The Great Lie

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  • Drama, Melodrama, Soap Opera , produced in 1941 USA
  • Actors: Bette Davis, Mary Astor
  • Directed by: Edmund Goulding
  • Rating: 7.1 out of 10
  • Plot Summary: 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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