7.0/10
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23 user 8 critic

That Certain Woman (1937)

Approved | | Drama, Romance | 18 September 1937 (USA)
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

Writer:

Edmund Goulding
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Bette Davis ... Mary Donnell
Henry Fonda ... Jack Merrick
Anita Louise ... Flip
Ian Hunter ... Lloyd Rogers
Donald Crisp ... Merrick, Sr.
Hugh O'Connell ... Virgil Whitaker
Katharine Alexander ... Mrs. Rogers (as Katherine Alexander)
Mary Philips ... Amy (as Mary Phillips)
Minor Watson ... Tilden
Sidney Toler ... Detective Neely
Charles Trowbridge ... Dr. James
Norman Willis ... Fred
Herbert Rawlinson ... Dr. Hartman
Tim Henning Tim Henning ... Kenyon
Dwane Day Dwane Day ... Jackie
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Storyline

Mary Donnell was married at sixteen to a gangster and soon widowed. She works for unhappily married lawyer Lloyd Rogers. A client's son Jack elopes with her, but his father tracks them down and has the marriage annulled. Mary has a son. Unaware of this, the father remarries; his new wife is crippled in an auto accident. The lawyer, now dying, tells Mary he has left her money for her and her son, Roger's widow suspects her husband may have been the father, while Mary is convinced instead that it was her annulled ex-husband, Jack. Jack's ruthless father , upon learning he may be grandparent of the child, threatens legal action to gain custody, but his son wants no part in separating little Jackie from his mother. Further, he reasserts his love for Mary and promises he will ask his now handicapped wife, Flip, for a divorce so that Jackie will have a real family. He instructs Mary to pack her belongings and get Jackie ready to leave so that the three can start a new life ... Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Love Broke Her Heart !

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

18 September 1937 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Aquella mujer See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The first film pairing of Bette Davis and Henry Fonda. The second being Jezebel. See more »

Quotes

Mary Donnell: I'm going to sell youan idea. Lay off! You'll wake up one day and find your hat floating in the lake. Who do you think will be under the hat?
See more »

Crazy Credits

The opening credits roll up. See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

'Cause My Baby Says It's So
(1937) (uncredited)
Music by Harry Warren
Played during the scene at the bar
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Superior, Under-rated and Nearly Forgotten Soaper Has Everything!
1 September 2007 | by Harold_RobbinsSee all my reviews

This is a superior and under-rated "woman's picture" that really has all the elements of the classic weeper: star-crossed lovers, twists of fate, and self-sacrifice. It also has a sterling performance from Bette Davis which gives a strong indication of why she would soon be a superstar and regarded as the screen's best actress: Her belief in a character could suffuse it with passion and poignancy and transcend the shallowness of the accompanying story. She's supported by an excellent cast - Henry Fonda (in a basically thankless role), the ever-reliable Donald Crisp (her showdown scene with him oddly foreshadows similar scenes with Gladys Cooper in NOW, VOYAGER), Mary Phillips (in a role that in a later version would obviously have gone to Thelma Ritter), who was, at the time, Mrs. Humphrey Bogart (in the same year's MARKED WOMAN Davis would appear with Mayo Methot, the next Mrs. B., and Ian Hunter. Edmund Goulding, who excelled at this kind of thing, wrote and directed it - he would later direct Davis in two other notable soapers, DARK VICTORY (one of her most celebrated performances, as Judith Traherne), and THE GREAT LIE (for which Mary Astor won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar). It's all served up in the best Warner Bros. tradition, but doesn't seem to be as well-remembered as other such films of the era, such as MAGNIFICENT OBSESSION, STELLA DALLAS, or MY FOOLISH HEART.


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