The Great Lie is a sophisticated drama providing Bette Davis with opportunity for continued display of her tragic emotionalisms.
Excellent performances by the players, deft direction by Edmund Goulding, and a compact script by Lenore Coffee [from a novel by Polan Banks], provides a well-rounded package of dramatic entertainment.
Story presents the situation confronting the father of a child claimed as her own by his wife, but in reality born by the woman to whom he was illegally married. And the problem reaches its apex when both women attempt to use the youngster to hold the man.
Davis gives a most persuasive portrayal of the wife who faces the tragic events of her romance and marriage. In spots, she gushes tears, and in others hits a few brief moments of light spontaneity. George Brent delivers a strong performance as the husband while Mary Astor scores notably, as the case-hardened concert artist whose ambitions transcend motherly and wifely attributes of womanhood.