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 »
Mary Rutledge arrives from the east, finds her fiance dead, and goes to work at the roulette wheel of Louis Charnalis' Bella Donna, a rowdy gambling house in San Francisco in the 1850s. She... See full summary »
Edward G. Robinson,
A brilliant but impoverished writer, who is a pacifist, goes to work for a publisher and writes anti-war editorials. When he discovers that the publisher has betrayed him and is in league ... See full summary »
Dorothy Hunter is an heiress of untold wealth. She believes no one will love her for herself and not for her money, so she pretends to be her secretary Sylvia while Sylvia pretends to be ... See full summary »
This first film version of "The Children's Hour" uses a heterosexual triangle rather than the play's lesbian theme. The plot concerns schoolteachers Karen Wright and Martha Dobie, both of ... See full summary »
Nicole Picot is working as a model in a Paris dress salon when she is picked by Stefan Orloff to help him convince a wealthy investor that he is well connected. She is to wear an expensive ... See full summary »
At a convention, medical researcher Michel Touzac goes with colleagues to see stage caricaturist Targel, whose assistant Florence recognizes him...and attempts suicide. Saved by Touzac's ... See full summary »
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
None of the Broadway plays mentioned in the movie were performed by Mrs. Leslie Carter. 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 »
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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