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That Hamilton Woman (1941)

Not Rated | | Drama, History, Romance | 30 April 1941 (USA)
The story of courtesan and dance-hall girl Emma Hamilton, including her relationships with Sir William Hamilton and Admiral Horatio Nelson and her rise and fall, set during the Napoleonic Wars.

Director:

Alexander Korda

Writers:

Walter Reisch (original screenplay), R.C. Sherriff (original screenplay)
Reviews
Won 1 Oscar. Another 3 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Vivien Leigh ... Emma Lady Hamilton
Laurence Olivier ... Lord Horatio Nelson
Alan Mowbray ... Sir William Hamilton
Sara Allgood ... Mrs. Cadogan-Lyon
Gladys Cooper ... Lady Frances Nelson
Henry Wilcoxon ... Captain Hardy
Heather Angel ... A Streetgirl
Halliwell Hobbes ... Rev. Nelson
Gilbert Emery ... Lord Spencer
Miles Mander ... Lord Keith
Ronald Sinclair ... Josiah
Luis Alberni ... King of Naples
Norma Drury ... Queen of Naples
Olaf Hytten Olaf Hytten ... Gavin
Juliette Compton ... Lady Spencer
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Storyline

Sir William Hamilton, a widower of mature years, is British ambassador to the Court of Naples. Emma, who comes for a visit with her mother, wouldn't cut the grade with London society, but she gets along well with the Queen of Naples. Emma likes being Lady Hamilton, and life goes smoothly until Lord Nelson pays a visit. Sir William decides at first to let his young wife have her fling, and pretends not to know what is going on. But the real-life lovers, whose first screen romance was in Fire Over England (1937) have an even more burning passion for each other in this movie. Written by Dale O'Connor <daleoc@interaccess.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The Year's Most Exciting Team of Screen Lovers !

Genres:

Drama | History | Romance | War

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

To keep costs down, Vincent Korda designed one large set for the ambassadorial mansion that could be shot variously to be several rooms. His brother Alexander ordered him to remove a wall of books, exclaiming that he could not direct a love story in a library, and so it became a bedroom. See more »

Goofs

During the battle of Trafalgar, a ship with four gun decks is shown burning and sinking. This can only be the Spanish ship Santísima Trinidad, the only ship in the battle with four gun decks, and the largest and most powerful 'battleship' in the world at the time. The real Santísima Trinidad was captured by the British and taken in tow as a war prize, but was lost in a storm at sea on its way to England. See more »

Quotes

Emma: 'Her Excelency Lady Emma Hamilton, British Embassy, Naples'...
[looks slightly sad]
Emma: 'Charles Grevole, London.'
Mrs. Cadogan-Lyon: Open it child, open it.
Emma: I think not. Send it back, and write on 'unopened, return to sender'. Poor Charles, he's exactly three years too late. As far as I'm concerned, he simply doesn't exist.
Mrs. Cadogan-Lyon: Are you happy my child?
Emma: Happy? Three years ago my only idea of happiness was to be married to Charles Grevole. After that I wanted revenge. Well, I got that in a way too. Then I wanted to be ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Inchon (1981) See more »

User Reviews

 
A haunting beauty whose fate is entwined with a craggy sea warrior
9 September 2001 | by lora64See all my reviews

I recall seeing this film when I was very young and felt sad about it. Now that I'm almost very old I still find it fascinating to watch. It seemed strange how Emma (Vivien Leigh) could rise to such prominence in life to become a Lady Hamilton and eventually fall so low, yes and sadly.

The movie begins at the lower rung, in her later life as she's caught stealing and put in prison where she recounts her story to others. We are taken back in time to her youth and arrival in Italy where, after some thoughtful consideration of her situation in life, Emma agrees to marry the elderly Sir Hamilton, and rather enjoys her position as Lady Hamilton, a glittering socialite.

Events of Napoleonic wartime bring Lord Nelson (Laurence Olivier) into their sphere when in need of supplies and he also seeks to warn them. Yet it is Fate that draws these two, Lord Nelson and Lady Hamilton, together in one of the great love stories of their time. It is touching to note Emma's care and concern for Horatio when his health is needing attention. For years their bittersweet romance must struggle to blossom against the ill-will of public opinion.

Vivien Leigh never looked more beautiful and one can see more of the true person she was after setting aside her role in "Gone With the Wind." Laurence Olivier, an actor of many disguises, is well masked in the injuries that Lord Nelson sustained in battle. One can almost feel he is the victim of circumstances as he moves from battles to home front. I don't know that much about the real history or the current politics involved when the movie was made but I always regarded this film as one of the great love stories of the past.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French | Italian

Release Date:

30 April 1941 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

That Hamilton Woman See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Alexander Korda Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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