"If I didn't think you meant so well, I'd feel like slapping your face"
Ever watch a film that just got on your nerves? Like, the acting was good but the story was beyond annoying? That is how I feel about the 1941 film The Great Lie. It is literally a lot of baby mama/daddy drama and fighting over a man drama.
The story begins when Pete Van Allan (George Brent) marries Sandra Kovac (Mary Astor). Their marriage is quickly over because Sandra’s divorce from her first husband never went through. Pete then goes off and marries his old fiancée Magee (Bette Davis). Her people are not too happy about her marrying Pete since he ran off to be with another woman but they can do nothing to stop her from marrying Pete.
Pete goes off in a plane into the jungles of South America and news comes up that Pete’s plane crashed. Sandra also comes with some news that she is having Pete’s baby. Magee makes a deal with Sandra to take of her and adopt the baby after it is born. The two women live out in the middle of the desert for a few months away from prying eyes since Sandra is a well-known concert pianist. Sandra has a baby boy whom Magee names Pete after his father.
Surprise, surprise Pete is found alive! He comes home and Magee of course does not tell him the truth that baby Pete is not really her baby with him. And another shocking surprise, Sandra comes back into the picture and threatens to blow up the whole charade Magee has created by saying she wants the baby back and that she is going to try to win Pete back.
Since this is an Old Hollywood story the ending is nicely wrapped up with Sandra agreeing to let Magee and Pete raise the baby.
Seriously, the story of The Great Lie bored me to tears. I hate these kinds of stories. If I hate these kinds of stories so much why did I sit through The Great Lie you may be wondering to yourself. To answer your question, I sat through it because of the actors. Mary Astor was phenomenal as Sandra she was so perfect. But I must say I would have liked to have seen her as Magee and Bette Davis as Sandra but both actresses worked well in their parts. George Brent is one of my favorite Old Hollywood actors and I like him paired with Bette Davis.
I am not upset I sat through The Great Lie because now I have an opinion on it. If you are a fan of the actors it is worth watching but drag your heels, it is not one to rush out to find.