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A Damsel in Distress (1937)

7.0
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 1,094 users  
Reviews: 29 user | 14 critic

Lady Alyce Marshmorton must marry soon, and the staff of Tottney Castle have laid bets on who she'll choose, with young Albert wagering on "Mr. X." After Alyce goes to London to meet a beau... See full summary »

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(screen play), (screen play), 6 more credits »
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Title: A Damsel in Distress (1937)

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Jerry Halliday
...
...
...
Reginald Gardiner ...
Ray Noble ...
...
Montagu Love ...
Lord Marshmorton
Harry Watson ...
Albert
Jan Duggan ...
Miss Ruggles
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Storyline

Lady Alyce Marshmorton must marry soon, and the staff of Tottney Castle have laid bets on who she'll choose, with young Albert wagering on "Mr. X." After Alyce goes to London to meet a beau (bumping into dancer Jerry Halliday, instead), she is restricted to the castle to curb her scandalous behavior. Albert then summons Jerry to Alyce's aid in order to "protect his investment." Written by Diana Hamilton <hamilton@gl.umbc.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

With Sword in Hand He Goes to the Head of the Clash!. See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

19 November 1937 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Demoiselle en détresse  »

Box Office

Budget:

$1,035,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Victor System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the late Thirties, Fred Astaire's box-office appeal temporarily dimmed somewhat. This film has been labeled a financial disappointment. Following next, the final two Astaire-Ginger Rogers pairings of the decade failed to equal the hefty profits of their seven prior match-ups. See more »

Quotes

Gracie: [Gracie answers the telephone] It's a Hawaiian.
George: A Hawaiian?
Gracie: Well he must be. He says he's Brown from The Morning Sun.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Muppet Show: Madeline Kahn (1977) See more »

Soundtracks

The Jolly Tar and the Milkmaid
(1937) (uncredited)
Words by Ira Gershwin
Music by George Gershwin
Performed by Pearl Amatore, Betty Rome, Jack George, Fred Astaire, Jan Duggan,
Mary Dean, chorus
See more »

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User Reviews

 
RKO Gershwin dance-fest
22 December 2004 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Fred's first film for a while without Ginger was a money-loser for RKO, and it is easy to see why. The main problem is the lacklustre playing of young British actress Joan Fontaine, out of her depth in a film that requires her to be both alluring and a fitting dance partner for Astaire. That she is no dancer is made clear by George Stevens's ham-fisted direction of their one duet, using trees as bad camouflage for her lack of skill.

Aside from a fitting leading lady, though, there's quite a few things that keep you watching. Fred Astaire has some fine solo dance pieces to do, especially using percussion instruments. There's a lot of interplay with the talented comics George Burns and Gracie Allen, too, which lifts the pace a lot. One section has the three of them ending a Fun House trip by dancing in the Hall of Mirrors.

There's a good Gershwin score, including such gems as 'Nice Work If You Can Get It', and there's even an opera-loving butler, whose obsession comes to a head in a hugely enjoyable piece of humour. But 'A Damsel in Distress' is ultimately let down by the damsel, who doesn't measure up!


9 of 12 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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