9 user 3 critic

Panama Lady (1939)

Passed | | Drama, Romance | 12 May 1939 (USA)
A weary dance-hall girl in a Panama saloon hooks up with a rough-and-tumble oil driller, who takes her to his oil-field in the jungle to show her what "real" life is like.


Jack Hively


Michael Kanin (screen play), Garrett Fort (story)




Complete credited cast:
Lucille Ball ... Lucy
Allan Lane ... Dennis McTeague
Steffi Duna ... Cheema
Evelyn Brent ... Lenore
Donald Briggs ... Roy Harmon
Bernadene Hayes ... Pearl
Abner Biberman ... Elisha
William Pawley ... Bartender
Earle Hodgins ... Foreman


A weary dance-hall girl in a Panama saloon hooks up with a rough-and-tumble oil driller, who takes her to his oil-field in the jungle to show her what "real" life is like.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

panama | oil | jungle | american | stranded | See All (48) »


GLAMOUR OF THE TROPICS!..THAT FADED INTO SINISTER GLITTER! (original print ad-Lubbock Morning Avalanche - Lyric Theatre - Lubbock, Texas - Nov. 18, 1939 - all caps) See more »


Drama | Romance


Passed | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Lucy: You know what I always say?
McTeague: No.
Lucy: That's right.
See more »


Remake of Panama Flo (1932) See more »


Bridal Chorus (Here Comes the Bride)
(1850) (uncredited)
from "Lohengrin"
Written by Richard Wagner
Sung a cappella by the showgirls teasing Lucy
See more »

User Reviews

Red Mud
29 December 2005 | by tedgSee all my reviews

A great invention of cinema so far is noir, together with cinematic sport, smoke and fireballs. Noir is new, subtle, introspective. It advances and spins all sorts of sophisticated children, sometimes thought as ironic.

Its origins aren't quite as interesting as what it has ballooned to, how it has encompassed the world. But if you are interested in origins, look at this. It incidentally includes Lucy (using her own name) so you can impose your own layer of noir/irony on it as a modern viewer.

In its time, it was meant to evoke "Red Dust," a little piece about prostitution in the jungle leading to love. This is actually a remake of the original that was quickly made in 32 after the success of 'Red Dust."

Post-code, you don't have much of a whiff of sex here, and Lucy doesn't give the impression of a doomed soul that true noir would later demand. But you do have a clear notion here of the central notion of noir: fate seeming to deliberately conspire against on ordinary foil, odd coincidences, extreme consequences from trivial acts. Plus rank selfishness.. What's missing is the dark, angled photography that would later be associated with noir, even for some its defining feature. And you don't yet have the heavy introductory voice-over. But you do have something similar, a framing flashback.

It has an uncharacteristic ending for a noir, a happy coupling. Lucy is saved. I think this was before she became a redhead.

Ted's Evaluation -- 1 of 3: You can find something better to do with this part of your life.

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Release Date:

12 May 1939 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Junglens Hemmelighed See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

RKO Radio Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Victor System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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