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A Damsel in Distress (1937)

Approved | | Comedy, Musical, Romance | 19 November 1937 (USA)
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) | 2 more credits »
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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Ray Noble ...
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Harry Watson ...
Albert
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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:

Hold your heart and tap your toes! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

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Release Date:

19 November 1937 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Demoiselle en d├ętresse  »

Box Office

Budget:

$1,035,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Victor System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The song "Put Me To The Test" was used as an instrumental in this film, but Ira Gershwin had written lyrics to it, and when the Technicolor musical film "Cover Girl" was made in 1944, composer Jerome Kern fitted his own tune to the already existing lyrics, and the newly revised song was sung and danced in that film by Gene Kelly. See more »

Quotes

Gracie: It's lots of fun having fun, even if you don't enjoy it!
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Connections

Referenced in Mystery Science Theater 3000: Manhunt in Space (1992) See more »

Soundtracks

I Can't Be Bothered Now
(1937) (uncredited)
Words by Ira Gershwin
Music by George Gershwin
Song and dance performed by Fred Astaire
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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!


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