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Lady for a Night (1942)

 -  Drama | Romance  -  5 January 1942 (USA)
5.9
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Ratings: 5.9/10 from 219 users  
Reviews: 9 user | 5 critic

Gambling boat operator Jenny Blake throws over her gambler beau Jack Morgan in order to marry into high society. When her husband is killed in an attempt on her life, she is charged with ... See full summary »

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(screenplay), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Jenny Blake
...
Philip Merivale ...
Stephen Alderson
Blanche Yurka ...
Julia Anderson
Ray Middleton ...
Alan Alderson
Edith Barrett ...
Katherine Alderson
Leonid Kinskey ...
Boris
Hattie Noel ...
Chloe
Montagu Love ...
Judge
...
Mrs. Dickson
Dorothy Burgess ...
Flo
Guy Usher ...
Governor
Ivan Miller ...
Mayor Dickson
Patricia Knox ...
Mabel
Lew Payton ...
Edit

Storyline

Gambling boat operator Jenny Blake throws over her gambler beau Jack Morgan in order to marry into high society. When her husband is killed in an attempt on her life, she is charged with his murder. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

FROM THE DEEP ROMANTIC SOUTH COMES ANOTHER THRILLING DRAMA OF LOVE AND INTRIGUE (original one-sheet poster) See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

5 January 1942 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dama por uma Noite  »

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?

Crazy Credits

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

Soundtracks

Dixie's Land
(uncredited)
Written by Daniel Decatur Emmett (1860)
Played in the Mardi Gras show
See more »

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User Reviews

A forgettable piece of 'drama and song' style entertainment that is average in almost every way
9 November 2004 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Jenny Blake is the owner of a river boat for gambling, dancing, drinking and women – suffice to say that she is not really accepted into polite society in the way she always dreamed of being. So when she is voted the Queen of the Mardi Gras, Jenny is overjoyed, only to be upset when she learns that her business partner Jack Morgan helped her by rigging the whole contest. So whenever drunken plantation owner Alan Alderson gets into serious debt with the gambling boat Jenny proposes to wipe out the debts in return for his hand in marriage and the fast track into high class society. However, not all those in that circle are that happy with her sudden rise above her station, especially Aunt Julia who is determined to get rid of her by any means necessary.

I cannot remember why I decided to tape this film and, now that I've watched it I still have no idea – although I'm sure it was down to some sort of obsessive compulsion than any great attraction of the film! Anyway, the plot is a simple one of social climbing where Jenny tries to get away from her own level only to find that those above her don't want her to climb. You pretty much know where it is going from the first 20 minutes, although the plot still manages to be unlikely as well as predictable. It is nothing special but it isn't awful or annoying – it is just rather bland. The drama side is plodding and obvious, while the comedy is laugh free and relies more on energy than anything else. The couple of songs act well as distraction and filler but they are only OK. These produce a film that just looks to keep you happy for about 90 minutes but not do anything special during that time or have any impact past the end credits.

The characters are very simply painted in the script and are simply delivered by the cast. Blondell is OK but she is hardly 'trash' is she and we never doubt what will happen to her ideals by the end. Wayne is a secondary character who's only purpose is to be a decent man who turns up every 10 minutes to help Blondell in some way. The support cast of Aldersons are very much join the dots and the actors are only average. There are a large amount of black characters, with two main ones in comedy roles – modern audiences may find them hard to watch because they are ethnic stereotypes that are overplayed for comedic effect. At first I was a bit taken aback by this (although I know it is of its time) but then I thought about modern movies that do the same thing (albeit with a cooler, hip hop, ebonics stereotype) and wondering if, in 50 years, that these films would be viewed as rather racist. Anyway, it was interesting to see the stereotypes but I must admit to have been a bit caught off guard when John Wayne threatened to send Hattie Noel 'back to Africa'!

Overall this is an instantly forgettable movie that only wants to keep you semi-entertained for the running time without doing anything special or making a lasting impression. Maybe it is the presence of John Wayne that has meant it still pops up on television with some regularity because other than that I really have no clue as to why it has not been just forgotten by time.


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