An 18th century London wench gets involved with the nobility.



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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Sir Hugh Marcy
Brett Harwood Earl of Carstairs
Duke of Malmunster
Thomas Gainsborough
Lady Susan Dowitt
Jonathan Selby
Old Meg
Gordon Richards ...
Michael Dyne ...
Prince of Wales
Edgar Norton ...
Earl of Campton
Patricia Cameron ...
Elaine Carlisle
Percival Vivian ...
Dr. Holt
Mary Gordon ...


London, 1783: Kitty, a saucy wench of the slums, meets the painter Gainsborough by stealing his shoes. He paints her as an "anonymous lady" who excites the interest of his noble friends, notably penniless Sir Hugh Marcy, who schemes to pass Kitty off as a genuine lady (a formidable task) and marry her off for financial gain. But Kitty has her own ideas about the uses of matrimony. Lots of decolletage. Written by Rod Crawford <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


She made a career out of love.


Drama | History


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Release Date:

25 January 1946 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La duchesse des bas-fonds  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


"Lux Radio Theater" broadcast a 60 minute radio adaptation of the movie on February 24, 1947 with Paulette Goddard reprising her film role. See more »


Dobson: Here, take this tea up to her ladyship.
Kitty: How'll I find 'er?
Dobson: Drunk as usual.
See more »


Music by Jean-Philippe Rameau
Danced by uncredited actress (character Signorina Baccelli)
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User Reviews

Better than "My Fair Lady"!
11 May 1999 | by (San Francisco) – See all my reviews

I remembered this one from TV a hundred years ago. Paulette Goddard has the title role, and she is quite beautiful and completely convincing. Real-er than Eliza Doolittle, she slips in and out'a Houndsditch slang, but she is never comic or plays it broad. She is a lady long before she marries into royalty.

Her persistent love of Hugh (played at his caddish-sexy best by Ray Milland) is the engine that drives the story. Plenty of good supporting roles, including Sara Algood, Cecil Kallaway (playing Gainsborough),Eric Blore, and that divinely handsome eternal man-who-loses-the-girl, Patric Knowles.

I loved it - and though I am not a great Ray Milland fan, I find he can be very convincing as a lover. His only better example of it is "Golden Earrings" with Miss Marlene Dietrich. And as for Miss Goddard, we never saw enough of her to type-cast her - feisty, spirited, yes, but a little unexpected in the depth of her performance, and a very lovely lady to boot.

This is what movies used to be - good characters (somebody to root for), an intelligent story, and Glamour. I recommend this picture highly!

21 of 22 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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