many of Davis' other, and dare I say, lesser movies.

Davis plays writer Kit Marlowe, a woman who is unable to find true happiness as she selflessly puts the needs of her childhood friend, Milly(Miriam Hopkins), ahead of her own desires. Milly, a self-absorbed, insecure - even childlike - housewife is constantly in competition with Kit. As the two woman have successes over the years, their friendship endures strains, but never totally collapses. The battle between them even extends to Milly's teenage daughter(Dolores Moran)during the later years of their lives.

Davis nails the cattiness, insecurity and self-effacing humor that embodies Kit. Hopkins also succeeds as Milly. Even though Milly's self-destructive jealousies border on tedious and Hopkins almost succumbs to over-acting, Hopkins manages to pull back the reigns just in time. As good as "Old Acquaintance" is, however, there are moments that just don't ring true. For example, why wouldn't a teenage Deirdre(Moran)recognize her own father(John Loder), even if she hadn't seen him in a decade? Surely she would have seen a photo or had a faint memory. Despite that, though, this is a great classic just waiting to be restored and released. Fine writing, classic lines, smooth direction and stellar performances are what drive this film. One of Davis' finest and a shining entry into the women's genre.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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