5.9/10
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30 user 23 critic

Miss Sadie Thompson (1953)

Approved | | Drama, Musical, Romance | 17 February 1954 (Japan)
A self-righteous missionary man seeks to save the soul of a former prostitute.

Director:

Curtis Bernhardt

Writer:

Harry Kleiner (screenplay)
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Rita Hayworth ... Sadie Thompson
José Ferrer ... Alfred Davidson (as Jose Ferrer)
Aldo Ray ... Sgt. Phil O'Hara
Russell Collins ... Dr. Robert MacPhail
Diosa Costello ... Ameena Horn
Harry Bellaver ... Joe Horn
Wilton Graff ... Governor
Peggy Converse Peggy Converse ... Mrs. Margaret Davidson
Henry Slate Henry Slate ... Pvt. Griggs
Rudy Bond ... Pvt. Hodges
Charles Bronson ... Pvt. Edwards (as Charles Buchinsky)
Frances Morris ... Mrs. MacPhail
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Storyline

At a lonely military outpost on American Samoa, sticky heat alternates with torrential rain. A ship quarantine strands here Sadie Thompson, a "breezy dame" who sets the Marines afire... and self-righteous Mr. Davidson, powerful head of the Mission Board, who suspects Sadie is a fugitive from the notorious Emerald Club of Honolulu. Meanwhile, Sadie is courted by crude but good-hearted Marine Sgt. Phil O'Hara. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

RITA TURNS ON THE HEAT IN 3D (original print ad - all caps) See more »

Genres:

Drama | Musical | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

17 February 1954 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

W. Somerset Maugham's Miss Sadie Thompson See more »

Filming Locations:

Hanalei Bay, Kauai, Hawaii, USA See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$2,900,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

3 Channel Stereo (RCA Sound System)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.75 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Rita Hayworth was the third actress to play Sadie Thompson on screen, joining Gloria Swanson and Joan Crawford. See more »

Goofs

Sergeant O'Hara's shirt is wet with sweat as he leaves the radio tent but dry as he exits. See more »

Quotes

Mr. Davidson: There is no hiding from justice.
Sadie: But, I didn't do anything to go to jail for!
Mr. Davidson: You've led an immoral life. You must pay for it! Only then will God forgive you.
Sadie: What kind of God are you talking about? That's not the kind of God I learned about in Sunday school. The way you figure him out, he's nothing but a cop!
See more »

Connections

Featured in Kauai Thru Hollywood (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

The Heat Is On!
(uncredited)
Music by Lester Lee
Lyrics by Allan Roberts
Performed by Rita Hayworth (dubbed by Jo Ann Greer)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Passions in paradise
30 July 2018 | by tomsviewSee all my reviews

Rita Hayworth hardly fit Somerset Maugham's physical description of Miss Sadie Thompson in his short story on which the film is based.

"She was twenty-seven perhaps, plump, and in a coarse fashion pretty. She wore a white dress and a large white hat. Her fat calves in white cotton stockings bulged over the tops of long white boots in glace kid".

However she captured the spirit of the character and I think the film does do justice to Maugham's story. It was updated to the 1950's and opened out with the introduction of other characters - Aldo Ray and his U.S. Marine buddies - but the conflict between the missionary and the bar girl thrown together in Pago-Pago when their ship is quarantined still has bite.

I first saw this film in the late 50's and thought it was pretty powerful - you didn't hear words like 'prostitute' bandied around too often in movies back then.

José Ferrer ate up the role of Mr Davidson, the missionary who sets himself up as the anti-fun police and attempts to save Sadie's soul whether she wanted it saved or not - all the while suppressing a dark side.

Aldo Ray was good as O'Hara, the tough marine sergeant who also wants to save Sadie from her previous life. The marines seemed a little over-caricaturised. It wouldn't have come as a surprise if they'd broken into a chorus of "There's Nothing Like a Dame".

But this film is Rita Hayworth's. Catching the brashness of Sadie, she showed her range; very different to the soft-voiced femme fatale she often played. She sings and dances with stocky Aldo Ray, and is still a luminous presence. According to Peter Ford's biography of his father, "Glenn Ford: A Life", Rita desperately wanted Glenn to play O'Hara and go to Hawaii with her. This was at a time when she was beginning to show signs of the problems that would blight the rest of her life - Glenn Ford always provided an emotional safety net for her.

This film looks good and the story of barely repressed lust with its shock ending still stands up. And of course, a film such as "Miss Sadie Thompson" takes on another dimension knowing the course of the lives of the fascinating people who made it.


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