7.4/10
3,463
34 user 22 critic

Lady for a Day (1933)

Passed | | Comedy, Drama | 13 September 1933 (USA)
A gangster tries to make Apple Annie, the Times Square apple seller, a lady for a day.

Director:

Frank Capra

Writers:

Robert Riskin (screen play and dialogue), Damon Runyon (from the story by)
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Nominated for 4 Oscars. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Warren William ... Dave the Dude
May Robson ... Apple Annie
Guy Kibbee ... Judge Blake
Glenda Farrell ... Missouri Martin
Ned Sparks ... Happy
Walter Connolly ... Count Romero
Jean Parker ... Louise
Nat Pendleton ... Shakespeare
Barry Norton ... Carlos
Halliwell Hobbes ... Butler
Hobart Bosworth ... Governor
Robert Emmett O'Connor ... Inspector
Edit

Storyline

Apple Annie is an indigent woman who has always written to her daughter in Spain that she is a member of New York's high society. With her daughter suddenly en route to America with her new fiancé and his father, a member of Spain's aristocracy, Annie must continue her pretense of wealth or the count will not give his blessing. She gets unexpected help from Dave the Dude, a well-known figure in underground circles who considers Annie his good luck charm, and who obtains for her a luxury apartment to entertain the visitors - but this uncharacteristic act of kindness from a man with a disreputable reputation arouses suspicions, leading to complications which further cause things to not always go quite as planned. Written by Paul Donahue

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Takes its place among the greatest pictures ever made!

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

13 September 1933 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Beggar's Holiday See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Columbia Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

After reading it, Capra persuaded studio boss Harry Cohn to buy Damon Runyon's short story, "Madame La Gimp." See more »

Goofs

Half the contents of Apple Annie's liquor bottle disappears between gulps while she reads the letter she wrote to her daughter. See more »

Quotes

Happy McGuire: Enough tears around here to float a battleship.
See more »

Connections

Remade as Star for a Night (1936) See more »

Soundtracks

Symphony No.5 in E minor, Op.64
(1888) (uncredited)
Written by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Second movement (Andante cantabile, con alcuna) played on a record
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A beautiful performance
3 December 2006 | by Crispin-3See all my reviews

It's not often (especially these days) that a character actor or actress pulls a leading role. This movie rates my 8/10 vote mostly on the strength of the marvelous character performance of May Robson in the central role as Apple Annie, an elderly down-and-out who must somehow preserve the imaginary persona she has built for herself to her daughter, soon to arrive from Paris with a prospective husband in tow. Robson was nominated for an Oscar, as lead, and richly deserved it for her tragicomic characterization.

Frank Capra's excellent direction (also nominated for an Oscar) keeps the plot unfolding with the speed and apparently effortless fluidity so characteristic of the comedies of this period. Capra did not win the Oscar that year, but this film launched his series of feel-good dramas and sparkling comedies that netted him three subsequent Oscars.

But this is far more than a feel-good comedy/drama. It's an excellent movie that stands on its merits outside the genre, with a solid supporting cast. Capra's own remake (Pocketful of Miracles), doesn't meet the standard he himself set here. And although I have tremendous respect for Bette Davis, who played the lead in the remake, it is the difference between a good performance and an exceptional portrayal. Now that I've seen this version, May Robson simply IS Apple Annie.


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