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Old Acquaintance (1943)

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Old friends Kit Marlowe and Millie Drake adopt contrasting lifestyles: Kit is a single, critically acclaimed author while married Millie writes popular pulp novels.

Director:

Vincent Sherman

Writers:

John Van Druten (screenplay), Lenore J. Coffee (screenplay) (as Lenore Coffee) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Bette Davis ... Katherine 'Kit' Marlowe
Miriam Hopkins ... Midred 'Millie' Drake
Gig Young ... Rudd Kendall
John Loder ... Preston Drake
Dolores Moran ... Deirdre'DeDe' Drake
Phillip Reed ... Lucian Grant (as Philip Reed)
Roscoe Karns ... Charlie Archer
Anne Revere ... Belle Carter
Esther Dale ... Harriet
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

Together Again! in their greatest emotional triumph

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

27 November 1943 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

L'impossible amour See more »

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

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 »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Kit Marlowe: [responding to a question about Millie's daughter Deidre] Well, she's really partly mine anyway. I was at the hospital when she was born. As a matter of fact, she gave me her first smile. Her mother said it was gas.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Bette Davis: Größer als das Leben (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

Perfidia
(1939) (uncredited)
Music by Alberto Domínguez
Played on a record at the music store and danced by Dolores Moran
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User Reviews

 
One Camp Treat
5 October 2010 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

Old Acquaintance started as a Broadway play by John Van Druten and ran 170 performances during the 1940-41 season. It is the quintessential star vehicle and two Broadway legends, Jane Cowl and Peggy Wood played the rival women on stage. On screen the film version stars Bette Davis and Miriam Hopkins and in this instance it really helped to have two women who positively loathed each other in real life. Helped enormously with their performances.

The two are childhood friends and rival authors, Bette is a writer of seriously acclaimed classics that just don't sell and Miriam is the Jacqueline Susann of the pair, a writer of potboiler trash fiction that the public eats up. For reasons never explained by the film, Miriam nurses a pent up jealousy over Bette which Davis patiently bears throughout most of the film which takes place over a twenty year period in their lives. Davis rightly can't figure it out, Miriam is the one with the husband and child both of whom she smothers with her overbearing personality.

The Broadway play which took place in only one setting, the Davis character's apartment was considerably expanded for the screen and I will say that the play's stage origins are barely noticeable. The play and the film are strictly vehicles for the two stars, the other players would dare not intrude even if their parts permitted.

Old Acquaintance in the hands of players less capable of Davis and Hopkins would be a disaster. But with the two of them it is one camp treat.


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