Lady for a Night


1h 27m 1942

Brief Synopsis

Gambling boat operator Jenny Blake throws over her gambler beau Jack Morgan in order to marry into high society. When her husband is killed in an attempt on her life, she is charged with his murder.

Film Details

Also Known As
Lady from New Orleans, Memphis Belle, The Lady of New Orleans
Release Date
Jan 5, 1942
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Republic Pictures Corp.
Distribution Company
Republic Pictures Corp.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 27m
Sound
Mono (RCA Sound System)
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
7,857ft (10 reels)

Synopsis

In the late 1800s, Jenny Blake, the beautiful owner of the Memphis Belle , a riverboat casino, aspires to a life in high society. The upper classes of Memphis society look down on Jenny because of her occupation, however, even though the men of aristocratic families regularly visit her establishment. Jack Morgan, co-owner of the Memphis Belle and an influential political boss, is in love with Jenny but arranges for her to be crowned queen of the high society Mardi Gras carnival in order to teach her a lesson. Despite the humiliation she suffers when the partygoers are infuriated by her presence, Jenny is determined to break into society. Her opportunity comes in the form of Alan Alderson, the drunken, cynical scion of an old family that owns a once-grand plantation called "The Shadows." Despite enormous tax burdens that threaten the loss of "The Shadows," Alan gambles and loses heavily at Jenny's club. She offers to forgive his debts and pay off his taxes if he will marry her, thereby giving her a respectable name and position. Alan reluctantly agrees and they are married immediately. Jenny returns to the boat following the impromptu ceremony, and after telling the disappointed Jack of her marriage, allows the Memphis Belle to be consumed by an accidental fire. Alan's father Stephen and aunt Julia are horrifed by the marriage, although his mentally unstable aunt Katherine is thrilled by the thought of having a new friend. Alan tells his family that they must accept Jenny due to their financial position, but Julia is determined to get rid of her. Julia's efforts range from making insinuations about Jenny's relationship with Jack to trying to ruin a ball she is to host. Jack uses his influence to force Jenny's guests to attend the ball, despite Julia's attempt to get them to stay away. The final blow comes when Julia gives Jenny a blind carriage horse that almost causes Jenny's death when it runs wild. When Jenny orders Julia to leave "The Shadows," Julia retaliates by fixing a poisoned drink for her. Alan drinks the toddy instead, however, and Jenny is accused of murdering him. At the trial, Katherine, who knows that Julia deliberately poisoned the drink, is intimidated by her sister into lying to incriminate Jenny, and Jenny is convicted. Unable to bear the pressure, Katherine eventually reveals that Julia killed Alan, just as years earlier, jealousy caused her to kill Katherine's fiancé. Cleared of the crime, Jenny returns with Jack to his club, where she happily resumes her old life and agrees to marry him.

Cast

Joan Blondell

Jenny Blake

John Wayne

Jack Morgan

Philip Merivale

Stephen Alderson

Blanche Yurka

Julia Alderson

Ray Middleton

Alan Alderson

Edith Barrett

Katherine Alderson

Leonid Kinskey

Boris

Hattie Noel

Chloe

Montagu Love

Judge

Carmel Myers

Mayor's wife

Dorothy Burgess

Flo

Guy Usher

Governor

Ivan Miller

Mayor

Patricia Knox

Mabel

Lew Payton

Napoleon

Marilyn Hare

Mary Lou

The Hall Johnson Choir

Margaret Armstrong

Governor's wife

Betty Hill

Governor's daughter

Jac George

Orchestra leader

Pierre Watkin

Prosecutor

Forbes Murray

Defense attorney

Frank Orth

Coroner

Roy Gordon

Mr. Crane

Ira Buck Woods

Lazy man

Kathryn Sheldon

Spinster

Minerva Urecal

Spinster

Howard Hickman

Civil War general

Eula Morgan

Dowager

Dudley Dickerson

Black specialty dancer

Paul White

Black specialty dancer

Gladys Gale

Mother

Charles Miller

Father

Charles Mcavoy

Policeman

Dick Rush

Policeman

Henry Thomas

Black man

Neely Edwards

Announcer

Mickey Simpson

Floorman

Charles Sherlock

Croupier

Gaby Mclaughlin

Dancer

Tito Valdez

Dancer

Leigh Whipper

Joe Cupid

Hal Cooke

Civic leader

Lloyd Whitlock

Civic leader

Howard Mitchell

Civic leader

Dewey Robinson

Horse dealer

Dolores Gray

Dolores

Edith Evanson

Dressmaker

Martin Turner

Black attendant

Corinne Valdez

Lead can-can dancer

Maxine Ardell

Can-can dancer

Janet Graves

Can-can dancer

Loretta Barnett

Can-can dancer

Valerie Hall

Can-can dancer

Bunny Bronson

Can-can dancer

Marion Huston

Can-can dancer

Margaret Bryson

Can-can dancer

Jean Leroy

Can-can dancer

Jeanette Dickson

Can-can dancer

Dorothy Schoemer

Can-can dancer

Frances Gladwin

Can-can dancer

Nancy Savoy

Can-can dancer

Gertrude Astor

Pearl Early

Jack Kenney

Film Details

Also Known As
Lady from New Orleans, Memphis Belle, The Lady of New Orleans
Release Date
Jan 5, 1942
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Republic Pictures Corp.
Distribution Company
Republic Pictures Corp.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 27m
Sound
Mono (RCA Sound System)
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
7,857ft (10 reels)

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

The working titles of this film were The Lady of New Orleans, Lady from New Orleans and Memphis Belle. According to a Hollywood Reporter news item, Mae Clarke was signed to a term contract by Republic in May 1941, and as her first assignment, was to have a "featured role" in the picture. She does not appear in the finished film, however. In early June 1941, Hollywood Reporter noted that Republic was "angling" for Miriam Hopkins and Judith Anderson to appear in the film in "top roles." The picture marked actress Carmel Myer's first screen appearance since 1934 and the motion picture debut of musical comedy star Dolores Gray (1924-2002).
       According to the film's file in the MPAA/PCA Collection at the AMPAS Library, the PCA warned the studio that the script would not be approved if there was any suggestion that "Jenny" and "Jack" had a "sex affair," or if "Jenny" was guilty of arson rather than of allowing an accidental fire to burn. An April 18, 1940 letter from the PCA to Republic, concerning a April 15, 1940 script, indicates that "Stephen" and "Julia" were killed at the end of that version. In response to a May 31, 1941 script, the PCA ordered that "Julia" must die an accidental death at the end and not be shown to elude a murder conviction by committing suicide. "Julia's" fate in the released film remains unknown.

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States 1941

Released in United States 1941