The Captain Is a Lady (1940)

63 or 65 mins | Comedy-drama | 21 June 1940

Director:

Robert B. Sinclair

Writer:

Harry Clork

Producer:

Frederick Stephani

Cinematographer:

Leonard Smith

Editor:

Frank E. Hull

Production Designer:

Cedric Gibbons

Production Company:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
Full page view
HISTORY

The working title for this film was Old Lady 31 . According to a Mar 1935 HR news item, an independent production company called Blue Ribbon decided to drop this picture from production "due to possible legal entanglements over the rights." Another film based on the same source was the 1920 Metro Pictures, Inc. film, Old Lady 31 , which starred Emma Dunn and Henry Harmon (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films 1911-20 ; ... More Less

The working title for this film was Old Lady 31 . According to a Mar 1935 HR news item, an independent production company called Blue Ribbon decided to drop this picture from production "due to possible legal entanglements over the rights." Another film based on the same source was the 1920 Metro Pictures, Inc. film, Old Lady 31 , which starred Emma Dunn and Henry Harmon (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films 1911-20 ; F1.3220). More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
19 Jun 40
p. 3.
Film Daily
26 Jun 40
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
7 Mar 35
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
19 Apr 40
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
10 May 40
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
19 Jun 40
p. 4.
Motion Picture Herald
25 May 40
p. 40.
Motion Picture Herald
22 Jun 40
p. 50.
Variety
26 Jun 40
p. 16.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir assoc
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATOR
Set dec
COSTUMES
Ward
MUSIC
Mus dir
SOUND
MAKEUP
Makeup
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the play Old Lady 31 by Rachel Crothers (New York, 30 Oct 1916), and the novel of the same name by Louise Forsslund (New York, 1909).
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Old Lady 31
Release Date:
21 June 1940
Production Date:
18 April--9 May 1940
Copyright Claimant:
Loew's Inc.
Copyright Date:
18 June 1940
Copyright Number:
LP9723
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
63 or 65
Length(in reels):
7
Country:
United States
PCA No:
6303
Passed by NBR:
Yes
SYNOPSIS

Facing eviction from the cottage where he and his wife Angie have lived for thirty years, Abe Peabody, a retired sea captain, resorts to desperate measures to provide for his wife Angie. In order to put his wife in the fancy Pinecliff Home for Retired Ladies, Abe makes an illegal profit on the sale of his boat to Roger Bartlett. Although the ladies at Pinecliff live by strict rules, once Angie moves in, they offer Abe refuge there because they hate to see the elderly couple parted. Abe reluctantly consents to live at Pinecliff, and, because he is the thirty-first resident of the institution, he is soon nicknamed Old Lady Number Thirty-One. Life in the home proves to be quite a challenge for the former seaman, as he unwittingly becomes the subject of attention, gossip, and jealousy among the old ladies. They begin suspecting a tryst between Abe and Nancy Crocker, a "loose cannon" who likes to sneak a nip of liquor with Abe every so often, and later believe he is having an affair with Blossy Stort, with whom he was seen in the garden engaging in a private conversation. In actuality, Abe was merely giving advice to the lonely spinster, suggesting that she meet his friend, Sam Darby. When Abe accidentally crawls into the window of the wrong room and startles Nancy, the ladies discover him and send him away. Despondent, Abe examines his life insurance policy and prepares for suicide, until Abigail Morrow, the Pinecliff director, rescues him. While the old ladies try to figure out how to help Abe, a nearby ship puts in a distress ... +


Facing eviction from the cottage where he and his wife Angie have lived for thirty years, Abe Peabody, a retired sea captain, resorts to desperate measures to provide for his wife Angie. In order to put his wife in the fancy Pinecliff Home for Retired Ladies, Abe makes an illegal profit on the sale of his boat to Roger Bartlett. Although the ladies at Pinecliff live by strict rules, once Angie moves in, they offer Abe refuge there because they hate to see the elderly couple parted. Abe reluctantly consents to live at Pinecliff, and, because he is the thirty-first resident of the institution, he is soon nicknamed Old Lady Number Thirty-One. Life in the home proves to be quite a challenge for the former seaman, as he unwittingly becomes the subject of attention, gossip, and jealousy among the old ladies. They begin suspecting a tryst between Abe and Nancy Crocker, a "loose cannon" who likes to sneak a nip of liquor with Abe every so often, and later believe he is having an affair with Blossy Stort, with whom he was seen in the garden engaging in a private conversation. In actuality, Abe was merely giving advice to the lonely spinster, suggesting that she meet his friend, Sam Darby. When Abe accidentally crawls into the window of the wrong room and startles Nancy, the ladies discover him and send him away. Despondent, Abe examines his life insurance policy and prepares for suicide, until Abigail Morrow, the Pinecliff director, rescues him. While the old ladies try to figure out how to help Abe, a nearby ship puts in a distress call. Abe redeems himself by rescuing the ship, and returns a hero. In order to help Abe, the ladies corner Bartlett and blackmail him into returning Abe's share of the ship and promising to give back the Peabodys house. +

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

TOP SEARCHES

CASABLANCA

During World War II, Casablanca, Morocco is a waiting point for throngs of desperate refugees fleeing Nazi-occupied Europe. Exit visas, which are necessary to leave the country, are at ... >>

CITIZEN KANE

Seventy-year-old newspaper tycoon Charles Foster Kane dies in his palatial Florida home, Xanadu, after uttering the single word “Rosebud.” While watching a newsreel summarizing the years during which Kane ... >>

REAR WINDOW

Laid up with a broken leg during the height of summer, renowned New York magazine photographer L. B. “Jeff” Jeffries enters his last week of home confinement, bored and ... >>

RAGING BULL

In 1941, at a boxing match in Cleveland, Ohio, pandemonium breaks out when Jake La Motta, an up-and-coming young boxer, loses a decision to Jimmy Reeves, suffering his first ... >>

CITY LIGHTS

At an outdoor dedication ceremony, a tramp is discovered sleeping in the arms of a statue as it is being unveiled before a crowd. He is chased into ... >>

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.