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The Lady in Question is noted in cinema history as the first film to feature both Rita Hayworth and Glenn Ford. However it's not their film, both are second and third billed respectively below Brian Aherne.
Columbia Pictures remade the French film Gibouille which had been done the year earlier with Raimu and Michele Morgan in the roles that Aherne and Rita had. In fact Gibouille was what launched Michele Morgan's career in French cinema.
Knowing that I think a lot of the film's humor and innuendo probably got lost on the transatlantic voyage. Aherne is a bicycle shop owner who has been picked for jury duty and is determined to take his responsibilities quite seriously. He gets on a case with Rita as a defendant who is accused of murdering her fiancé. Aherne's questions to her and his forceful advocacy of her, earn Rita an acquittal.
But Brian's not finished. He offers to give her any kind of help she needs because while she has a legal acquittal, she's got a reputation like O.J.'s. Aherne takes her in which causes all kinds of complications with his wife, Irene Rich, son Glenn Ford, daughter Evelyn Keyes, and her fiancé Edward Norris.
The Lady in Question is probably done in by the infamous Code firmly in place in Hollywood. Stuff that the French cinema could and did do, were forbidden here. Columbia also had to keep it in the French setting because of the differences between their jury system and our's.
Still Rita and Glenn do shine together, although no one I'm sure would ever have predicted their mega-hit Gilda six years later. Actually Edward Norris has the nicest performance as the no good rat of a fiancé that Keyes has, who tries to put the make on Rita.
It's a pleasant enough film, but I'm betting the original French version must be infinitely better.
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