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Old Maid

Old Maid

UPC: 888574564827

Format: DVD

Regular price $20.95 USD
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Edith Wharton's 1924 novel is the fodder for this sprawling tale of southern belle self-sacrifice. Charlotte (Bette Davis) and Delia (Miriam Hopkins) are two headstrong sisters who both love the same no-good man (George Brent). He dies fighting in the Civil War for the Confederacy, but not before fathering Charlotte's illegitimate child (Jane Bryan). After Delia is widowed, the two wile away their days together as old ladies in a big, ornate mansion, arguing over how to best raise the growing girl, while a strict moral code demands Charlotte not acknowledge the child as her own.

It's interesting to watch Davis transform herself from fresh-faced country girl to bitter old spinster, considering how many similar "old maid" characters she would play throughout the latter half of her career. As her lively older sister, Miriam Hopkins contrasts Davis' gloom by radiating warmth and love, as does the ravishing Bryan. They're all sensational; by the time the movie ends, if the viewer is left with a single tear unshed, it's not for these great ladies' lack of trying, or Edmund Goulding's direction, which is positively purple with Southern Gothic magic and airy intimacy.
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