Top positive review
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Heartbreaking tale of Sacrifice
on 8 September 2009
Bette Davis stars in one of her most prolific roles in a period drama as Charlotte Lovell, a sincere and warm young woman who secretly gives birth to a child outside of wedlock to Clem Spender, a Lieutenant about go off to fight in the American Civil War whom her cousin Delia was once madly in love with. Clem unfortunately dies in the battlefield, leaving Charlotte to raise her daughter Tina on her own whilst running a Nursery for War Orphans where she can hide Tina so cleverly, that not even Delia realises the truth.
Before her wedding to Delia's brother-in-law Joe, Charlotte confesses the truth about Tina, prompting Delia to get involved in preventing the wedding from ever taking place. After Delia's husband Jim dies leaving her with a massive mansion with three young children, she invites Charlotte and Tina to move in, even offering to take Tina under her wing. Tina, being so young and unaware of her true relationship to Charlotte, somehow finds a mother in Delia, even calling her mummy, and just like her cousins, begins to refer to her true mother as "Aunt Charlotte".
But as Tina begins to grow up, becoming spoiled and increasingly attached to Delia, Charlotte begins to feel more and more distant from her, leaning towards a more stern and cold authority figure rather than the mother she really longs to be.
I'm not a huge fan of Bette Davis or her movies, but this one really caught me off guard; I thoroughly enjoyed it from start to finish and despite it being mostly a dialogue driven piece, it was quite gripping and engaging. At more than one point, I also had to dab at my eyes with a tissue for some truly heartbreaking scenes that were brilliantly acted.
I honestly did NOT expect to love this film so much, and I'm sure many people who enjoy a nice innocent and heart-felt story from an old classic black and white, are going to love it too.