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Du Barry Was a Lady (1943)

Passed | | Comedy, Fantasy, Musical | 13 August 1943 (USA)
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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.

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

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

The Musical Extravaganza That Tops "Great Ziegfeld" Glory! 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  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$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

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

"Du Barry Was a Lady" was adapted from a Broadway show that opened at the 46th Street Theatre on December 6, 1939 and ran for 408 performances. The opening night cast included Bert Lahr as Louis Blore, Ethel Merman as May Daly and Benny Baker, Betty Grable, Janice Carter, Adele Jergens, Tito Renaldo, Kay Sutton and Charles Walters. Much of the 'bathroom' humor (Lahr played a bathroom attendant) was not acceptable to the censors and was omitted from the movie. Later, Gypsy Rose Lee was a replacement cast member for Ethel Merman. See more »

Goofs

During the Du Barry bedroom scenes, Lucille Ball, playing Du Barry, can be seen wearing flat-heeled shoes while yelling at the guards, being chased around the room, and then hopping around on the bed. Then she is wearing strappy shoes with a small heel. See more »

Quotes

King Louis XV: Don't you know that kings can do no wrong?
Madame Du Barry: That's my plan!
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 De-Lovely (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

Salome
(1943)
Music by Roger Edens
Lyrics by E.Y. Harburg
Sung by Virginia O'Brien with Tommy Dorsey & His Orchestra (as Tommy Dorsey and His Orchestra)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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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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