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Film / Old Acquaintance

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Old Acquaintance is a 1943 Warner Bros. drama film directed by Vincent Sherman and starring Bette Davis and Miriam Hopkins, with Gig Young and John Loder in supporting roles.

Old friends Kit Marlowe (Davis) and Millie Drake (Hopkins) adopt contrasting lifestyles: Kit is a single, critically acclaimed author while married Millie writes popular pulp novels. Despite her own success, Millie is nonetheless vitriolic to Kit, while Kit tries to make amends with her old friend.

Was remade in 1981 as Rich and Famous, directed by George Cukor, and starring Jacqueline Bisset as Kit (renamed Liz) and Candice Bergen as Millie (renamed Merry). At the time of the remake's release, its distributor, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, had just acquired United Artists, which had owned the rights to the 1943 version since purchasing Associated Artists Productions in 1958, two years after a.a.p. bought the pre-1950 WB library. Both versions are now copyrighted to Turner Entertainment, which has operated as an in-name-only unit of WB since 1996.


This film features examples of:

  • Acquired Situational Narcissism Millie becomes very arrogant and condescending to those around her after she becomes a very successful writer, leading Kit to having to knock some sense into her.
  • Get a Hold of Yourself, Man!: When Kit realizes that her words are falling on deafened ears, a frustrated Kit physically shakes Millie to knock some sense into her friend.
  • Good Adultery, Bad Adultery: The response is complete ingratitude from self-absorbed Millie and from an Preston, increasingly frustrated by Millie's ingratitude, develops romantic feelings for Kit, but Kit tells him she can not reciprocate, as she could not do that to Millie.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Pretty much the whole plot of the film is about how Millie is jealous of Kit's successful life, even after she finds success of her own. She doesn't get over it until the very end.
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  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Kit does this twice; first she refuses to have an affair with Millie's husband Preston because she can't harm Millie, even though Preston's infatuation is portrayed as being the result of Millie's selfish behavior, and later directs her boyfriend Rudd to Preston and Millie's daughter Deirdre after she finds out that they love each other.
  • It's All About Me: Millie is resentful of any diversion from full attention being focused upon herself.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Kit is wry and calmer (blue) in comparison to Millie, who is intense and histrionic (red).
  • Title Drop: At the very end of the film, when Millie and Kit reconcile, Millie tells Kit about a new book she wrote, about the trials of two women friends, and Kit suggests that Millie title the book "Old Acquaintance", to which Millie agrees.