Overweight Boston spinster Charlotte is a repressed, self-esteemless woman completely dominated by her wealthy mother, Mrs. Henry Vale. When her sister-in-law Lisa Vale brings her friend Dr. Jaquith, a renowned psychiatrist, to visit Charlotte, he invites her to spend some time in his sanitarium. Soon Charlotte transforms into a sophisticated, confident woman and takes a cruise to South America. She meets married architect Jerry Durrance and they have a love affair in Rio de Janeiro. Six months later she returns home and confronts her mother with her independence. One day they have an argument and her mother has a heart attack and dies. Charlotte inherits the Vale fortune but feels guilty for her mother's death. She decides to return to Dr. Jaquith's sanitarium, where she befriends Jerry's 12-year-old daughter Tina, who has been rejected by her mother. Charlotte takes Tina home to Boston with her and one day Jerry brings Dr. Jaquith to visit them there.
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
I'm the maiden aunt. Every family has one you know.
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Did You Know?
For the first scene after Charlotte's metamorphosis, Hal B. Wallis
to put her in a wide-brimmed hat so the audience wouldn't get a full look at her new face until later. He also wanted to maintain a sense of her shyness. Jack L. Warner
objected to the choice, but Wallis ignored him. See more
Charlotte shows Dr. Jaquith a picture of a four funneled ship in her photo album and tells him that it is a P&O steamer. This is incorrect as no P&O liner with four funnels was ever built. See more
Jerry, Dr. Jaquith knows about us. When he said I could take Tina, he said "You're on probation." Do you know what that means? It means that I'm on probation because of you and me. He allowed this visit as a test. If I can't stand such a test, I'll lose Tina and we'll lose each other. Jerry, please help me.
Shall we just have a cigarette on it?
May I sometimes come here?
Whenever you like. It's your home, too. There are people here who love you.
And look at you and Tina, and share with you...
(ca. 1755) (uncredited)
Traditional music of English origin
Variation in the score when the Statue of Liberty is onscreen See more