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The Law and the Lady

The Law and the Lady(1951)

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The film's working titles were The Law and Lady Loverly and The Law and the Lovely Lady. The following written prologue appears at the end of the opening credits: "This story begins in London at the turn of the century. If they had known what was ahead, they never would have turned it." Michael Wilding is credited twice in the end credits, first as "Nigel Duxbury" and then as "Lord Minden." The Law and the Lady marked the first time English actor Wilding (1912-1979) made a motion picture in the United States, although he had made several British-American co-productions in England in the 1940s. Wilding was borrowed from Allied Artists for this film. A Hollywood Reporter news item includes Joan Cavendish in the cast, but her appearance in the released film has not been confirmed.
       Frederick Lonsdale's play was previously filmed by M-G-M in 1929 under the title The Last of Mrs. Cheyney, directed by Sidney Franklin and starring Norma Shearer and Basil Rathbone (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1921-30) and in 1937 under the same title, directed by Richard Boleslawski and starring Joan Crawford, William Powell and Robert Montgomery (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40). In both of the earlier versions, the principal action took place in England and the female protagonist worked alone. According to a November 12, 1952 Daily Variety news item, M-G-M's rights to the Lonsdale play were due to expire in October 1953, and the studio was about to alert exhibitors that they had to end all bookings of The Law and the Lady by that time.