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The Lady in Red (1979)

R | | Action, Drama, Romance | July 1979 (USA)
1930s gangster-era film about John Dillinger and his last girlfriend.

Director:

Lewis Teague

Writer:

John Sayles
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Pamela Sue Martin ... Polly Franklin
Robert Conrad ... John Dillinger
Louise Fletcher ... Anna Sage
Robert Hogan ... Jake Lingle
Laurie Heineman Laurie Heineman ... Rose Shimkus
Glenn Withrow ... Eddie
Rod Gist Rod Gist ... Pinetop
Peter Hobbs ... Pops Geissler
Christopher Lloyd ... Frognose
Dick Miller ... Patek
Nancy Parsons ... Tiny Alice (as Nancy Anne Parsons)
Alan Vint ... Melvin Purvis
Milt Kogan ... Preacher
Chip Fields ... Satin
Buck Young ... Hennessey
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Storyline

Polly, a young countryside girl decides to leave for the city and all it has to offer. She starts an relationship with John Dillinger and soon discovers that city life isn't as easy as she hoped when she gets entangled in a world of crime and prostitution. The movie is partly based on the life of John Dillinger. Written by Fauno

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

She's made of bullets, sin & bathtub gin! See more »

Genres:

Action | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

July 1979 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Touch Me and Die See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA

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Box Office

Budget:

$400,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

New World Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

John Sayles' original script was one hundred thirty pages long. See more »

Goofs

In the parlor at Anna Sage's bordello, when Polly meets Turk for the first time, one of the topless prostitutes obviously has breast implants and that surgery was not available during this time period. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Polly Franklin: In the heart of little old New York, You'll find a thoroughfare. It's the part of little old New York That runs into Times Square. A crazy quilt that "Wall Street Jack" built, If you've got a little time to spare, I want to take you there. Come and meet those dancing feet, On the avenue I'm taking you to, Forty-Second Street.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The 1986 UK VHS released by Eagle Crest Video is only 83 minutes long (86/87 minutes when converted back to NTSC) and uses a print that is missing all shots (and sometimes whole scenes) of sex and nudity, as well as some of the violence (e.g. Dillinger's bloody corpse). Note that these are not BBFC edits - they had already approved the film uncut for cinema release. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Big Brother Israel: Episode #6.1 (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Forty-Second Street
(uncredited)
Music by Harry Warren
Courtesy Warner Bros. Music
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Fun, Thrills, and Wholesale Cheese
17 August 2000 | by Guy_TSee all my reviews

Clearly a product of the Corman School, Sayles's first major screenplay shows that he already knew how to tell a great story from an interesting angle, something he has never forgotten how to do.

Director Teague keeps the pace rattling along, and hammers the message home fast (he was an occasional assistant to Sam Fuller, of course).

The plot's quite straightforward, and all the better so - this packs something of the punch of the 30's classic gangster films, but with distinctly 70's sensibilities to violence.

Where the film becomes more interesting than your average low-budget 'gangster-exploiter', however, is in the telling of the story through her eyes, rather than his (a distinctly 70's approach). Yet it's wonderfully ambiguous, on reflection, as to whether the film champions her willingness to break away and start acting for herself (she's a great strong character), or whether she just goes from one woman in peril situation to the other (which is the plot, basically).

I've probably over-analyzed it already, but if you've got a spare hour and a half on your hands, give it a chance. A classic of its kind.


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