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Lady of the Tropics (1939)

Passed  -  Drama | Romance  -  11 August 1939 (USA)
6.2
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Ratings: 6.2/10 from 227 users  
Reviews: 14 user | 3 critic

Playboy Bill Carey woos a half-caste beauty in French Indochina, but her second-class legal status makes a formidable barrier.

Directors:

, (uncredited)

Writer:

(screen play)
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Title: Lady of the Tropics (1939)

Lady of the Tropics (1939) on IMDb 6.2/10

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Test your knowledge of Lady of the Tropics.
Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Bill Carey
...
Manon DeVargnes
...
Pierre Delaroch
Gloria Franklin ...
Nina
Ernest Cossart ...
Father Antoine
Mary Zimbalist ...
Dolly Harrison (as Mary Taylor)
Charles Trowbridge ...
Alfred Z. Harrison
Frederick Worlock ...
Colonel Demassey
Paul Porcasi ...
Lamartine
Marguerita Padula ...
Madame Kya (as Margaret Padula)
Cecil Cunningham ...
Countess Berichi
Natalie Moorhead ...
Mrs. Hazlitt
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Storyline

A party of yachting jet-setters visit French Saigon, where they meet lovely Manon deVargnes, a second-class citizen not allowed to leave the country due to her part-Oriental ancestry. When the others leave, playboy Bill Carey stays behind to woo Manon; but all his efforts to get her out of the country with him run into a brick wall. And Pierre Delaroch, her wealthy former admirer, waits for him to give up... Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Hedy Lamarr set the world aflame with her beauty in "Algiers" ! Now you see her in the arms of a dashing Bob Taylor !

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

11 August 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Lady of the Tropics  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Leslie Fenton filled in as director for some added scenes when Jack Conway became ill. See more »

Connections

Featured in From the Ends of the Earth (1939) See more »

Soundtracks

Ai tuoi piedi son
(uncredited)
from "Manon Lescaut" (1893)
Music by Giacomo Puccini
Libretto by Domenico Oliva and Luigi Illica
Performed by uncredited singers at the opera
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Rather pretty to look at, but ultimately completely empty
3 April 2008 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

Despite a large budget and the usual MGM gloss, this is not a particularly good movie. Perhaps when it debuted in 1939 people knew nothing of Vietnam--this is the only way I can explain the insane casting of the Viennese Hedy Lamar as a woman who is half Vietnamese! Now if the casting of Austrian-born actress in the lead was the only problem, the movie still could have been interesting. However, the film has many more strikes against it--most notably the very, very limited range of the starlet in this film. Much of the time, she utters her lines as if almost half asleep and had practically no emotion to her performance. Part of this might have been because she was relatively new to America or perhaps she needed better direction. All I know is that she was beautiful to look at but rather vacant.

To make things worse, although she is NOT a rich woman in the film, repeatedly she sports gowns that were right out of Vogue magazine--yet she is supposed to live in Vietnam, not Paris. Now the movie seemed to imply she was possibly a prostitute or a mistress--but even then, it seemed silly to have her traipsing around in one glamorous gown after another in a third world nation. One reviewer faulted the problem with the movie to be Robert Taylor's fault--I think it was all Hedy's.

The bottom line is that aside from saying the film was set in Vietnam, you'd never guess it by watching the film. It is instead a sanitized and ridiculous Vietnam as seen by Hollywood.

As for the plot, it's only okay. In many ways it's a bit reminiscent of Robert Taylor's earlier film, CAMILLE, as both are about fated romances. Most audience members will figure out rather quickly that this romance will not end well! So due to predictability, the plot wasn't able to counteract the lousy casting decisions. While I disliked the film, it seems most other reviews were very positive--so who's to say you may not enjoy it.

By the way, just who or what was Joseph Schildkraut supposed to be in the film?! With his silly fake eyelids and lack of any conventional accent, I was left confused. Again, maybe 1930s Hollywood thought it was okay to say pretty much ANYTHING or ANYONE was Vietnamese--after all, who in the audience at the time would have known differently?


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