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The Great Lie (1941) - movie overview

The Great Lie (1941)

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Plot Description

Running Time
1 hour, 48 minutes

Country USA

Studio Warner Brothers

More info on

Other Titles
• The Great Lie
• Far Horizon (1941)

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Genre: Drama, Tear Jerker, Love Triangle, Melodrama, Suspense, Deception, Marriage, Love

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

Plot: Bette Davis was at the top of her game when she starred in this soap opera-like drama by director Edmund Goulding. (Goulding had already proven himself a good director for Davis with THE OLD MAID and DARK VICTORY, though legend has it they fought like crazy during filming). As Maggie Patterson, Davis is a spritely southern belle in charge of a fertile plantation, and in love with a boozy, irresponsible pilot, Peter Van Allen (George Brent). However, she's competing for his hand with a glitzy New York rival, Sandra Kovac (Mary Astor). Maggie eventually wins Peter as a husband, but Sandra winds up pregnant with his child. When his plane goes down over the Amazon and he's presumed dead, the two decide to make a deal where Sandra has the baby in secret and Maggie pretends the child is her own. Of course all bets are off when Peter suddenly shows up. The result is a classy, cocktail and conversation melodrama, made sublime by the wonderfully bitchy dueling between Davis and Astor.

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 Directed by
Edmund Goulding
Grand Hotel, Dark Victory, The Razor's Edge
 Written by
Polan Banks
My Forbidden Past
Lenore J. Coffee
Young at Heart, Sudden Fear, Old Acquaintance
Bette Davis
All About Eve, What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?, Death on the Nile
George Brent
42nd Street, Dark Victory, Jezebel
Mary Astor
The Maltese Falcon, Meet Me in St. Louis, Hush... Hush, Sweet Charlotte
Lucile Watson
The Women, Song of the South, Mr. & Mrs. Smith
Hattie McDaniel
Gone with the Wind, Song of the South, They Died with Their Boots On
Grant Mitchell
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Arsenic and Old Lace, The Grapes of Wrath
Jerome Cowan
The Maltese Falcon, Miracle on 34th Street, High Sierra
 Music By
Max Steiner
Casablanca, Gone with the Wind, Arsenic and Old Lace

 Recommended Movies
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Pearl Harbor (2001)
Beaches (1988)

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