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The Old Maid

The Old Maid(1939)

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Remind Me

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According to a 1935 news item in Los Angeles Times, Ernst Lubitsch bought Akin's Pulitzer Prize winning play with the intention of directing Judith Anderson and Helen Menken in a Paramount production. A news item in Hollywood Reporter adds that Warners entered into negotiations to buy the rights to the play from Paramount in January 1939. This picture marked the last screen appearance of actress Louise Fazenda. A news item in Hollywood Reporter notes that Bogart was forced to give up the role of "Clem Spender" in this picture to appear in Dust Be My Destiny. Although the news item states that no footage had been shot prior to Bogart's departure, direction on the film had begun one week prior to his departure. Modern sources state that Bogart was replaced by George Brent in the role of "Clem Spender" because of Bogart's poor performance after two days of shooting. Modern sources also add that to achieve the effect of aging, makeup artist Perc Westmore used a pale, ashen base on Bette Davis' face and used no eye makeup or lipstick, thus creating a "withered" look. In October 1939, Loretta Young and Miriam Hopkins starred in a Lux Radio Theatre version of the play.