The Imperfect Lady


1h 37m 1947

Film Details

Also Known As
I Take This Woman, Lady 17
Release Date
Apr 25, 1947
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Paramount Pictures, Inc.
Distribution Company
Paramount Pictures, Inc.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the short story "Lady Seventeen" by Ladislas Fodor (publication undetermined).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 37m
Film Length
8,960ft

Synopsis

In Middleford, England, in 1892, underpaid variety show dancers Millicent Hopkins and her friend, Rose Bridges, go in search of a meal at the tailor shop of Rose's father. Mr. Hopkins disowned Millie when she became an actress, and now throws her and Rose out. While riding in a cab, Rose and Millie pass a political rally for liberal candidate Clive Loring, who seeks refuge in the cab when he is heckled. When Clive invites Millie and Rose to tea, they pretend to be ladies, and Clive is impressed with Millie's views on women's rights. The next day she attends his rally and misses her acting troupe's train. After she vows to give up acting, Millie's father reconciles with her. She spends the next day with Clive, and they fall in love. Clive's class-conscious older brother, Lord Belmont, convinces Millie that, for the sake of Clive's career, he must marry within his class, and she returns to the stage. One night, Millie tries to avoid seeing admirer Lord Montglyn after the show, and leaves with Rose while they are still in their stage makeup. When the women are mistaken for prostitutes by a constable, Millie accepts a stranger's offer to take refuge in his nearby apartment--number 17--which is Millie's lucky number. The man, Jose Martinez, turns out to be an accomplished pianist from Spain with a penchant for lavender perfume, who has become impoverished in England. Although Millie declines his advances, Jose maintains a good humor and plays one of Chopin's nocturnes for her. After hours of innocent conversation, Millie returns home. The next day, Jose is arrested for the murder of a moneylender named Edward Simpson, whom Jose had visited before he met Millie, and Millie is his only alibi. Clive, who has won a seat in Parliament, eventually locates Millie, and they marry. During a reception given by Lord Belmont, Rose warns Millie that the police are looking for her so that she can testify at Jose's murder trial. That night, Clive sees that Millie is disturbed by lavender-scented linens and questions her about it, but she denies its importance. The next morning, when a Scotland Yard detective named Carston visits, Millie denies knowing Jose. Lord Belmont, suspicious of Millie, attends the opening day of the trial and learns that the missing witness was superstitious about the number seventeen and liked Chopin's "Nocturne." At home that night, Lord Belmont tricks Millie into admitting those two facts, and she flees to Rose's apartment. Clive now believes Millie is guilty of improper behavior, and tells Rose that although his and Millie's marriage is over, Millie has a moral obligation to come forward to save Jose's life. Jose is found guilty, and on the day of his sentencing, Millie enters the courtroom. With Clive in the audience, Millie testifies that she spent an innocent night with Jose to escape the police. The confession makes headlines across London, and stuffy members of Parliament call for Clive's resignation. Clive defends Millie's character to them, and later finds Millie at her father's shop and asks her to return to him.

Cast

Ray Milland

Clive Loring

Teresa Wright

Millicent Hopkins

Sir Cedric Hardwicke

Lord Belmont

Virginia Field

Rose Bridges

Anthony Quinn

Jose Martinez

Reginald Owen

Mr. Hopkins

Melville Cooper

Lord Montglyn

Rhys Williams

Inspector Carston

George Zucco

Mr. Mallam

Charles Coleman

Sam Travers

Miles Mander

Mr. Rogan

Gordon Richards

Gladstone

Edmond Breon

Lord Chief Justice

Frederic Worlock

Henderson

Michael Dyne

Malcolm Gadby

Joan Winfield

Lucy

Lilian Fontaine

Mrs. Gunner

Leyland Hodgson

Bobby

Bob Stephenson

Bobby

John Goldsworthy

Bobby

Olaf Hytten

Butler

Jack M. Lee

Barrister

Major Sam Harris

Barrister

Doris Lloyd

Woman in balcony of theater

Harry Allen

Man in balcony of theater

Gavin Muir

Kelvin

Ted Billings

Chimney-sweep

Beverly Johnson

Chorus girl

Beverly Thompson

Chorus girl

Margaret Field

Chorus girl

Lucy Knoch

Chorus girl

Margot Morgan

Chorus girl

Mavis Murray

Chorus girl

Renee Randall

Chorus girl

Kay Deslys

Suffragist

Craufurd Kent

Headwaiter

George Jenner

Horseman

Frank Hagney

Man with Travers

Herbert Evans

Workman

Bruce Carruthers

Workman

Frank Baker

Workman

Renee Evans

Concessionaire

Doreen Munroe

Concessionaire

George Broughton

Barker

Robert Cory

Barker

Stanley Mann

Barker

William O'brien

Barker

Charles Dunbar

Barker

Tommy Hughes

Barker

Larry Dods

Man at Busch Gardens

Hilda Plowright

Customer

Roberta Jonay

Ballet dancer

Dorothy Barrett

Ballet dancer

George Atkinson

Doorman

James Logan

Doorman at front of theater

Dave Pepper

Man at stage door

Sanders Clark

Stage-door Johnny

Winifred Harris

Dowager

Gwendolyn Logan

Dowager

Colin Hunter

Jury foreman

Wilson Benge

Usher

Eric Wilton

Associate of court

Keith Hitchcock

Clerk

Heather Wilde

Millie's maid

Lumsden Hare

Hardy

Roberta Daniel

Suzanne, Rose's maid

Boyd Irwin

C. Montague Shaw

Harry Cording

Bill Nind

Harold De Becker

Bob Ingersoll

Alex Pollard

John Rice

Tom P. Dillon

Arthur Gould-porter

Al Ferguson

Guy Bellis

Gloria Williams

John Sheffield

Frederic Nay

Film Details

Also Known As
I Take This Woman, Lady 17
Release Date
Apr 25, 1947
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Paramount Pictures, Inc.
Distribution Company
Paramount Pictures, Inc.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the short story "Lady Seventeen" by Ladislas Fodor (publication undetermined).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 37m
Film Length
8,960ft

Articles

Teresa Wright (1918-2005)


Teresa Wright, a talented, Oscar&-winning leading lady of the '40s, and in later life, a versatile character player, died on March 6 at a New Haven, Connecticut hospital of a heart attack. She was 86.

She was born Muriel Teresa Wright in New York City on October 27, 1918. She showed a keen interest in acting in grade school, and by the time she was 19, she made her Broadway debut in Thorton Wilder's Our Town (1938); the following year she scored a hit as Mary, the weeping ingénue in Life with Father (1939). The word was out that New York had a superb young acting talent on hand, and Samuel Goldwyn soon brought her to Hollywood for William Wyler's adaptation of Lillian Hellman's The Little Foxes (1941). She scored an Oscar® nomination for her film debut as Regina Giddens' (Bette Davis), honorable daughter, Alexandria.

She maintained her amazing momentum by scoring two Oscar® nominations the following year for her next two films: as Carol Miniver in Wyler's Mrs. Miniver (Best Supporting Actress Category), and as Lou Gehrig's (Gary Cooper) faithful wife Ellie in Pride of the Yankees (Best Actress Category), and won the Oscar for Miniver. Yet for most fans of Wright's work, her finest hour remains her perfectly modulated performance as young Charlie in Alfred Hitchcock's masterpiece, Shadow of a Doubt (1943). Wright's performance as the self-effacing, impressionable young niece who gradually realizes that her beloved uncle (Joseph Cotton) may have murdered several widows is effective since Wright's air of observation, subtly turns from idol gazing, to a watchful air of caution as the facts slowly being to unravel. 60 years on, fans of Hitchcock still acclaim Wright's performance as an integral part of the film's classic status.

She proved her talents in comedy with the delightful Casanova Brown (1944), but then saw her schedule slow down due to domesticity. After she married screenwriter Niven Busch in 1942, she gave birth to son, Niven Jr., in 1944, and took two years off to look after her family. She soon returned to film with another Wyler project, the Oscar®-winning, post war drama, The Best Years of Our Lives (1946), playing Fredric March's level-headed daughter, Peggy, she again took some time off after giving birth to her daughter, Mary in 1947. On her second attempt to return to the big screen, Wright found her popularity on the wane. Her wholesome image was in sharp contrast of the tougher, more modern women in post-war Hollywood, and her stubborn refusal to pose for any swimsuit or cheesecake photos to alter her image led to her release from Sam Goldwyn's contract.

As a freelance actress, Wright still found some good roles, notably as a young widow in the thriller scripted by her husband, in The Capture; and as a faithful fiancée trying to help Marlin Brandon deal with his amputation in Stanley Kramer's The Men (both 1950). Yet within a few years, she was playing middle-aged mothers in film like The Actress (1953), and The Track of the Cat (1954), even though she was still in her early '30s. By the mid-50s she found work in live television, where she could apply her stage training, in a number of acclaimed shows: Playhouse 90, General Electric Theater, Four Star Playhouse, and The United States Steel Hour.

She took a break from acting when she married her second husband, the playwright Robert Anderson in 1959, (she had divorced her first husband, Busch, in 1952) and was out of the public eye for several decades, save for an isolated theater appearance. When she did return, it was intermittent, but she was always worth watching. In James Ivory's Roseland (1977), a portrait of the New York dancehall; she was poignant as a talkative widow obsessed with her late husband; and as an enigmatic old actress in Somewhere in Time, she nearly stole the picture from leads, Christopher Reeve and Jayne Seymour. She was still active in the '90s, appearing a few hit shows: Murder, She Wrote, Picket Fences; and a final film role in John Grisham's The Rainmaker (1997). She is survived by her son, Niven; daughter, Mary; and two grandchildren.

by Michael T. Toole
Teresa Wright (1918-2005)

Teresa Wright (1918-2005)

Teresa Wright, a talented, Oscar&-winning leading lady of the '40s, and in later life, a versatile character player, died on March 6 at a New Haven, Connecticut hospital of a heart attack. She was 86. She was born Muriel Teresa Wright in New York City on October 27, 1918. She showed a keen interest in acting in grade school, and by the time she was 19, she made her Broadway debut in Thorton Wilder's Our Town (1938); the following year she scored a hit as Mary, the weeping ingénue in Life with Father (1939). The word was out that New York had a superb young acting talent on hand, and Samuel Goldwyn soon brought her to Hollywood for William Wyler's adaptation of Lillian Hellman's The Little Foxes (1941). She scored an Oscar® nomination for her film debut as Regina Giddens' (Bette Davis), honorable daughter, Alexandria. She maintained her amazing momentum by scoring two Oscar® nominations the following year for her next two films: as Carol Miniver in Wyler's Mrs. Miniver (Best Supporting Actress Category), and as Lou Gehrig's (Gary Cooper) faithful wife Ellie in Pride of the Yankees (Best Actress Category), and won the Oscar for Miniver. Yet for most fans of Wright's work, her finest hour remains her perfectly modulated performance as young Charlie in Alfred Hitchcock's masterpiece, Shadow of a Doubt (1943). Wright's performance as the self-effacing, impressionable young niece who gradually realizes that her beloved uncle (Joseph Cotton) may have murdered several widows is effective since Wright's air of observation, subtly turns from idol gazing, to a watchful air of caution as the facts slowly being to unravel. 60 years on, fans of Hitchcock still acclaim Wright's performance as an integral part of the film's classic status. She proved her talents in comedy with the delightful Casanova Brown (1944), but then saw her schedule slow down due to domesticity. After she married screenwriter Niven Busch in 1942, she gave birth to son, Niven Jr., in 1944, and took two years off to look after her family. She soon returned to film with another Wyler project, the Oscar®-winning, post war drama, The Best Years of Our Lives (1946), playing Fredric March's level-headed daughter, Peggy, she again took some time off after giving birth to her daughter, Mary in 1947. On her second attempt to return to the big screen, Wright found her popularity on the wane. Her wholesome image was in sharp contrast of the tougher, more modern women in post-war Hollywood, and her stubborn refusal to pose for any swimsuit or cheesecake photos to alter her image led to her release from Sam Goldwyn's contract. As a freelance actress, Wright still found some good roles, notably as a young widow in the thriller scripted by her husband, in The Capture; and as a faithful fiancée trying to help Marlin Brandon deal with his amputation in Stanley Kramer's The Men (both 1950). Yet within a few years, she was playing middle-aged mothers in film like The Actress (1953), and The Track of the Cat (1954), even though she was still in her early '30s. By the mid-50s she found work in live television, where she could apply her stage training, in a number of acclaimed shows: Playhouse 90, General Electric Theater, Four Star Playhouse, and The United States Steel Hour. She took a break from acting when she married her second husband, the playwright Robert Anderson in 1959, (she had divorced her first husband, Busch, in 1952) and was out of the public eye for several decades, save for an isolated theater appearance. When she did return, it was intermittent, but she was always worth watching. In James Ivory's Roseland (1977), a portrait of the New York dancehall; she was poignant as a talkative widow obsessed with her late husband; and as an enigmatic old actress in Somewhere in Time, she nearly stole the picture from leads, Christopher Reeve and Jayne Seymour. She was still active in the '90s, appearing a few hit shows: Murder, She Wrote, Picket Fences; and a final film role in John Grisham's The Rainmaker (1997). She is survived by her son, Niven; daughter, Mary; and two grandchildren. by Michael T. Toole

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

This film's working titles were Take This Woman, I Take This Woman and Lady 17. According to Hollywood Reporter, Paramount paid $50,000 for the screen rights to Ladislas Fodor's story. Paulette Goddard was originally considered for the starring role in the picture. A pre-production news item in Hollywood Reporter states that Arturo de Cordova was cast in a lead role in this film; however, he did not appear in the final picture. The Imperfect Lady was the last released film of long-time character actor Miles Mander, who died in February 1946. Mander also appeared in the 1946 Columbia film The Walls Came Tumbling Down (see below), which was shot at approximately the same time as The Imperfect Lady, but was released earlier. Interiors for the film included a replica of London's Old Bailey courtroom as it appeared in 1892. Paramount News reported that technical consultant Hilda Grenier was formerly the Royal Dresser to Queen Mary, wife of George V of Great Britain.

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States Spring April 25, 1947

Released in United States Spring April 25, 1947