Charlotte Vale (Bette Davis) is a dowdy spinster who has been driven to a nervous breakdown by her tyrannical mother. She enters a sanitarium and emerges an attractive and confident woman, ready to experience life on her own terms. On a cruise, she meets Jerry (Paul Henried), a married man; he's charming and romantic and they fall in love.
This is a great movie. Charlotte's physical and emotional transformation and her Grand Passion are the stuff that make many female hearts race, including mine. Davis gives a powerful, intelligent performance and was justly nominated for an Oscar. Leading men didn't come any smoother than Henried and he pulls off the now-silly double-cigarette act with absolute aplomb, making his flawed character seem almost heroic. Max Steiner's heart-tugging score won an Oscar.
The movie is pure escapist delight with beautiful people, gorgeous clothes, exotic locations, and, of course, Love. A true classic romance that makes me swoon. Highly recommended.