24 user 7 critic

Du Barry Was a Lady (1943)

Passed | | Comedy, Fantasy, Musical | 13 August 1943 (USA)
2:10 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

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.



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

People who liked this also liked... 

Musical | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Two vaudeville performers fall in love, but find their relationship tested by the arrival of WWI.

Director: Busby Berkeley
Stars: Judy Garland, George Murphy, Gene Kelly
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Drama | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Acrobat Eddie Marsh is in the army now. His first act is to become friendly with Kathryn Jones, the colonel's pretty daughter. Their romance hits a few snags, including disapproval from her... See full summary »

Director: George Sidney
Stars: Kathryn Grayson, Gene Kelly, Mary Astor
Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

The Wolves baseball team gets steamed when they find they've been inherited by one K.C. Higgins, a suspected "fathead" who intends to take an active interest in running the team. But K.C. ... See full summary »

Director: Busby Berkeley
Stars: Frank Sinatra, Esther Williams, Gene Kelly
Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

The late, great impresario Florenz Ziegfeld looks down from heaven and ordains a new revue in his grand old style.

Directors: Lemuel Ayers, Roy Del Ruth, and 5 more credits »
Stars: William Powell, Judy Garland, Lucille Ball
The Pirate (1948)
Adventure | Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A girl is engaged to the local richman, but meanwhile she has dreams about the legendary pirate Macoco. A traveling singer falls in love with her and to impress her he poses as the pirate.

Director: Vincente Minnelli
Stars: Judy Garland, Gene Kelly, Walter Slezak
Certificate: Passed Musical | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Lucille Ball accepts a cadet's invitation to a military academy's senior prom in order to boost her career.

Director: Edward Buzzell
Stars: Lucille Ball, William Gaxton, Virginia Weidler
Summer Stock (1950)
Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A small-town farmer, down on her luck, finds her homestead invaded by a theatrical troupe invited to stay by her ne'er-do-well sister.

Director: Charles Walters
Stars: Judy Garland, Gene Kelly, Eddie Bracken
Girl Crazy (1943)
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Rich kid Danny Churchill (Rooney) has a taste for wine, women and song, but not for higher education. So his father ships him to an all-male college out West where there's not supposed to ... See full summary »

Directors: Norman Taurog, Busby Berkeley
Stars: Mickey Rooney, Judy Garland, Gil Stratton
Certificate: Passed Drama | Music | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Little Pinks is in love with a nightclub singer named Gloria. But it is a unrequited love as she does not know that he exists. Pinks is a shy busboy and Gloria only goes out with men who ... See full summary »

Director: Irving Reis
Stars: Henry Fonda, Lucille Ball, Barton MacLane
Lady Be Good (1941)
Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Songwriters Dixie Donegan and Eddie Crane are still in love after their divorce. Dixie's friend Marilyn Marsh tries to convince them to marry again, but this isn't that easy.

Directors: Norman Z. McLeod, Busby Berkeley
Stars: Eleanor Powell, Ann Sothern, Robert Young
Biography | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Biography of songwriter, Broadway pioneer, Jerome Kern. Unable to find immediate success in the USA, Kern sought recognition abroad. He journeyed to England where his dreams of success became real and where he met his future wife Eva.

Directors: Richard Whorf, Vincente Minnelli, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Robert Walker, Van Heflin, Lucille Bremer
Comedy | Fantasy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Two sailors, one naive, the other experienced in the ways of the world, on liberty in Los Angeles, is the setting for this movie musical.

Director: George Sidney
Stars: Frank Sinatra, Kathryn Grayson, Gene Kelly


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


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


More scintillating stars - more gorgeous girls - more peppy dancing - more pulsing rhythms - more fun and funsters - than you've even seen before in the year's giant entertainment! (original Herald) See more »


Passed | See all certifications »




Release Date:

13 August 1943 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Gentleman's Choice  »

Box Office


$1,239,222 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


When the swami (Zero Mostel) makes mock-love to Mrs. McGowan (Kay Aldridge) as if she were Hedy Lamarr, he's parodying Charles Boyer, particularly his role as Pepe le Moko in Algiers (1938). See more »


During the scene in Madame Du Barry's boudoir when King Louis XV is chasing Du Barry around the dressing table, a man sitting in a chair can be seen reflected in the mirror. See more »


Charlie: Hey, Slim! Watch your hat? Watch your derby?
See more »

Crazy Credits

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


Referenced in De-Lovely (2004) See more »


Written by Cole Porter
Sung by Red Skelton, Lucille Ball (dubbed by Martha Mears), Gene Kelly,
Virginia O'Brien, Tommy Dorsey, Rags Ragland and Zero Mostel, with Tommy Dorsey & His Orchestra (as Tommy Dorsey 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.

11 of 13 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
The Vargas Girls dms82683
Did Lucy sing? alismoot
Zero Mostel.........Wow oldsenior
Discuss Du Barry Was a Lady (1943) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: