11 user 7 critic

Lady by Choice (1934)

Passed | | Comedy, Drama, Romance | 15 October 1934 (USA)
An elderly, brash drunk is hired to help improve the image of a controversial dancer, and the two women form an unlikely friendship.


David Burton


Jo Swerling (screen play), Dwight Taylor (story)




Complete credited cast:
Carole Lombard ... Alabam Lee
May Robson ... Patricia Patterson
Roger Pryor ... Johnny Mills
Walter Connolly ... Judge Daly
Arthur Hohl ... Kendall
Raymond Walburn ... Front O'Malley
James Burke ... Brannigan
Henry Kolker ... Opper
Mariska Aldrich Mariska Aldrich ... Lucretia
Johnny Boyle Johnny Boyle ... Walsh (as John Boyle)


Fan dancer Alabam Lee is convicted of breaching the morals code with her racy shows. Her agent has her adopt a "mother" from an old ladies home as a publicity ploy to improve her image. Alabam chooses Patricia"Patsy" Patterson, a drunk and disorderly street lady with a past. Patsy has a protector in Johnny Mills, the lawyer son of her old flame. When Johnny comes to visit Patsy he meets Alabam and the two eventually fall in love. Both Patsy and the everpresent Judge Daly think that Alabam is golddigging for Johnny's money and their attempts to break things up puts the relationship on shaky ground. Written by Gary Jackson <garyjack5@cogeco.ca>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Funnier than "Lady for a Day"! (original print ad - Lubbock Evening Journal - Palace Theatre - Lubbock, Texas - Nov. 1, 1934) See more »


Comedy | Drama | Romance


Passed | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


While many cast members in studio records/casting call lists did not appear or were not identifiable in the 76-minute print available today, they were left in the cast list because of the missing 9 minutes. See more »


Patricia 'Patsy' Patterson: Old people are respectable in spite of themselves.
See more »


Follows Lady for a Day (1933) See more »


M-O-T-H-E-R, a Word That Means the World to Me
(1915) (uncredited)
Music by Theodore Morse
Lyrics by Howard Johnson
Sung by Abe Dinovitch in the bar, with piano accompaniment
Partially sung a cappella by May Robson at her trial
Played on piano and partially sung by Carole Lombard
See more »

User Reviews

"Even if he is a Democrat, he has an understanding heart."
13 August 2014 | by utgard14See all my reviews

Fan dancer Carole Lombard 'adopts' tippler bag lady May Robson as her mother in order to improve Carole's public image. The old lady winds up becoming a mother figure to Carole and tries to help her become successful in a more respectable career. But when that falls through, Carole starts to date a young lawyer friend of May's for his money. This creates a rift between the two women and May determines to stop Carole from taking advantage of the lawyer.

May Robson is great. Carole Lombard is beautiful and has good chemistry with May. Fine support from Walter Connolly, Roger Pryor, and Arthur Hohl. Lady for a Day is one of my favorite Frank Capra films. It has great Damon Runyon characters, fun dialogue, and a lot of heart. This is a cash-grab follow-up to that movie but not a sequel. May Robson plays a similar character but this is not Apple Annie. None of the characters in this movie are quite as colorful or enjoyable as those in the Capra movie. Still, it's entertaining enough thanks to Lombard and Robson.

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Release Date:

15 October 1934 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Hello Big Boy See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Columbia Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| (original)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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