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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.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Mary Donnell
... Jack Merrick
... Flip
... Lloyd Rogers
... Merrick, Sr.
... Virgil Whitaker
... Mrs. Rogers (as Katherine Alexander)
... Amy (as Mary Phillips)
... Tilden
... Detective Neely
... Dr. James
... Fred
... Dr. Hartman
Tim Henning ... Kenyon
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

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Release Date:

18 September 1937 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Aquella mujer  »

Company Credits

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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

A prolific smoker, Bette Davis doesn't smoke once during the film. She takes a an offered cigarette at one time but only holds it. Bette also makes a couple of negative comments about cigarette smoke. Sorry, don't know who posted this, but the above is inaccurate; she has at least one in the bar waiting for Henry Fonda. See more »

Quotes

Mary Donnell: You know, I believe I'm like one of those unfortunate gals you only read about in those dime novels... she only loved once.
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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
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User Reviews

 
early Davis melodrama
17 May 2011 | by See all my reviews

Bette Davis is "That Certain Woman" in this 1937 remake of "The Trespasser." Davis is the widow of a mobster killed in the Saint Valentine's Day massacre. Now she works for a businessman Lloyd Rogers (Ian Hunter) and uses the name Mary Donnell. She has two men in love with her: her boss Lloyd and a man from a wealthy family, Jack Merrick (Henry Fonda). Knowing who she is thanks to a news story, Merrick's dad (Donald Crisp) is violently opposed to the marriage, but she and Jack marry. They break up right after the honeymoon, thanks to the dad, but during the honeymoon, Mary conceived Jack Jr. Jack goes off to Paris and marries Flip (Anita Louise), not knowing anything about the baby. Meanwhile, the unhappily married Lloyd is hanging around Mary.

Very melodramatic and dated film in the Stella Davis sacrifice vein, with both Davis and Fonda giving excellent performances. Fonda in those days was Jane Fonda with a man's haircut - the resemblance is there for all to see. He's adorable. Also as an actor, he was more energetic and earnest; later, he became more internalized, and in my opinion, less interesting. Davis sports an ugly hair-do (except when she's either just waking up or going to bed).

Very likable stars, and the story will keep you interested, even if it is dated.


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