The Old Maid (1939) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Old Maid (1939)





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

In this film, Delia Lovell marries James Ralston, leaving her old beau Clem Spender out in the cold. Delia's cousin Charlotte comforts Clem by spending the night with him. Charlotte becomes pregnant, secretly farming out her daughter Tina to another family.
Classics , Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
Warner Bros. Pictures

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Bette Davis
as Charlotte Lovell
Miriam Hopkins
as Delia Lovell Ralston
George Brent
as Clem Spender
Donald Crisp
as Dr. Lanskell
Jane Bryan
as Tina
James Stephenson
as Jim Ralston
Jerome Cowan
as Joe Ralston
William Lundigan
as Lanning Halsey
Cecilia Loftus
as Grandmother Henrietta Lovell
Rand Brooks
as Jim Ralston Jr.
William Hopper
as John Ward
Marlene Burnett
as Tina as a child
Doris Lloyd
as Aristocratic maid
Frederick Burton
as Mr. Halsey
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Critic Reviews for The Old Maid

All Critics (3)

A well-oiled assembly of betrayals, vendettas, and maternal passion plays

Full Review… | November 11, 2009

Bette Davis at the peak of her acting chops, a brilliant, melodramatic role.

November 1, 2008

Audience Reviews for The Old Maid


The plot didn't move much, although the Civil War beginning got my attention. An interesting theme worth gaining in the end, but just a little slow for me.

Carmela "inhonoredglory"

In the 1800's Unwed Mothers were Shunned & the Moral Ritual forbade Marriage.Charlotte's(Bette Davis) unrequited Love lead her to an indiscretion with the Man(George Brent) she Loved, who was once her Cousin's (Miriam Hopkins)Betrothed.Charlotte goes away to hide her pregnancy, the Father Dies in the Civil War.She opens an orphanage for "Foundlings" of War to hide her child amongst the other Children, never revealing she is her Mother.Charolette confides in her Cousin on her Wedding Night, & her Cousin Stops her Wedding, forcing her into a Lonely Spinsterhood.When her Cousins Husband dies, Charlotte is talked into Moving with her Secret Child into her Cousins more affluent Home.The Cousin assumes(in every way) Motherhood of her Daughter(Jane Bryon).Charlotte becomes the Embittered Spinster Aunt that watches her own Daughter grow up Loving the Cousin she thinks as her Adopted Mother,but resenting her(Charlotte).It is Heartbreaking to watch this beautiful sacrifice unfold.

Marilee Aschwanden
Marilee Aschwanden

A well-done meloncholy drama of a lively young debutante turned bitter old-maid.

nefnie lee
nefnie lee

Super Reviewer

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