IMDb > The Lady in Red (1979)
The Lady in Red
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The Lady in Red (1979) More at IMDbPro »

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John Sayles (written by)
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Release Date:
July 1979 (USA) See more »
She's made of bullets, sin & bathtub gin! See more »
1930's gangster era film about Dillinger and his last girl. Written by John Sayles. | Add synopsis »
User Reviews:
Packs a punch See more (6 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Pamela Sue Martin ... Polly Franklin

Robert Conrad ... John Dillinger

Louise Fletcher ... Anna Sage

Robert Hogan ... Jake Lingle

Laurie Heineman ... Rose Shimkus

Glenn Withrow ... Eddie
Rod Gist ... Pinetop
Peter Hobbs ... Pops Geissler

Christopher Lloyd ... Frognose

Dick Miller ... Patek
Nancy Parsons ... Tiny Alice (as Nancy Anne Parsons)
Alan Vint ... Melvin Purvis
Milt Kogan ... Preacher
Chip Fields ... Satin
Buck Young ... Hennessey
Phillip R. Allen ... Elliot Ness

Ilene Kristen ... Wynona
Joseph X. Flaherty ... Frank
Terri Taylor ... Mae
Peter Miller ... Fritz

Mary Woronov ... Woman Bankrobber

Jay Rasumny ... Bill

Michael Cavanaugh ... Undercover Cop
Arnie Moore ... Trucker
John Guitz ... Momo
Saul Krugman ... Judge
Blackie Dammett ... Immigration Officer
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Robert Forster ... Turk (uncredited)

Kitten Natividad ... Prostitute (uncredited)

Directed by
Lewis Teague 
Writing credits
John Sayles (written by)

Produced by
Julie Corman .... producer
Steven Kovacs .... co-producer
Roger Corman .... executive producer (uncredited)
Original Music by
James Horner 
Cinematography by
Daniel Lacambre (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Larry Bock 
Ron Medico 
Lewis Teague 
Casting by
Susan Arnold 
Production Design by
Jac McAnelly 
Art Direction by
Phil Thomas Jr.  (as Philip Thomas)
Set Decoration by
Keith Hein 
Costume Design by
Danny Morgan 
Pat Tonnema 
Makeup Department
Dino Ganziano .... hairdresser
Bari Roulette .... makeup artist: Miss Martin (as Bari-Ellen Roulette)
Gigi Williams .... makeup artist
Production Management
Costa Mantis .... production manager: second unit
Caren Singer .... assistant production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Patrick Crowley .... second unit director (as Pat Crowley)
Frank Martinez .... second assistant director
Gerald T. Olson .... first assistant director
John Isabeau .... trainee assistant director (uncredited)
Costa Mantis .... first assistant director: second unit (uncredited)
Art Department
Eric Butler .... props
Bob Ziembicki .... props
Lynda Burbank .... set dresser (uncredited)
J. Rae Fox .... set dresser (uncredited)
Sound Department
Rhonda Baer .... boom operator
Anthony Santa Croce .... sound mixer
Special Effects by
Bill Balles .... special effects
Bruce Paul Barbour .... stunt coordinator (as Bruce Barbour)
Norman Blankenship .... stunts
Mickey Caruso .... stunts
David S. Cass Sr. .... stunts (as Dave Cass)
Dottie Catching .... stunts
Roger Creed .... stunts
Vince Deadrick Sr. .... stunts (as Vincent Deadrick Sr.)
Diamond Farnsworth .... stunts (as Hill Farnsworth)
Kay Kimler .... stunts
Conrad E. Palmisano .... stunt coordinator (as Conrad Palmisano)
Mary Peters .... stunts
Diane Peterson .... stunts
Rick Seaman .... stunts
C.D. Smith .... stunts
Jerry Summers .... stunts
Rock A. Walker .... stunts
Jesse Wayne .... stunts
Harry Wowchuk .... stunts (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Paul Elliott .... assistant camera
Robert K. Feldmann .... key grip (as Robert Feldman)
Steven Finestone .... assistant camera
Wiley Fox .... gaffer
Ron Quilici .... still photographer
Peter Smokler .... director of photography: second unit
Casting Department
Paul Ventura .... additional casting
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Danny Morgan .... costumer: men
Pat Tonnema .... costumer: women
Editorial Department
Mark Helfrich .... assistant editor
Bill Williams .... assistant editor
Music Department
James Horner .... music adaptor
Miles Kreuger .... music consultant
Dan Wallin .... score mixer (uncredited)
Other crew
Laurie Cohn .... script supervisor (as Laurie M. Cohn)
Carol Culver .... choreographer
Barbara Martinelli .... script supervisor: second unit
Lucia Schultz .... production coordinator
Charles Skouras III .... location manager
Alan Toomayan .... production assistant (uncredited)
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Guns, Sin and Bathtub Gin" - USA (reissue title)
"Touch Me and Die" - USA (reissue title)
See more »
93 min
Color (Metrocolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Near the climax, Eddie manages to escape from a police blockade by driving backwards. During his audio commentary, John Sayles reveals that he had originally written an earlier scene in which Dillinger taught Eddie how to drive a car backwards. But this scene was cut for time and budgetary reasons and was never shot.See more »
Factual errors: The reporter, Jake Lingle, who is killed at the end of the film by Robert Forster's character, Turk, was a real person. Lingle was gunned down in 1930, four years before the setting of this film. Lingle was killed by an underpass as shown in the film, however, it was at rush hour with crowds of people around.See more »
[first lines]
Polly Franklin:In the heart of little old New York, You'll find a thoroughfare. It's the part of little old New York That runs into Times Square. A crazy quilt that "Wall Street Jack" built, If you've got a little time to spare, I want to take you there. Come and meet those dancing feet, On the avenue I'm taking you to, Forty-Second Street.
See more »
Movie Connections:
References King Kong (1933)See more »
The Gold Diggers' Song (We're in the Money)See more »


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6 out of 7 people found the following review useful.
Packs a punch, 1 August 2009
Author: Igenlode Wordsmith from England

This picture makes for an interesting companion piece to Michael Mann's recent "Public Enemies"; it covers not only the same era and the same setting but, inevitably, much of the same source material. And compared to earlier black-and-white gangster movies it shares a similar distinctly modern sensibility. Indeed, dubbed a "cheerful exploitation flick", it far outdoes the more recent film in the sheer quantity of sex and nudity on display. Yet oddly enough it manages to avoid the impression of gratuitous indulgence: the lolling female flesh on view is treated as more matter-of-fact (sometimes grotesque) than erotic, and the explicit violence is never casually treated.

"The Lady in Red" turns out to succeed on a number of levels where "Public Enemies" failed: above all and most vitally in characterization and plot development. We actually care what becomes of the heroine and those she meets, however lurid the scenarios that ensue. Individuals are vividly drawn and memorable, and a vein of black humour periodically enlivens the script; it even conjures up some moments of almost lyrical happiness to provide a far more convincing love affair than Mann can achieve. Every victory over tyranny may seem to leave Polly in the long term worse off, and yet we cheer fiercely at her rebellion. There is no lack of audience identification here.

The film is also surprisingly sure-footed in its period setting. After the initial reflex jolt at seeing the familiar monochrome settings re-enacted in colour -- unthinking: of course in reality the colour would always have been there, it's just that we never saw it -- "Lady in Red" pulls off the rare trick of presenting a world that seems entirely natural to its era. The cars are not conscious museum pieces, the clothes are not being worn as costumes, the props are not just set dressing: 'period' productions so often give the air of having tried too hard over every glossy detail, or else of importing a patronising grime of deprivation. This one seems to do neither. It even gets away with the potentially heavy-handed use of period cultural references (Elliot Ness, King Kong). After a while -- the ultimate accolade -- you forget that it's in colour.

And finally, despite an escalating violence/body count, this film manages to retain death to genuinely shocking effect. There are no diminishing-return shots of gun porn here; no five-minute jerking, numbing sprays of muzzle-flash after dark. (And, although it had not until now occurred to me, no cars that roll over and burst into flames...) A lot of people wind up dead one way or another: but seen through Polly's eyes, it is neither cheap entertainment nor taken for granted.

Acting performances are admirable all round in both major and minor roles. The use of music, in particular the evocative "42nd Street" as general theme to the picture in changing moods for each context, is excellently done. This isn't the sort of picture I would have anticipated liking -- the breast count alone is about fifty times greater than anything I'd normally see -- but I found it quite unexpectedly successful... and, I'm afraid, superior on every level to "Public Enemies", with which it has on the surface so much 'modernity' in common.

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