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
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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 »


Lady Susan Dowitt: One of the most important accomplishments of the modern young woman is the use of the fan. She does not employ it to cool herself, but rather to express the emotions.
Sir Hugh Marcy: Women are armed with fans as men are with swords, and frequently do much more damage with them.
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Music by Jean-Philippe Rameau
Danced by uncredited actress (character Signorina Baccelli)
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User Reviews

One of Paramount's gems, locked in the vault(?)
6 May 2003 | by (Portland, Oregon) – See all my reviews

Other IMDb comments on this one tell all that ought to be said about this lavish feast, unaccountably mounted in black-and-white when Technicolor was obviously called for. I suspect that the iron control that Natalie Kalmus exercised on almost every Technicolor film made through at least the mid-Forties discouraged many a producer from adding the extra expense to the budget, burdening his crew with the cumbersome three-strip cameras and the hellishly hot lighting they required, and the high cost of the final prints. Now that virtually every film is made in color, we forget that making a film in color prior to the introduction of Technicolor's own single-strip process and its rivals (i.e., Metrocolor, Warnercolor, DeLuxe Color, etc.) was a very big deal, indeed. Which is not in the least meant to say that Hollywood's artisans did not achieve some memorably beautiful work using black-and-white cameras. "Kitty" is a prime example, with a luxurious production and a cast fully able to flesh out the script's frequently funny evocation of a very pre-modern England. Even on a TV broadcast which I caught many years ago, this one was a thoroughly entertaining and eye-filling treat, and it would certainly merit a VHS and/or DVD release in my estimation.

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