7.6/10
2,890
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

To get the effects of aging, Bette Davis didn't wear any eye makeup or lipstick, and makeup artist Perc Westmore used a pale, ashen base on her face. See more »

Goofs

Clem leaves for service in 1861, and Tina is born the following year, 1862. Dee's wedding invitation is dated 1884, and at that time Charlotte and Delia are discussing Tina's future. They say she is not yet twenty, but actually she would be at least 22 years of age. See more »

Quotes

Clem Spender: Don't you know what there could be for you and me? A little happy poverty perhaps, but excitement, adventure and us. All our lives we'll want each other.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

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

Soundtracks

(Oh My Darling) Clementine
(1884) (uncredited)
Music by Percy Montrose
Played as background music when Clementina meets Delia
Reprised as background music often
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Irresistible Tosh
11 December 2005 | by MOscarbradleySee all my reviews

One of Bette Davis' best films and a great weepie; an unashamed Victorian melodrama but made with great panache and played with all the stops out. When Miriam Hopkins jilts her financee George Brent, cousin Bette gives herself to him and gets pregnant. When Brent goes off and gets himself killed Davis disappears out West so she can have the baby, raise her as an orphan and save what vestige of honour she has left. Years later, when Hopkins discovers the truth, she takes the child to be raised as her own while Davis lurks on the sidelines as old maid Aunt Charlotte. (This is the movie in which Davis gets to utter the immortal lines on her daughter's wedding night, 'Tonight she belongs to me. Tonight I want her to call ME mother!'). The film has a good pedigree. The original play won the Pulitzer Prize and was based in turn on an Edith Wharton novel. Tosh it may well be, but it is irresistible.


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