7.1/10
3,127
47 user 17 critic

The Great Lie (1941)

Approved | | Drama | 12 April 1941 (USA)
After a newlywed's husband apparently dies in a plane crash, she discovers that her rival for his affections is now pregnant with his child.

Director:

Edmund Goulding

Writers:

Lenore J. Coffee (screen play) (as Lenore Coffee), Polan Banks (from a novel by)
Reviews

On TV

Airs Tue. Aug. 27, 12:00 AM on TCM

ON DISC
Won 1 Oscar. Another 1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Bette Davis ... Maggie Patterson
George Brent ... Peter Van Allen
Mary Astor ... Sandra Kovak
Lucile Watson ... Aunt Ada Greenfield
Hattie McDaniel ... Violet
Grant Mitchell ... Joshua Mason
Jerome Cowan ... Jock Thompson
Charles Trowbridge ... Senator Ted Greenfield
Thurston Hall ... Oscar Worthington James
Russell Hicks ... Col. Harriston
Virginia Brissac ... Sadie
J. Farrell MacDonald ... Dr. Ferguson (as J. Farrell Macdonald)
Addison Richards ... Mr. Talbot
Sam McDaniel ... Jefferson
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Olin Howland ... Ed - Arizona Ranch Hand (scenes deleted)
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Storyline

Sandra and Pete elope but their marriage is invalid since she's not yet divorced. Sandra is, however, pregnant by Pete. Pete marries his former fiancée Maggie, then flies to South America where his plane crashes. Maggie pays Sandra to let her adopt Pete's baby. Pete returns "from the dead". Sandra and Maggie contend for Pete and the baby. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Sometimes there's a terrible penalty for telling the truth.

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

12 April 1941 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Far Horizon See more »

Filming Locations:

Mojave Desert, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$689,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Mary Astor mimed playing the piano in this film extremely convincingly, being an accomplished pianist in her own right. However, the actual piano playing on the soundtrack was dubbed by Max Rabinowitz. When close-up shots were required, Norma Drury 's hands are those we see on the piano. See more »

Goofs

Maggie and Violet are in the kitchen when a horn honks that sounds like it's right outside the door. But, when Violet goes to look, the car is just pulling into the property, quite a ways from the porch. The horn couldn't have been that loud from that distance. See more »

Quotes

Maggie Patterson Van Allen: Darling! I give up! You can paint the house white, the trees white...
See more »

Connections

Remade as Lux Video Theatre: The Great Lie (1957) See more »

Soundtracks

How Dry I Am
(uncredited)
Traditional
Played during the home movie scene
See more »

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User Reviews

 
the great film
2 August 2006 | by RanchoTuVuSee all my reviews

An amazing unfolding story that arises out of a ridiculously implausible plot that nevertheless is a classic film. Who needs a plot anyway when you have Mary Astor and Bette Davis fighting over the quietly cool George Brent? Throw in an unexpected pregnancy and a trip to the Arizona desert to keep the mother from having a miscarriage due to her bad habits, with boredom, sand storms, and endless cigarettes. The way it sounds is not at all like the impact it produces. There's one point in the film's second half when people might be thinking that it would be a good place to end the film, keeping the lie intact. But Edmund Goulding makes the absolute most of what follows, hitting the real ending with power and precision.


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