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Lady with Red Hair (1940)

Approved | | Biography, Drama | 30 November 1940 (USA)
A messy divorce leaves Mrs. Leslie Carter shunned by Chicago society for being an adulteress and forbidden from having custody of her son. She's determined to return to her hometown in a ... See full summary »

Director:

(as Kurt Bernhardt)

Writers:

(screen play), (screen play) | 3 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Richard Ainley ...
Laura Hope Crews ...
Mrs. Dudley
Helen Westley ...
Mrs. Frazier
...
Charles Bryant
Mona Barrie ...
Mrs. Brooks
...
Mr. Clifton
...
Mr. Chapman
Fritz Leiber ...
Mr. Foster
...
Dudley Carter (as Johnnie Russell)
...
Henry DeMille
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Storyline

A messy divorce leaves Mrs. Leslie Carter shunned by Chicago society for being an adulteress and forbidden from having custody of her son. She's determined to return to her hometown in a few years as a success and with enough money to fight to get her son back. In order to realize her plans, she heads to New York with ambitions of being a great actress. Despite having no stage training, producer David Belasco becomes attracted to her and becomes intent on making her a star, as well as winning her heart. Written by Daniel Bubbeo <dbubbeo@cmp.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

30 November 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Mulher de Cabelos Vermelhos  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Louis Payne, the husband of Mrs. Leslie Carter in real life, coached Richard Ainley, who was playing him in the movie. See more »

Goofs

None of the Broadway plays mentioned in the movie were performed by nm0141838. Her Broadway debut was in a play called "The Ugly Duckling" in 1890, not "The Way of Beauty." Her second play was "Zaza," not "The Lady From France." It is not known why the names of her plays were changed. See more »

Quotes

Mrs. Leslie Carter: Actors aren't supposed to be human beings, are they? They're strange animals always on exhibition.
David Belasco: Caroline!
Mrs. Leslie Carter: Why people love to admire them as they would a good bit of horseflesh, or a brilliant peacock spreading its feathers.
See more »

Soundtracks

Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star
(uncredited)
Traditional
Played offscreen at the start of Miss Humbert's school sequence
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A MUST for Claude Rains fans!
16 September 1998 | by (New York, NY) – See all my reviews

As a biographical film, "The Lady With Red Hair" (the story of how director /producer/playwright David Belasco transformed notorious society divorcee Mrs. Leslie Carter into an international stage star) is certainly not in a league with that other Warner's biopic of similar vintage, "Yankee Doodle Dandy" (what is?), but "Lady" is an enjoyable film in its own right--AND shares quite a few traits in common with the Cagney classic.

Like "Yankee Doodle Dandy," "The Lady With Red Hair" brims over with old -time show-business flavor. (Among other things, both films feature delicious theatrical boarding-house sequences as well as the inevitable scenes set backstage and in theatrical managers' offices.) Also, in "Lady" as in the Cohan biopic, the supporting cast is made up of familiar and beloved character actors of the period, all doing the sort of top-notch work we remember them for.

Need I add that, again like "Yankee Doodle Dandy," "The Lady With Red Hair" doesn't let the truth get in the way of telling a good story? But, also like "Dandy," "Lady" does manage--gloriously!--to convey the esssence of its show-business-giant hero's larger-than-life personality. Everyone knows that Cagney limned Cohan for all time in his brilliant and affectionate portrayal in "Yankee Doodle Dandy"--but few moviegoers realize that Claude Rains did a similar service for David Belasco in "The Lady With Red Hair"- -and did it with a panache that almost equals Cagney's.

Rains-as-Belasco perfectly captures that legendary showman's galvanic personality in all its outsized glory. Rains gives a tremendously enjoyable , superbly observed, and remarkably true-to-life performance as the man all Broadway once called "The Wizard." To watch Claude Rains in action (looking in every shot as if he's having a helluva good time!) in "The Lady With Red Hair" is to see David Belasco leap to life on film as if he can't wait to shake things up on the Main Stem once again.


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