It’s a bit of a slow boil, but this 1943 melodrama eventually bubbles over with Bette Davis literally trying to shake some sense into Miriam Hopkins. Although that’s when things get really fun, this is actually fairly good throughout. Davis plays Kit Marlowe, a critically respected but commercially unreliable novelist who returns to her hometown to visit her childhood friend Millie Drake (Hopkins). Inspired by the attention Kit’s mild success has gotten her, Millie transforms herself into a trash novelist and soon far surpasses Kit on the sales charts. The pair remain friends – albeit testy ones – as their careers progress. The question facing Old Acquaintance is whether or not, at heart, this is a work of Kit Marlowe or Millie Drake. Undeniably it’s more in line with a Drake paperback – especially in relation to the love triangle that develops among these two and Millie’s husband (John Loder) – yet Davis lends it just enough respectability, while still maintaining a light comic touch. Her Kit – who not only wears men’s ties, but also doesn’t bother with pajama bottoms – is a startlingly modern creation for 1943, and Davis clearly revels in the modernity. She’s the reason Old Acquaintance has any sense of newness.