The Lady Has Plans


1h 17m 1942

Brief Synopsis

Some dastardly criminals have stolen some top secret plans and tattoo them on the back of a woman so she can sell them to the highest bidder in Lisbon. This woman plans to take the place of a 'Sidney Royce', a legitimate traveler going to Lisbon as a reporter. Crossed signals allows the real Sidney to reach Portugal first, where she is pursued by those trying to obtain the plans and US government agents trying to prevent the sale.

Film Details

Also Known As
The Girl Has Plans
Release Date
Jan 1942
Premiere Information
New York opening: week of 4 Mar 1942
Production Company
Paramount Pictures, Inc.
Distribution Company
Paramount Pictures, Inc.
Country
United States
Location
Laguna Beach, California, United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 17m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
6,948ft (8 reels)

Synopsis

Secret plans for a radio-controlled torpedo, which have been stolen from the U.S. Navy, are drawn in invisible ink onto the back of spy Rita Lenox. Her cohort, Paul Baker, then murders the innocent artist, and formulates plans for Rita to impersonate reporter Sidney Royce, who is flying to Lisbon, and sell the plans to either the Nazis or the British. The plot is abandoned, however, when their other cohort is intercepted by federal agents because his passport is expired. The real Sidney Royce, who has been hired to work with renowned war correspondent Kenneth Harper, travels to Lisbon and is surprised that reservations have already been made for her at a luxurious hotel. When she arrives at her suite, she is astonished by the trunks of clothing she finds there, which actually belong to Rita, and assume that her new boss has provided them. Upon meeting Sidney, Ken soon divests her of this assumption, but speculates himself on her possible relationship with their employer. Ken encourages her to interview her hotel neighbors, British agent Ronald Dean and Von Kemp, a German baron. Both men believe she is Rita, however, and when they each ask her to disrobe so that they can see her back, she throws them out of her room. Ken is called in by United States Ambassador Peter Miles, who informs him that Sidney is a spy and, with the assistance of Ronald, encourages him to romance her so they can get the secret plans. That night, Ken takes Sidney out to dinner, and although she is resistant to his sudden romantic overtures, he falls in love with her. He nonetheless plots with Ronald, who has made his apologies to Sidney for his previous behavior, to slip her a "mickey finn." However, the bartender who prepares the drink is working with Von Kemp and slips the drug into Ken's and Ronald's drinks. Sidney loses patience when the two men start to act silly, and goes to her room, but discovers that she has accidentally taken Ronald's key and stays in his room instead. Ken and Ronald then stay in her suite, but are awakened in the middle of the night by Nazi spies, who break in to photograph Sidney's back with a special camera. The spies escape, but leave their camera, and in the morning, Ken and Ronald realize they have been drugged by the Nazis. Sidney soon proves her true identity to Miles and Ken, and although Ken reveals that he became involved just to get a story, he also confesses that he has fallen in love with her. Sidney decides to continue the ruse in order to crack the story, and persuades Ken to draw on her back in invisible ink a fake plan for a combination harvest machine and barber's shears. Sidney offers to reveal the plans to Von Kemp while Ken entraps Rita, who has finally come to Lisbon. After knocking her unconscious, Ken leaves Rita guarded by his assistant, Frank Richards. Sidney's ruse is exposed by Baker, and Von Kemp then holds her prisoner. When Ken suggests a prisoner exchange, Rita appears with Frank, who is actually a Nazi spy. Both Ken and Sidney are imprisoned in a dungeon at a Nazi-controlled health resort after the Germans discover that Ken has already photographed and erased the secret plans and sent them to Washington, D.C. while Rita was unconscious. When Ken and Sidney escape, they find a vast room filled with forged passports. Ken sneaks into a telephone booth in the resort's main lobby, calls the radio station, and makes his scheduled broadcast by phone, reporting on the events that have just occurred. Police arrive to arrest the Nazi spies and Ken then professes his love for Sidney over the air.

Film Details

Also Known As
The Girl Has Plans
Release Date
Jan 1942
Premiere Information
New York opening: week of 4 Mar 1942
Production Company
Paramount Pictures, Inc.
Distribution Company
Paramount Pictures, Inc.
Country
United States
Location
Laguna Beach, California, United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 17m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
6,948ft (8 reels)

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

Leo Birinski's original story was titled "Palace of a Thousand Lies," and the working title of this film was The Girl Has Plans. Both Claudette Colbert and Madeleine Carroll were at one time slated for the picture's female lead. According to a Hollywood Reporter news item, Paramount hired chemist J. A. Cox to prepare the invisible ink formula and its reagent for use in the film. Paulette Goddard and Ray Milland were previously teamed in Reap the Wild Wind (see below). Some scenes were filmed on location near Laguna Beach, CA, according to DV. Rita Hayworth starred with William Powell in a April 26, 1943 Lux Radio Theatre broadcast of the story.