Friday, June 22, 2018
The Great Lie
But then Peter's plane goes missing when he goes away on business and he's presumed dead. Before he had left the country, Sandra confided in Maggie that she's pregnant with Peter's child. And after Peter disappears, Maggie offers to help Sandra during her pregnancy on the condition that she gets to have the child. But will this situation work for both women?
Davis took on the role of Maggie after some fans wrote hoping she would play a nice character. (She also picked Astor to play Sandra.) Both women conspired together to downplay the melodramatic aspects of The Great Lie in order to flesh their characters. Does it work? Absolutely.
Indeed Davis in the rare pleasant role (which she likened to her real-life personality) is something of note in The Great Lie but boy, does Astor make up for Davis' lack of bitchiness with her own. With this being released the same year as her famous role in The Maltese Falcon, it's understandable as to why it's not as known (even though she won an Oscar for it).
The Great Lie has its melodramatic moments, yes (probably to be expected from the director of Dark Victory and The Constant Nymph), but Davis and Astor ensure that the film doesn't firmly stay in that genre. (Thank goodness for that.) And like several of Goulding's other works, it has a particular preference for the characters and their personalities.
My Rating: ****