AN AUTHENTIC REGION 1 DVD FROM WARNER BROTHERS. — SYNOPSIS: — Tempestuous, ambitious concert pianist Sandra Kovac (Mary Astor) shares a bond with down-to-earth Maggie Van Allen (Bette Davis) and her little boy Pete. Sandra's... more » chic New York friends can't imagine what the two women have in common. What they don't know is that Pete is actually Sandra's son -- and the son of the heroic aviator (George Brent) that both women love. Powerful emotions rage against a backdrop of powerful music in the film that earned Astor a 1941 Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her stellar performance opposite the legendary star who always gives a tour-de-force performance. This story of a great passion, a great sacrifice... and a great lie showcases two great actresses.
* Warner Night at the Movies 1941 Short Subjects Gallery:
o Vintage newsreel
o Broadway Brevities short At the Stroke of Twelve
o Oscar-nominated Technicolor Sports Parade short Kings of the Turf
o Hollywood Novelty short Polo with the Stars
o Classic cartoon Porkys Pooch
o Trailers of The Great Lie and 1941s The Strawberry Blonde« less
Bette Davis and George Brent- It doesn't get any better!
Rita Reader | 07/21/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is one of my favorite classic movies. I watch it over and over, and I never get tired of the story. Mary Astor certainly deserved her Oscar nod for this! Some of the best scenes are of these two formidable ladies and how they cat fight it out. Bette is awesome and you really see why she is such an acting talent. George Brent is great too, but the ladies fold the movie up and put it in their pocket. You won't regret buying this one. It's a keeper!"
Classic 1940's Bette Davis. Nuff said
Joseph P. Menta, Jr. | Philadelphia, PA USA | 11/25/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Bette Davis, Mary Astor, a love triangle, a child born out of wedlock, lots of great production values... what's not to be engrossed about? And I'm saying this as a guy who's really not the primary audience for this quintessential "women's picture".
"The Great Lie" on DVD features a sharp picture and good sound, and a variety of extra features. The bonus materials are not so much "behind the scenes" pieces about the main feature, but rather short subjects that movie-goers may have been exposed to if they went to see "The Great Lie" in theaters back in 1941. All were interesting in varying degrees except for the newsreel footage of a banquet of some kind, which featured no sound. One wonders why they included it here.
In any event, pick up this DVD for the good story and powerful character interaction between Ms. Davis and Ms. Astor during the movie itself. Everything else is just a minor bonus."
Lively melodrama with Astor a fine co-star to Davis
Michael J. Brooks | 09/12/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Great Lie is a slick, classic "women's picture" which Warners were very much the specialists at by the early 40's.
Mary Astor is the perfect self indulgent, spoiled, and tempestuous concert pianist opposite Davis' more subdued character. The scenes between her and Davis are most enjoyable with fur flying exquisitely in certain scenes. Nice to see an artist with the talent and versatitlity to match Davis. Very much a Davis picture with Brent who is cast perfectly opposite Davis. He was a very versatile leading man at Warners opposite strong leading ladies such as Davis - they appeared many times together.
This film was produced at the height of Davis' powers and the handsome production values and sets show this. Topped off by another of Max Steiner's rich scores that make this unmistakably a Warners top production."
THE GREAT LIE is WONDERFUL!!!
Terra D. Beezel | WV USA | 04/06/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"THE GREAT LIE is really Bette Davis at her finest. She and George Brent always seemed to make magic on film and a chemistry that is so intense the audience can't help but feel, and they didn't fail us with "The Great Lie". Bette Davis and fellow star Mary Astor work off of each other in a glorious way and keep you enjoying both characters and wanting to see "just how much can you rely on a promise from a woman who loves the same man you do". They make you laugh, they make you cry, they make you furious...they are AMAZING in this film. As a side note, Mary Astor respected Bette Davis' work so much, when they made "Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte", even though Astor had a rather small (but very important) part in the movie and not even a scene together with Davis, she wanted Davis on the set because she respected her opinion so much! So check out "The Great Lie", it wont disappoint."
The White Goddess
Kevin Killian | San Francisco, CA United States | 03/16/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)
"At her country home, Maggie Van Allen (Bette Davis) is waited on hand and foot by Jefferson and Violet, two kindly black servants who do for her. Watching the movie, one becomes gradually aware of how vast Maggie's farm is: it's so big that she claims there are whole rooms she's never seen. In one scene she pulls a bellcord and it falls down from the ceiling, and she laughs. since this proves that it hasn't been used in a long, long time. During a wedding scene you see Violet and Jefferson approach a large iced cake and carefully it outside into a whole from yard filled with jubilant black well-wishers, singing and harmonizing in gospel cadences. Do they all work for Maggie? There must be thirty or forty of them. Maybe they're neighbors drawn to Maggie's farm for the festivities. "Nice music," speculates George Brent. "Yes," murmurs Bette Davis. Later it's revealed that Maggie's farm is twenty acres, but it seems enormous like San Simeon. It's big enough for George Brent to use a side field as a runway for his plane. I wonder what the point is to this slow buildup of Bette Davis as perhaps the richest woman in Maryland. At first it seems she lives humbly, so we feel she's the underdog in her personal war against Mary Astor, who lives the wild, Lindsay Lohan playgirl lifestyle in a giant hotel suite in Manhattan. It comes as a thunderbolt when Davis makes Astor an offer she can't financially refuse--until that moment, you'd never guess that Astor was suffering for money!
The only way you might possibly guess is that Davis' exquisite clothes are a considerable notch above Mary Astor's. Astor favors tight, tight, playgirl jumpsuits flecked with bugle beads and glitter, like an Easter basket. For her big scene at the end, she wears what looks like a Mao jacket and pants from the early 1970s. She doesn't look awful, it's just that her wardrobe looks like it cost about 50 cents. Well, there's one beautiful gown she wears for her Philadelphia piano recital. She's got a meaty, meaty role here and she does everything she can with it, considering she's often missing from the action the script dictates. The script is pretty shallow, but it's a rare movie that concentrates on the rivalry, then the alliance, between two strong women, and their scenes together are grand. Davis must have been tiny--I never realized that until watching The Great Lie. Next to George Brent (who tells her, "You've shrunk") or buried in Hattie McDaniel's arms, she's like a Bette Davis doll of herself. "