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Du Barry Was a Lady (1943) Poster

Trivia

Marie Blake is in studio records/casting call lists for a role in the movie, but she was not seen.
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MGM hairstylist Sydney Guilaroff dyed Lucille Ball's hair flame red for this film, the color that she kept for the rest of her life and became her trademark.
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Near the end of the movie when Red Skelton, as Louis, has an arrow stuck in his rear-end, as he pleads for it to be removed he cracks: "Hurry up, this thing is starting to pick up several radio stations already". Coincidentally, three decades later his co-star Lucille Ball went public claiming she could hear radio programs directly in her head when driving near radio transmission towers. She explained that the metal fillings in her teeth detected strong radio signals making them audible to her.
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Ann Sothern was supposed to have the role of May Daly (Madame Du Barry) but discovered she was pregnant. Lucille Ball was given her role instead.
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This was Zero Mostel's film debut.
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Although Lucille Ball was dubbed by Martha Mears in the performance of the title song, she did her own singing for "Friendship"--a song she would reprise years later on I Love Lucy (1951).
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"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.
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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).
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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.
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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.
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