The Old Maid

Synopsis: After a two-year absence, Clem Spender returns home on the very day that his former fiancée, Delia, is marrying another man. Clem enlists in the Union army and dies on the battlefield, but not before finding comfort in the arms of Delia's cousin, Charlotte Lovell. The years pass and Charlotte establishes an orphanage and eventually confesses to Delia that her dearest young charge, Tina, is an fact her own child by Clem. Jealousy and family secrets threaten to tear the cousins apart.
Genre: Drama
Director(s): Edmund Goulding
Production: Warner Bros. Pictures
  1 win.
95 min

Here I am, miss.

Oh, I'm sorry, miss.

That's all right, Dora. It was an accident.

- You don't seem a bit nervous, Miss Delia.

- Nervous?

No, I don't think I am.

Oh, I wish I wasn't.

I wouldn't be so clumsy and slow.

You'd think it was me getting married,

my hands shake so.

- Take your time, Dora.

- There. That's it. There now.

Well. Well, you was always one

to take things calm.

If it was me, now...

You're not superstitious either,

are you, miss?

Superstitious? Oh, not very. Why?

Oh, but all the same, you'd ought to have

something borrowed and something blue.

That's true.

Something old and something new.

Well, my lace is old

and everything else is new...

...but I've nothing borrowed

and I've nothing blue.

Oh, Dora, what can we find?

Well, I'd feel better in my mind, miss,

if you had...

Then you'll have to lend me something.

But what have I got,

miss, that you'd wear?

- It's something no one will see.

- Lend me a garter.

- A gar...?

- A garter.

Oh, very well, miss,

but please look the other way, then.

Oh, I don't see you, Dora.

- Delia, what a lovely day for a wedding.

- Something borrowed.

Let me, miss.

I'm so excited that I wanna laugh and cry

at the same time.

I've felt the same way, Miss Charlotte,

all morning.

- I wish it were me.

- Oh, it will be one day.

I don't feel like laughing or crying.

I just feel, well, beautifully happy.


Charlotte. Charlotte!

It's beautiful, isn't it?


Yes, Granny.

I'm coming.


- Coming. Coming.

- Oh, Charles, what's that? A telegram?

- Yes, for Miss Delia.

- Oh, yes.


- Yes, Granny?

Walk like a lady.

Yes, ma'am.

- Good morning, Dr. Lanskell.

- Good morning, Charlotte.


- Oh, Granny.

- He says I have no strength.

I'll show you all.

Oh, you're naughty, Granny.

Isn't she, Dr. Lanskell?

No, she's not. She wants to go

to the wedding and why shouldn't she?

Want to go? I am going.

I took my financial life in my hands

to dress these girls. Look at them.

Now, here it is, a lovely June morning,

my little Delia getting married...

...and this cursed old doctor

says I can't go.

Oh, can't she go, Dr. Lanskell?

- Of course she can if...

- If what?

- Lf you want to take your life in your hands.

- I'll take you in my hands.

Now, Granny, darling. No tantrums.

Her pulse is up. What would it be

if she went to the wedding?

Oh, stuff and nonsense.

I'll come back

and tell you all about it, all the details.

I'll sing the "Wedding March" for you.

I'm not a child.

And I'll tell you just how the bride sounded

when she said, "I will. "

- And I'Il...

- Now, stop that. Get up.

Let me look at you.

Very pretty. Very, very pretty.

Thank you, doctor.

When a girl goes to her wedding,

she should look her best, shouldn't she?

She should indeed.

The young men look at her.

They used to.

The music plays,

thoughts of marriage are in the air.

Am I clear, Charlotte?

Oh, sweet Granny.

Are you scheming again?

Of course I am.

Of course, Joe Ralston,

the bridegroom's brother, will be there.


And though you are my granddaughter,

you're a quaint little thing. Isn't she?

I'm talking to you, you old humbug.

Yes, Henrietta, she is.

- Charlotte. Charlotte.

- Excuse me, Granny. There's Delia.

Tell her to hurry or the wedding

will be over before she gets there.

I will.

Did you ever see such girls?

Read it.

Oh, Dora, excuse us a minute, please,

and shut the door.

"Darling, arriving on 10:30 train.

Coming directly to you. Cannot wait.

Love you. Clem Spender. "

- Clem?

- Yes.

- And he doesn't know?

- Of course not. How could he?

What time is it?

I couldn't see him, could I?

Oh, I can't.

Well, someone must see him.

- Poor Clem.

- How can you say "poor Clem" like that?

- I waited two years.

- Now, Delia, we have no time to lose.

We'll have to send a messenger

to the station. We'll write a note.

My hands are so shaky.

You'll have to write it for me.


No, I'm not going to write a note.

I'm going.

- To the station?

- Yes.

- But, Charlotte, you can't.

- But I am going.

You can't go like that.

Downtown. The station.

Clem. He might be intoxicated

when you get there.

You don't know what he might do.

Oh, Charlotte, you know Clem Spender.

Yes, I do know him.

That's why I'm going.

But, Charlotte.

- Who is it?

Dr. Lanskell is waiting.

Tell him I'll be right down.


Delia, go along quickly. I must hurry.

How will you explain to Clem?

What can you say?

What is there to say?

I'll think of something.

- Thank you, Charlotte. Charlotte.

- Yes?

Ask him, for my sake,

to behave like a gentleman.

He will. I know. Go on.

Forward march.



Right face.

Left, turn.






- Oh, I thought it was Delia. It's Charlotte.

- Yes.

Yes, it's Charlotte. It must be the cape.

It's Delia's cape.

- Where's Delia?

- She, uh...

- Isn't she here?

- No.

- Why? Has something happened?

- Yes, she, uh...

- What? What?

- She, uh...

She what?

She's being married.

- Why, you're joking.

- I'm not joking.

She's being married to Jim Ralston today

in less than an hour.

Delia? Jim Ralston?

Oh, I don't believe it.

She asked me to come and meet you

and see you and tell you.

She didn't want you to hear

from anyone else.

She said... She said, "Explain to Clem

and ask him, for my sake...

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Casey Robinson

Kenneth Casey Robinson (October 17, 1903 – December 6, 1979) was an American producer and director of mostly B movies and a screenwriter responsible for some of Bette Davis' most revered films. Film critic Richard Corliss once described him as "the master of the art – or craft – of adaptation." more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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