6.4/10
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27 user 7 critic

Du Barry Was a Lady (1943)

Passed | | Comedy, Fantasy, Musical | 13 August 1943 (USA)
A night club's coatroom attendant who's in-love with the club's singer accidentally sips a drugged drink that makes him dream he's French King Louis XV courting the infamous Madame Du Barry.

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Writers:

(play), (play) (as B.G. DeSylva) | 3 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
May Daly / Madame Du Barry
...
Alec Howe / Black Arrow
...
Ginny
...
Charlie / Dauphin (as 'Rags' Ragland)
...
Rami - the Swami / Taliostra
...
Mr. Jones / Duc de Choiseul
...
Willie / Duc de Rigor
...
Cheezy / Count de Roquefort
...
Niagara
...
Tommy Dorsey & His Orchestra ...
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Storyline

Hat check man Louis Blore is in love with nightclub star May Daly. May, however, is love with a poor dancer, but wants to marry for money. When Louis wins the Irish Sweepstakes, he asks May to marry him and she accepts even though she doesn't love him. Soon after, Louis has an accident and gets knocked on the head, where he dreams that he's King Louis XV pursuing the infamous Madame Du Barry. Written by Daniel Bubbeo <dbubbeo@cmp.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Broadway's might tune-jammed fun-show is M-G-M's biggest musical screen sensation now! (original poster) See more »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

13 August 1943 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Gentleman's Choice  »

Box Office

Budget:

$1,239,222 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The automobile Louis wins is a 1942 Cadilllac convertible, the last one marketed before civilian automobile production was abandoned in favor of military vehicles at the start of World War 2. Louis's enthusiasm for the tires is a result of the fact that new tires were next to impossible to acquire, also because of wartime shortages. See more »

Goofs

At one point during May Daly''s opening song, Louis is sitting behind the hat check counter admiring her. He has his chin resting on his left hand, which he removes twice when someone come up to the counter. See more »

Quotes

Dauphin: Get your Daily Chopping Guide! You can't tell which head is which without a program!
See more »

Crazy Credits

The Three Oxford Boys are credited orally by the MC ('Gene Kelly') as The Oxford Boys. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Lucy (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

(I've Grown So Lonely) Thinking of You
(1926)
Written by Walter Donaldson and Paul Ash
Performed by The Three Oxford Boys imitating Kay Kyser and His Orchestra
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
A Memorable and Beautifully-Crafted Romp Pure Musical Entertainment
10 March 2007 | by See all my reviews

The Roy Del Ruth directed romp "Du Barry Was Lady" from 1943 I suggest is one of the most imitated of all cinematic musicals. Its sincere main storyline involving dancer lovestruck Gene Kelly with gorgeous Lucille Ball and funnnyman Red Skelton with Virginia O'Brien is solidly presented. But this Sam Goldwyn style extravagance then blossoms out to include an extended dream-fantasy sequence. The later frenetic pageant stars all the characters in a royal French misadventure with Kelly as a rebel against the corrupt King, Ball as the infamous Du Barry who falls for the handsome "Black Arrow", her chief enemy, and Red Skelton as the dreamer and inept french King Louis XV. The immense cast also includes Rags Ragland, an early Zero Mostel as the Swami, powerful Douglass Dumbrille as Kelly's rival, Donald Meek, George Givot, talented actress Louise Beavers as a lovable but bossy maid, Niagara, and the Tommy Dorsey orchestra with the Pied Pipers, at this time including Dick Haymes and Jo Stafford, plus the Goldwyn Girls. The script for this expensive and lovely musical excuse for two hours' entertainment was supplied from a play by Herbert Fields and Buddy DeSylva, adapted by Nancy Hamilton. the screenplay was provided by Irving Brecher, with additional dialogue by Wilkie Mahoney. If the viewer looks closely, one can perhaps spot Marilyn Maxwell as a Goldwyn Girl, Ava Gardner (somwhere in the background), and fine actors Emory Parnell, Kay Aldridge and Grace Albertson in bit parts. Dorsey's orchestra is given several fine numbers, featuring his many talented sidemen. But the film belongs to the Kelly-Ball mismatch and to Red Skelton, being pursued by O'Brien. The producer was Arthur Freed, who employed Karl Freund's lucid cinematography, memorable art direction of the great Cedric Gibbons, Edmund Willis's elaborate set decorations done with Henry Grace, Gile Steel's male costumes and lovely female counterparts designed by Irene Sharaff, Sydney Guilaroff's difficult hair styles and Jack Dawn's inspired makeup. Music I suggest dominates much of the film; so, mention should be made of the orchestrations by Leo Arnaud and Axel Stordahl, done with George Bassman and music adaptor Roger Edens. Sy Oliver was also involved in orchestrations along with musical director George E. Stoll. Charles Waters is credited with the choreography, including several very fine production numbers. After not having seen the film for many years, I found its theatrical basis only a bit confining--the entire main film takes place in a large nightclub the performances more than adequate and the technicolor of this production absolutely lovely. Ball is much better in the French dream sequence I judge than in the more dramatic central plot; Kelly and Skelton acquit themselves very winningly; and Dumbrille and Mostel dominate every scene they are allowed to play. This can be a most enjoyable film, I suggest, for those in the mood for pure entertainment with a stronger story line than is usual for such 1930s and 1940s extravaganzas staged by Hollywood's studio tsars.


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