Lady for a Day (1933)

TV-G  |   |  Comedy  |  13 September 1933 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 2,611 users  
Reviews: 29 user | 17 critic

A gangster tries to make Apple Annie, the Times Square apple seller, a lady for a day.



(screen play and dialogue), (from the story by)
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Nominated for 4 Oscars. See more awards »
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Complete credited cast:
Glenda Farrell ...
Ned Sparks ...
Halliwell Hobbes ...
Hobart Bosworth ...
Robert Emmett O'Connor ...


Apple Annie is an indigent woman who has always written to her daughter in Spain that she is a member of New York's high society. With her daughter suddenly en route to America with her new fiancé and his father, a member of Spain's aristocracy, Annie must continue her pretense of wealth or the count will not give his blessing. She gets unexpected help from Dave the Dude, a well-known figure in underground circles who considers Annie his good luck charm, and who obtains for her a luxury apartment to entertain the visitors - but this uncharacteristic act of kindness from a man with a disreputable reputation arouses suspicions, leading to complications which further cause things to not always go quite as planned. Written by Paul Donahue

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Takes its place among the greatest pictures ever made!




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Release Date:

13 September 1933 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Beggar's Holiday  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Capra's choice to play Apple Annie was MGM's big box office draw, Marie Dressler, but studio boss Harry Cohn rejected the request and cast May Robson instead. Ironically Robson, who had just played a supporting role to Dressler in "Dinner at Eight," received an Oscar nomination for "Lady for a Day." See more »


The position of the pool/billiard balls changes between shots in both the pool hall scene and the billiard room scene (obviously to set up the trick shots that follow). See more »


Happy McGuire: Enough tears around here to float a battleship.
See more »


Referenced in Law & Order: Criminal Intent: Phantom (2002) See more »


I Want a Man
Composers unknown
Sung by Glenda Farrell and danced by chorus girls in Missouri Martin's nightclub
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User Reviews

Depression-Era Fairy Tale
17 January 2003 | by (Midnight Movie Land) – See all my reviews

This movie must have played very well to depression-era audiences. The story of an apple seller who has been lying to her daughter who has done well for herself in Europe is sweet, heart touching and funny.

Great, quotable lines in the script, well written. The outdoors night photography is luminous, everything seems to glow, a scene in an outdoor garden with the daughter and her fiancee kissing behind a glass water fountain is beautiful to this day.

The ideas of friends and strangers coming to a needy person's aid prefigures such later Capra classics as "It's A Wonderful Life". In fact, they would make an excellent double feature together.

In our cynical times, movies like this can be seen as hokey, in fact the name Capra was frequently turned into Capra-corn, even in his day. But the fact that his movies are still treasured and enjoyed today shows that goodness is still an enduring quality and that being drawn to goodness and fairy tales like this gives us hope that those feelings are still in us.

Recommended highly.

20 of 23 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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a lot of slow patches, creaks, not one of his best danielj_old999
A bettere version jnlife
Hey Help! This isn't a Warner Bros. picture?? bettiegia
Is there a stage version? Neilthor
Re: Happy McGuire batgirlmonkey
Felt sorry for Oscar, fired hotel man who helped Annie luverofmovies
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