Lady for a Night (1942)

87-88 mins | Melodrama | 5 January 1942

Director:

Leigh Jason

Cinematographer:

Norbert Brodine

Editor:

Ernest Nims

Production Designer:

John Victor Mackay

Production Company:

Republic Pictures Corp.
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HISTORY

The working titles of this film were The Lady of New Orleans , Lady from New Orleans and Memphis Belle . According to a HR 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 Jun 1941, HR 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 18 Apr 1940 letter from the PCA to Republic, concerning a 15 Apr 1940 script, indicates that "Stephen" and "Julia" were killed at the end of that version. In response to a 31 May 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 ... More Less

The working titles of this film were The Lady of New Orleans , Lady from New Orleans and Memphis Belle . According to a HR 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 Jun 1941, HR 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 18 Apr 1940 letter from the PCA to Republic, concerning a 15 Apr 1940 script, indicates that "Stephen" and "Julia" were killed at the end of that version. In response to a 31 May 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. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
3 Jan 1942.
---
Daily Variety
29 Dec 1941.
---
Film Daily
29 Dec 41
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
19 May 41
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
4 Jun 41
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
26 Sep 41
p. 16.
Hollywood Reporter
9 Oct 41
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
5 Nov 41
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
13 Nov 41
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
14 Nov 41
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
17 Nov 41
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
28 Nov 41
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
29 Dec 1941.
---
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
3 Jan 42
p. 441.
New York Times
12 Feb 42
p. 27.
Variety
31 Dec 41
p. 8.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
and
The Hall Johnson Choir
Jack Kenney
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
Assoc prod
WRITERS
Based on a story by
PHOTOGRAPHY
ART DIRECTOR
FILM EDITORS
Supv ed
Film ed
COSTUMES
MUSIC
Mus dir
DANCE
Dance dir
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod mgr
SOURCES
SONGS
"Ta-Ra-Ra-Boom-Der-É," music and lyrics by Henry J. Sayers, special lyrics by Sol Meyer
"Anybody Seen My Man," music and lyrics by Jule Styne and Sol Meyer
"Up in a Balloon," music by H. B. Farnie, special lyrics by Sol Meyer
+
SONGS
"Ta-Ra-Ra-Boom-Der-É," music and lyrics by Henry J. Sayers, special lyrics by Sol Meyer
"Anybody Seen My Man," music and lyrics by Jule Styne and Sol Meyer
"Up in a Balloon," music by H. B. Farnie, special lyrics by Sol Meyer
"Ezekiel Saw de Wheel," traditional.
+
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
The Lady of New Orleans
Lady from New Orleans
Memphis Belle
Release Date:
5 January 1942
Production Date:
late September--14 November 1941
Copyright Claimant:
Republic Pictures Corp.
Copyright Date:
5 January 1942
Copyright Number:
LP11100
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
87-88
Length(in feet):
7,857
Length(in reels):
10
Country:
United States
PCA No:
7794
Passed by NBR:
Yes
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 ... +


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. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.