7.7/10
2,872
38 user 13 critic

The Old Maid (1939)

Approved | | Drama | 2 September 1939 (USA)
The arrival of an ex-lover on a young woman's wedding day sets in motion a chain of events which will alter her and her cousin's lives forever.

Director:

Edmund Goulding

Writers:

Casey Robinson (screen play), Zoe Akins (based on the play by: Pulitzer Prize) | 1 more credit »
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1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Bette Davis ... Charlotte Lovell
Miriam Hopkins ... Delia Lovell
George Brent ... Clem Spender
Donald Crisp ... Dr. Lanskell
Jane Bryan ... Tina
Louise Fazenda ... Dora
James Stephenson ... Jim Ralston
Jerome Cowan ... Joe Ralston
William Lundigan ... Lanning Halsey
Cecilia Loftus ... Grandmother Lovell
Rand Brooks ... Jim
Janet Shaw ... Dee
William Hopper ... John (as DeWolf Hopper)
Rod Cameron ... Undetermined Secondary Role (scenes deleted)
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Storyline

After a two-year absence, Clem Spender returns home on the very day that his former fiancée, Delia, is marrying another man. Clem enlists in the Union army and dies on the battlefield, but not before finding comfort in the arms of Delia's cousin, Charlotte Lovell. The years pass and Charlotte establishes an orphanage and eventually confesses to Delia that her dearest young charge, Tina, is an fact her own child by Clem. Jealousy and family secrets threaten to tear the sisters apart. Written by L. Hamre

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Vividly, unforgettably, a woman's love starved soul is revealed. All those strange secrets she locks in her heart ... moments of rapture and of heartbreak ... longings that no man can fathom. Of these has the year's finest picture been woven!

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

2 September 1939 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Htjela sam dijete See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Victor System)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

"Lux Radio Theater" broadcast a 60 minute radio adaptation of the movie on October 30, 1939 with Miriam Hopkins reprising her film role. See more »

Goofs

Society women such as portrayed here would never have their names printed (on the many invitations and announcements throughout) as "Mrs. Delia ... Mrs. Henrietta" etc. but as "Mrs." before their husbands' names and as long as they remained widows. Obviously this was done for clarity to the viewer, but in period novels you don't see this stylistic error. See more »

Quotes

Delia Lovell Ralston: Charlotte isn't entering into this marriage honorably.
Jim Ralston: Not honorably?
See more »

Crazy Credits

The opening credits are shown on facsimiles of wedding invitation cards. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Hollywood Out-takes and Rare Footage (1983) See more »

Soundtracks

Battle Hymn of the Republic
(circa 1856) (uncredited)
Music by William Steffe
Played in the score when Clem leaves
See more »

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User Reviews

New Spin on an Old Maid
10 February 2003 | by genericmovieloverSee all my reviews

This film would be just another period melodrama: over-scored,sugar-coated, and glossy-slick (especially for a Warners' film) -- except for two things: Bette Davis and Bette Davis.

Bette is truly a revelation in this film, which required her to age twenty years in the flesh but many more than that in spirit - as she turned from a fresh, extremely sympathetic young girl to an "old maid" of forty or so, a bitter, intimidating woman.

Her ability to integrate completely disparate human traits into one cohesive character is amazing - a must see.


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