Hopkins fights free-for-all, no holds barred. She kicks 'em when they're down, too. Davis--intelligent, self-denying Bette--turns the other cheek every time except one. (Anyone who is particularly interested in discovering how many times Bette muffed that one scene for the pleasure of the retakes is advised to address one of our more widely informed Hollywood experts.)

The feature which has come to be expected of a Bette Davis picture is adult, uncondescending dialogue. "Old Acquaintance" has more of it than Hollywood can usually scrape together, though 'ess than "Now, Voyager," for example. Most of this dialogue concerns the two loves of Bette, who here plays Katherine Marlowe, a modern and conscientious novelist. The first is the husband of her best friend (Miriam Hopkins) who "turns out her novels on a sausage grinder." The second is a dapper young man (Gig Young) whom she loses to Miriam's daughter. This latter part of the plot is weakened by its dependence on Gig Young's looks instead of on a character, and throughout the picture Miriam Hopkins has difficulty in making her role convincing. Even with these defects, however, the picture can command the rare praise of "intelligent entertainment.' '