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Kitty (1945)

An 18th century London wench gets involved with the nobility.


Mitchell Leisen


Rosamond Marshall (novel), Karl Tunberg | 1 more credit »
Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Paulette Goddard ... Kitty
Ray Milland ... Sir Hugh Marcy
Patric Knowles ... Brett Harwood Earl of Carstairs
Reginald Owen ... Duke of Malmunster
Cecil Kellaway ... Thomas Gainsborough
Constance Collier ... Lady Susan Dowitt
Dennis Hoey ... Jonathan Selby
Sara Allgood ... Old Meg
Eric Blore ... Dobson
Gordon Richards Gordon Richards ... Sir Joshua Reynolds
Michael Dyne Michael Dyne ... Prince of Wales
Edgar Norton ... Earl of Campton
Patricia Cameron Patricia Cameron ... Elaine Carlisle
Percival Vivian Percival Vivian ... Dr. Holt
Mary Gordon ... Nanny


London, 1783: Kitty, a saucy wench of the slums, meets the painter Gainsborough by stealing his shoes. He paints her as an "anonymous lady" who excites the interest of his noble friends, notably penniless Sir Hugh Marcy, who schemes to pass Kitty off as a genuine lady (a formidable task) and marry her off for financial gain. But Kitty has her own ideas about the uses of matrimony. Lots of decolletage. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


She made a career out of love.


Drama | History


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Release Date:

25 January 1946 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

La duchesse des bas-fonds See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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. Its earliest documented telecast took place in Omaha Sunday 21 December 1958 on KETV (Channel 7), followed by Asheville 8 April 1959 on WLOS (Channel 13), by Seattle 19 June 1959 on KIRO (Channel 7), by Chicago Saturday 27 June 1959 on WBBM (Channel 2), by Milwaukee 4 October 1959 on WITI (Channel 6), and by Detroit, where it was shown in 2 parts Monday-Tuesday 23-24 November 1959 on WJBK (Channel 2). It was released on DVD 4 August 2015 as part of the Universal Vault Series and has since enjoyed an airing or two on Turner Classic Movies. See more »


Lady Susan Dowitt: One of the most important accomplishments of the modern young woman is the use of the fan. She does not employ it to cool herself, but rather to express the emotions.
Sir Hugh Marcy: Women are armed with fans as men are with swords, and frequently do much more damage with them.
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Music by Jean-Philippe Rameau
Danced by uncredited actress (character Signorina Baccelli)
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User Reviews

A riff on Pygmalion
22 April 2011 | by blanche-2See all my reviews

Paulette Goddard is "Kitty" in this delightful 1945 film directed by Mitchell Liesen for Paramount. The film also stars Ray Milland, Constance Collier, Cecil Kellaway, Patric Knowles, and Reginald Owen. Goddard plays a young guttersnipe who steals for a living. As she's trying to steal the gold buckle off of a footman's shoe, she is noticed by none other than Thomas Gainsborough, who cleans her up and paints her. She comes to the attention of Sir Hugh Marcy (Milland) but when he finds out she's a guttersnipe, he loses interest.

Once her beautiful portrait is on display, the Duke of Malmuster buys the portrait and prevails upon Sir Hugh for an introduction to the subject. Since Sir Hugh is flat broke, he and his tipsy aunt (Collier) try to turn Kitty into a lady so they can introduce her to the Duke, who is in a position to get Hugh his job back. Things, however, take a turn. Not only does Kitty have other plans, but fate steps in.

A very good movie, inspired by Shaw's Pygmalion, that has a wonderful, lively performance by Goddard, who goes from Cockeny spitfire to lady and falls back on her Cockney roots when she loses her temper. Milland is good and not very likable as the conniving Sir Hugh, and Constance Collier is a riot as Aunt Susan. Handsome Patric Knowles is on hand as a friend of Sir Hugh's who, like a lot of other men, is captivated by Kitty.

I was a little disappointed in the ending. I frankly would have liked to have seen Kitty go off into the sunset with someone else.

I agree with one of the posters here that this would have been a beautiful film in color. But I'll take Goddard any way I can get her; she's always been a favorite of mine.

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