This was made in 1942
Stars: Bette Davis, Paul Heindreid, Claude Rains, Gladys Cooper
Director: Irving Rapper
The film is set in Boston and tells the story of Charlotte Vale(Davis) who is a frumpy,spinster having become so by her mother(Gladys Cooper) who has systematically taken control over every aspect of her life, the result being Charlotte has a nervous breakdown.
Her sister-in-law brings in Dr Jaquith (Claude Rains) a psychiatrist who takes her to his sanitarium, to help her regain her confidence and identity.
The final part of her recovery is to go on a cruise, where she meets Jerry (Heindreid) and falls in love with him, though he is married when they return the decide not to meet up again.
Jerry is in an unhappy marriage with two daughters the youngest Tina also unwanted by her mother, which Charlotte recognises as her own upbringing and life.
when Charlotte returns home her mother wants to resume their relationship as it was, however Charlotte realises that she is no longer afraid of her mother, and stands up to her, they live in an uneasy truce, until Charlotte breaks of her engagement to a local man of good standing, the fight and her mother dies.
Fleeing to the sanitarium, she meets Jerry’s child Tina, and helps with her recovery the two becoming fast friends so much so that in a way she becomes Charlotte’s child.
Jerry finds out but welcomes the relationship, which means he can carry on his affair with Charlotte even from afar, the ending has the famous lines:
Why ask for the stars, we have the moon
This is well worth checking out a good old-fashioned melodrama, but a incisive look at mother and daughter relationships.