6.7/10
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12 user 8 critic

The Great Man's Lady (1942)

A 100-year-old pioneer woman tells her story in flashbacks.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (original story) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Ethan Hoyt
...
Steely Edwards
...
Girl Biographer (as Katharine Stevens)
...
Mr. Sempler
...
Mr. Cadwallader
Etta McDaniel ...
Delilah
...
Frisbee
...
Senator Knobs
...
Mandy
...
Bettina
...
Persis
...
City Editor
...
Senator Grant
...
Pogey
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Storyline

In Hoyt City, a statue of founder Ethan Hoyt is dedicated, and 100 year old Hannah Sempler Hoyt (who lives in the last residence among skyscrapers) is at last persuaded to tell her story to a 'girl biographer'. Flashback: in 1848, teenage Hannah meets and flirts with pioneer Ethan; on a sudden impulse, they elope. We follow their struggle to found a city in the wilderness, hampered by the Gold Rush, star-crossed love, peril, and heartbreak. The star "ages" 80 years. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

GREAT...in its inspired romance! GREAT...in its stirring adventure! GREAT...in its flawless performance! (original print ad) See more »

Genres:

Drama | Western | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

26 February 1942 (Mexico)  »

Also Known As:

L'inspiratrice  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

"Lux Radio Theater" broadcast a 60 minute radio adaptation of the movie on June 28, 1943 with Barbara Stanwyck reprising her film role. See more »

Goofs

When the Hoyts stand at the sight of their future city, they're at the foot of a hill, but moments later they're on top of a hill. See more »

Quotes

Hannah Sempler: Spring never comes again, Ethan. Perhaps in the Indian Summer we'll meet once more.
See more »

Soundtracks

Battle Hymn of the Republic
(uncredited)
Music by William Steffe and lyrics by Julia Ward Howe (1862)
Based on melody from "John Brown's Body"
Sung on soundtrack during Hoyt's death scene and under end titles.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
For Business Reasons?
8 January 2008 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

Joel McCrea and Barbara Stanwyck made six films together, the most they did respectively with other leads. The Great Man's Lady while not the best example of their joint work is certainly one interesting if somewhat incredible film.

I can certainly see what attracted Stanwyck to a role that was part Maytime and part any number of Edna Ferber like tales of empire builders. Stanwyck is certainly a better actress than Jeanette MacDonald and she really does carry off the part of the 107 year old pioneer woman who is telling a young reporter about her most interesting life.

Like in Cimarron, McCrea and Stanwyck start out for the west in the 1840s in search of opportunity and like in Cimarron the woman is being taken from a life of ease and comfort to become a pioneer. The film shows how very useful she was to him.

Albeit even with her conservative politics in real life, Stanwyck was a feminist icon and in the 19th century without even the right to vote, women held a far different position than they do legally now. What help she renders to McCrea is on the unofficial side. But as the story unfolds she contributes mightily to his rise to fame and power and sacrifices EVERYTHING for him.

I'd like to give the film a higher rating, but the thing that totally throws me is the part her father plays in her ultimate decision. Thurston Hall is Stanwyck's father and he's a typical robber baron of the era. But I can't see any father asking his daughter to do what she did for business reasons. It makes the whole story quite bizarre.

McCrea and Stanwyck liked each other personally and professionally. In Tony Thomas's book about Joel McCrea based on interviews he did with him in the Eighties, McCrea said that Barbara Stanwyck was his favorite leading lady. She was thoroughly professional and helpful to every other cast member in any film she was in. He had no qualms in saying that The Great Man's Lady is her film all the way.

It's far from her best film, but for Barbara Stanwyck fans it's one of her best performances.


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