11 user 5 critic

Lady for a Night (1942)

Passed | | Drama, Romance | 5 January 1942 (USA)
Gambling boat operator Jenny Blake throws over her gambler beau Jack Morgan in order to marry into high society.



(screen play), (screen play) (as Boyce Degaw) | 1 more credit »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Jackson Morgan
Philip Merivale ...
Stephen Alderson
Blanche Yurka ...
Julia Anderson
Alan Alderson
Edith Barrett ...
Katherine Alderson
Hattie Noel ...
Guy Usher ...
Ivan Miller ...
Mayor Dickson
Lew Payton ...


Gambling boat operator Jenny Blake throws over her gambler beau Jack Morgan in order to marry into high society. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


ANOTHER GREAT HEROINE - Remember JEZEBEL?...SCARLETT O'HARA?...Jenny Blake is another impulsive lass from the South who defied social conventions to satisfy her burning ambitions (original poster) See more »


Drama | Romance


Passed | See all certifications »




Release Date:

5 January 1942 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dama por una noche  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


This film inspired the name of one of the most famous World War 2 bombers, the B-17 "Memphis Belle", one of the first to complete a full combat tour of 25 missions against targets in Nazi Germany in May 1943. The aircraft was the namesake of pilot Captain Robert K. Morgan's sweetheart, Margaret Polk, a resident of Memphis, Tennessee. Morgan originally intended to call the B-17, Little One, after his pet name for her, but after Morgan and his co-pilot, Jim Verinis, saw this movie 'Lady for a Night', in which the leading character owns a riverboat named the Memphis Belle, he proposed that name to his crew.After their combat service the "Belle" and her crew were sent home on highly successful war bond tour. The "Belle" and her crew were also featured in an award winning 1944 documentary by William Wyler. See more »

Crazy Credits

Underneath the credits, there is some footage of extras dancing in front of the Alderson family's house. See more »


Ezekiel Saw De Wheel
Sung by Hattie Noel and black servants at The Shadow
Danced to by Dudley Dickerson, Paul White and others
See more »

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User Reviews

Not a top notch storyline, but worth seeing just the same.
13 November 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

OK, it wasn't an Academy Award winner. However, it did have many good elements to it. I'm not going to waste time telling you what it was about, you can read that in other comments. John Wayne was young and good looking, standing straight and tall. John Blondell was young and pretty. I remembered her in later movies after she had gotten older and a little heavier. Old man time sure beats the heck out of all of us.

Some people will raise and eyebrow at the plantation type scenes with the blacks dancing and singing. Did that go on? I don't know, but I wouldn't be surprised that after hard work in the fields, ANY people would be happy for the party time. Hattie Noel played the maid (Chloe) of Joan Blondell (Jenny). Chloe was funny and did an energetic job. Were these type parts demeaning for Blacks? Sure. But the way to look at it, is that it was the beginning of getting the foot in the door to show what you could do. There was a lot of talent in that singing and dancing. Nothing to be ashamed of, many a White person has played a demeaning part. The main thing is to showcase your talent. Hattie Noel may not have had the good fortune to be in Gone With The Wind, but she would have done quite nicely.

The best acting came from Edith Barrett who played the kinder Alderson sister Katherine. Some might call it overacting but I don't think that to be the case. You could feel her anguish between being torn by family loyalty, fear of her sister and doing the right thing. She gave a terrorized, impassioned performance.

Also enjoyable was John Blondell's singing performances as the part owner of the riverboat. In fact, she was so good that I wondered if a professional singer had dubbed her voice, even though I was aware of her own musical talents.

Blanche Yurka played the evil sister Julia, and how she could ooze evilness, with those eyes boring into anyone who crossed her. She hadn't changed much from her earlier days as Madame Defarge in A Tale of Two Cities.

Leonid Kinskey played John Wayne's bodyguard. Although Mr. Kinskey was always a good character actor (remember him as the funny bartender in Casablanca?), the reason for the part in the movie escapes me. I guess John Wayne needed a sidekick.

The rest of the cast was adequate, but nothing noteworthy that I can remember. Except of course for the can-can girls who really knew how to dance that thing with plenty of spirit.

OK, should you see it? If you have the movie or see it coming on the late show, no reason not to. The story is predicable and acting is adequate with a few who stand out as mentioned above. Don't watch it just to see John Wayne because the Duke was just being the Duke. And although the Duke is almost always fun to watch, this role didn't give him much room to do his thing. His part was overshadowed by larger parts going to Joan Blondell and the Alderson sisters. However, if you have the time, you will be entertained by a movie that is "not too bad" and "fairly enjoyable". There are some good acting parts and the singing and dancing routines are quite good too. I do not think you will be disappointed.

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