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Josef von Sternberg
Anna May Wong
Bold, eccentric Broadway performer Liza Madden befuddles her handlers by coming home with a baby she picked up on the street. She wants to keep the baby but has to find a husband to make adoption viable. Why not her new obstetrician Dr. McBain? She offers him help with his research on rabbits in exchange for marriage - and he accepts. The mismatched pair begin a marriage of convenience... Written by
Gary Jackson <email@example.com>
Early in the shooting, Marlene Dietrich tripped while carrying child-actor David James. She twisted her body to save the baby from striking the floor, but severely injured her right ankle in a fall, and her entire right leg had to be placed in a cast. That's why in this film she is always shown in full-length outfits (gowns, slacks, etc.) and just one shot of her unclothed leg is seen, and that is in shadow. See more »
After the date, when at home(at about 01:00:30), the glass and the bottle of milk exchange places in Fred MacMurray's hands when going to the baby's room from the kitchen. See more »
I'd do anything for you. I'll write notes for you, I'll defraud managers for you, I'll steal babies for you. I'll do anything for you, but I won't marry you.
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The film's title appears on a billboard; and the opening credits are printed in a theatrical program. See more »
Marlene Dietrich is the lady in "The Lady is Willing," a 1942 film also starring Fred MacMurray and Arline Judge. The beautiful Dietrich plays a musical star, Liza Madden, who walks off with an abandoned baby and takes him home. Though Liza lives well, she owes a fortune to the IRS and gives all of her money away, and she won't be able to adopt the child unless she's either married or solvent. She convinces a pediatrician (MacMurray) to marry her. He does, and they adopt the baby, now called Corey. The marriage is supposed to be in name only, but you know how those things go.
"The Lady is Willing" is not much of a story or a movie, but Dietrich is just stunning, and her acting is charming. She creates a very lovable character. MacMurray, as the doctor who falls in love with her, turns in a good performance. He's part of a dumb subplot involving rabbits that is dropped along the way. Dietrich's assistant is played by Arline Judge and her maid by Marietta Canty and they are both excellent in their roles. It's just too bad all of these good people had to be in this particular story.
Obviously, the baby in question (David James) is unaware that the story is weak; he laughs and plays with telephone cords, Dietrich's hats and smiles at everyone. Just adorable.
Definitely worth it for Dietrich and her fashions, and if you like kids, little Corey. Interestingly, one of Dietrich's famous legs was in a cast for part of the film, though it's not noticeable.
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