THE GREAT LIE (1941) B/W 108m dir: Edmund Goulding
w/Bette Davis, George Brent, Mary Astor, Hattie McDaniel, Grant Mitchell, Jerome Cowan, Lucille Watson
Astor has a child by Brent who is Davis' husband, and Davis raises the child as her own, which is the great lie. Rather talky, but melodrama (and Davis) fans will eat it up.
From Variety's contemporary review of the film: "The Great Lie is a sophisticated drama providing Bette Davis with opportunity for continued display of her tragic emotionalisms. Excellent performances by the players, deft direction by Edmund Goulding, and a compact script by Lenore Coffee [from a novel by Polan Banks] provide a well-rounded package of dramatic entertainment. ...
"Davis gives a most persuasive portrayal of the wife who faces the tragic events of her romance and marriage. In spots, she gushes tears, and in others, hits a few brief moments of light spontaneity. George Brent delivers a strong performance as the husband, while Mary Astor scores notably, as the case-hardened concert artist whose ambitions transcend motherly and wifely attributes of womanhood."
THE GREAT LIE won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress (Astor).