Academy Awards 1941 -
Best Supporting Actress: Mary Astor
USA Today - 03/23/1990
"...Astor, who sizzles, took a supporting Oscar..."
Description by OLDIES.com:
The romantic triangle between pilot George Brent, socialite Bette Davis, and pianist Mary Astor takes a tragic turn when he is lost on a mission in South America, leaving Davis and a pregnant Astor behind. Classic "three-hankie" tale of love and devotion earned Astor an Academy Award; with Grant Mitchell, Hattie McDaniel.
Bette Davis was at the top of her game when she starred in this soap opera-like drama by director Edmund Goulding. (Goulding had already proven himself a good director for Davis with THE OLD MAID and DARK VICTORY, though legend has it they fought like crazy during filming). As Maggie Patterson, Davis is a spritely southern belle in charge of a fertile plantation, and in love with a boozy, irresponsible pilot, Peter Van Allen (George Brent). However, she's competing for his hand with a glitzy New York rival, Sandra Kovac (Mary Astor). Maggie eventually wins Peter as a husband, but Sandra winds up pregnant with his child. When his plane goes down over the Amazon and he's presumed dead, the two decide to make a deal where Sandra has the baby in secret and Maggie pretends the child is her own. Of course all bets are off when Peter suddenly shows up. The result is a classy, cocktail and conversation melodrama, made sublime by the wonderfully bitchy dueling between Davis and Astor.
Aviator Peter Van Allen (George Brent) impulsively weds Sandra (Mary Astor), an ambitious concert pianist, but soon after, the marriage is annulled. Rejected by the musician, Pete instead marries his former sweetheart Maggie (Bette Davis) and the couple find happiness together. But just as Pete sets off on an expedition to South America, Maggie learns that Sandra is pregnant with his child. To make matters worse, Pete is presumed dead in a plane crash. To hold onto the one child Pete fathered, Maggie strikes a deal with Sandra to adopt the baby and raise it as her own. However, a year later, Pete returns home after an odyssey in the jungles of Brazil, and the two women resume their rivalry--this time with the child's love also at stake.
Love Triangle |
Tear Jerker |
Theatrical release: April 5, 1941.
Mary Astor's haircut in this film started a fashion craze.