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Once a Lady (1931)

Once a Lady is a 1931 American Pre-Code drama film directed by Guthrie McClintic and starring Ruth Chatterton, Ivor Novello and Jill Esmond. The film, produced and distributed by Paramount ... See full summary »


Guthrie McClintic


Zoe Akins (adaptation) (as Zoë Akins), Zoe Akins (screenplay) (as Zoë Akins) | 3 more credits »




Cast overview:
Ruth Chatterton ... Anna Keremazoff
Ivor Novello ... Bennett Cloud
Jill Esmond ... Faith Penwick
Geoffrey Kerr ... Jimmy Fenwick
Doris Lloyd ... Lady Ellen Somerville
Herbert Bunston ... Roger Fenwick
Gwendolyn Logan Gwendolyn Logan ... Mrs. Fenwick
Stella Moore Stella Moore ... Alice Fenwick
Edith Kingdon ... Caroline Gryce
Bramwell Fletcher ... Allen Corinth
Theodore von Eltz ... Harry Cosden
Ethel Griffies ... Miss Bleeker
Claude King ... Sir William Gresham
Lillian Rich ... Jane Vernon
Susanne Ransom Susanne Ransom ... Faith Fenwick as a Child (as Suzanne Ransom)


Once a Lady is a 1931 American Pre-Code drama film directed by Guthrie McClintic and starring Ruth Chatterton, Ivor Novello and Jill Esmond. The film, produced and distributed by Paramount Pictures, is a remake of the Pola Negri silent film Three Sinners (1928). The film was the final attempt by British matinée idol Novello to establish himself in Hollywood.

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OFFICIALLY DEAD--- Once respected... Now an outcast, living a career of scandal! (Print Ad- Philadelphia Inquirer, ((Philadelphia, Penna.)) 16 December 1931)




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Did You Know?


One of over 700 Paramount Productions, filmed between 1929 and 1949, which were sold to MCA/Universal in 1958 for television distribution, and have been owned and controlled by Universal ever since. See more »


Version of Three Sinners (1928) See more »

User Reviews

The Moral Cocotte
11 July 2019 | by bobliptonSee all my reviews

Russian emigree Ruth Chatterton marries Geoffrey Kerr, a British officer about to go off to fight in the Great War. She bears a daughter, but her in-laws are thoughtless and cruel, while Chatterton is thoughtless and foolish. When Kerr sends her away to Cannes while he stands for Parliament, she leaves the train to go with Ivor Novello, then decides to return to her daughter and husband. However, the train has crashed, and everyone in her car has been killed. Kerr and his family blather a lot about her betrayal, so she leaves again, to become a cocotte in Paris.

Fast forward to 1931. Chatterton is still practicing her trade. Her daughter has grown up to be Jill Esmond. She and Bramwell Fletcher are in love, but he is an architectural student, and Kerr won't let them marry. So, Miss Esmond leaves, goes to Paris to be with Fletcher, and winds up at a wild party, where she encounters Miss Chatterton.

It's a remake of the Pola Negri vehicle THREE SINNERS, and it's all about suffering in mink, wild coincidences and the usual movie world in which there seem to be only about twenty people in Britain and France, so they run into each other. Miss Chatterton, is as usual, very good. She is very Russian, very depressed and very moral in her own thoughtless way, while everyone else is simply thoughtless. It is that thoughtlessness, as well as the wild coincidences, that annoy me very much.... that, and given Miss Chatterton's very self-assured performance, everyone else seems mean and cruel and selfish.

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French | English

Release Date:

7 November 1931 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Duas Vidas See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
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