27 user 7 critic

Du Barry Was a Lady (1943)

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

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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 »



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Complete credited cast:
Charlie / Dauphin (as 'Rags' Ragland)
Mr. Jones / Duc de Choiseul
Cheezy / Count de Roquefort
Tommy Dorsey
Tommy Dorsey & His Orchestra ...
Tommy Dorsey's 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


THE BIG SHOW is BIGGER THAN EVER! (original poster) See more »


Passed | See all certifications »




Release Date:

13 August 1943 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Gentleman's Choice  »


Box Office


$1,239,222 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$2,572,000, 31 December 1943

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$3,496,000, 31 December 1943
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


This film was first telecast in Philadelphia Wednesday 5 December 1956 on WFIL (Channel 6), followed by Seattle Friday 7 December 1956 on KING (Channel 5), and by Chicago Saturday 19 January 1957 on WBBM (Channel 2); in New York City it was first aired 4 August 1957 on WCBS (Channel 2), in Altoona PA 17 December 1957 on WFBG (Channel 10), in Los Angeles 10 April 1958 on KTTV (Channel 11), in San Francisco 2 November 1959 on KGO (Channel 7) and in Minneapolis 14 April 1960 on WTCN (Channel 11). At this time, color broadcasting was in its infancy, limited to only a small number of high rated programs, primarily on NBC and NBC affiliated stations, so these film showings were all still in B&W. Viewers were not offered the opportunity to see these films in their original Technicolor until several years later. See more »


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 »


Black Arrow: How embarrassing, to be found hiding behind a woman's skirts.
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Crazy Credits

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


Edited into American Masters: Gene Kelly: Anatomy of a Dancer (2002) See more »


DuBarry Was a Lady
Music by Burton Lane
Lyrics by Ralph Freed
Played during the opening credits
Sung by Lucille Ball (dubbed by Martha Mears) and chorus at the nightclub
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Lovely to look at but empty and dull musical
30 July 2008 | by See all my reviews

This 1943 Arthur Freed production had a great cast, gorgeous Technicolor, various personalities of the day like Tommy Dorsey (and Dick Haymes and Jo Stafford singing in the flashback sequence), but it's a rather boring film. It's a movie made for a person with the intellect of a fifth grader. I had to stop the film after an hour and watch it the next day to complete it, as my patience had reached its limit for the day. I will say that many musicals of the day had puerile plots, but this one really was on the lower half of the scale.

Lucy and Red, both talented, didn't strike me as all that funny. And Lucy singing with Rita Hayworth's voice double Martha Mears looked and sounded strange. When you're looking for Rita, and you get Lucy, it is quite the shock. I will admit that after checking my facts Martha sang for Lucy before she sang for Rita in Cover Girl one year later, but I still "heard" Rita singing.

Gene was good as always but I couldn't quite see why he wanted Lucy so much. She was beautiful but cold in an icy manner.

Clara "Auntie Em" Blandick had a small bit in a subway which was quite good. And Lana Turner also appears in the film in an uncredited cameo.

Virginia O'Brien, always fun, helped the proceedings as well.

If you're a fan of the MGM musical, you should see it, but it's not a film that will make a list of the top film musicals.

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