The Great Lie

The Great Lie

DVD - 2008
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Davis plays a good girl Maggie, a genteel Southerner with money, taste, and breeding. Astor plays a bad girl Sandra, an arrogant concert pianist who marries Maggie's one true love (George Brent). When Brent is lost in an airplane accident, the two make a pact that suits each woman's nature.
Publisher: Burbank, CA : Turner Entertainment Co. ; Burbank, CA : Distributed by Warner Home Video, c2008
ISBN: 9781419864384
Branch Call Number: DVD 791.4372 GRE
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (ca. 107 min.) : sd., b&w ; 4 3/4 in


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Feb 04, 2015

When hard-drinking playboy Peter Van Allen (aging heartthrob George Brent) goes on a high society bender he wakes up married to the insufferably egotistical concert pianist Sandra Kovak (Mary Astor) much to the chagrin of his on-again off-again fiancée Maggie (Bette Davis). However, when he discovers the marriage is null and void thanks to some sticky red tape involving Kovak’s latest divorce he and Maggie decide to tie the knot for real. But Sandra is not about to release her hooks on him so easily for not only does she have a long simmering animosity towards Maggie, unbeknownst to Peter she’s also carrying his child—a bomb she drops on his new wife with apparent glee. And then, while on a business trip, Peter’s plane goes down over the Amazon jungle and he is presumed dead. Now with the object of their romantic rivalry out of the picture Maggie strikes a decidedly unorthodox bargain with the pregnant Sandra and both women eventually go their separate ways. And that’s when a telegram arrives from Brazil… Although Edmund Goulding’s big screen soaper is little more than a dramatic house of cards ready to fall apart at the slightest prod, babies and dead husbands take a backseat to the gloriously hostile charisma of its two female leads. Davis and Astor (who took home an Oscar for her troubles) couldn’t be any cattier if they arched their backs and spit estrogen at one another. The verbal sparring and smouldering stares contain some the bitchiest barbs to grace the silver screen and even a temporary truce at an isolated Arizona backwater comes dangerously close to low camp. Fun to watch despite its oh-so-serious aspirations and legendary Hattie McDaniel leading a cast of jive-talkin’, shoe-shufflin’ coloured domestics is pure gravy. Oh Hollywood!

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