|Genre: Classics, Comedy, Drama, Musical & Performing Arts, Science Fiction & Fantasy|
Directed By: Roy Del Ruth
Written By: Wilkie Mahoney, Albert Mannheimer, Nancy Hamilton, Mary C. McCall Jr., Jack McGowan, Charles Sherman, Irving Brecher
In Theaters: 13 Aug. 1943
On Disc/Streaming: 19 June 2007
Runtime: 101 minutes
Studio: MGM Home Entertainment
Box office: $3,496,000
Red Skelton as Louis Blore and Louis XV
Lucille Ball as May Daly and Madame Du Barry
Gene Kelly as Alec Howe and The Black Arrow
Virginia O’Brien as Ginny
Rags Ragland as Charlie
Zero Mostel as Rami the Swami
Donald Meek as Mr. Jones and Duc de Choiseul
Douglass Dumbrille as Willie and Duc de Rigor
George Givot as Cheezy and Count de Roquefort
Louise Beavers as Niagara
Tommy Dorsey and His Orchestra as themselves
Hugh Beaumont as Footman (uncredited)
Clara Blandick as Old Lady on Subway (uncredited)
Charles Coleman as Charlie, the doorman (uncredited)
Ava Gardner as Perfume Girl (uncredited)
Marilyn Maxwell as Miss February – Vargas Calendar Girl (uncredited)
Lana Turner as herself (uncredited)
“Du Barry Was a Lady” is a 1943 American musical comedy film, starring Red Skelton, Lucille Ball, Gene Kelly and Tommy Dorsey and his Orchestra. It is based on the 1939 stage musical of the same name. Shot in Technicolor, the film was directed by Roy Del Ruth and produced and distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.
The entertainer May Daly’s nightclub act includes her portrayal of Madame Du Barry of days of yore.
Equally smitten with her are coatroom attendant Louis Blore and master of ceremonies Alec Howe, but unfortunately for both, May persists in holding out for a wealthy husband, her current interest being a rich but snooty gent, Willie.
A telegram arrives notifying Louis that in the Irish Sweepstakes he is the winner of a prize of $150,000.
Louis immediately and publicly declares his love for May, who is teased by Alec that she now has no reason to stay with Willie and avoid Louis, who is a sweeter fellow.
Then after accidentally swallowing a drugged drink, Louis falls into a deep sleep and dreams that he is King Louis XV, holding court with Madame Du Barry (May) and holding off her colorful suitor, The Black Arrow (Alec).
After swordplay and the sentencing of the Black Arrow to the guillotine, Louis awakens from his dream.
He realizes that May is in love with Alec and generously offers them a wedding gift of $10,000.
May declines, saying she has changed her mind about money’s importance. Everybody ends up happy until a tax collector comes to demand that Louis pay him $80,000.
Lana Turner plays herself. (uncredited)
Like “The Youngest Profession” “Du Barry Was A Lady” was another guest spot, only briefer (less than 15 seconds of screen time). It was more of a surprise appearance and was brief enough so that it could be filmed on one of Lana’s free moments from “Slightly Dangerous“, which was shooting at the same time.
You can watch the film here.
Lana Turner did a lot of movies. She really loved being a moviestar.
Here are the most important films in which she starred. Just click the links for more info, photos and videos.
20 April 1937: A Star Is Born
9 Oct. 1937: They Won’t Forget
24 Oct. 1937: The Great Garrick
1 Jan. 1938: The Adventures of Marco Polo
22 July 1938: Love Finds Andy Hardy
12 Aug. 1938: Rich Man, Poor Girl
9 Dec. 1938: Dramatic School
28 April 1939: Calling Dr. Kildare
18 Aug. 1939: These Glamour Girls
29 Sept. 1939: Dancing Co-Ed
19 April 1940: Two Girls on Broadway
19 July 1940: We Who Are Young
25 April 1941: Ziegfeld Girl
12 Aug. 1941: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
2 Oct. 1941: Honky Tonk
18 Febr. 1942: Johnny Eager
27 Aug. 1942: Somewhere I’ll Find You
1 April 1943: Slightly Dangerous
19 Aug. 1943: Du Barry Was A Lady
13 Nov. 1943: The Youngest Profession
23 Aug. 1944: Marriage Is a Private Affair
8 March 1945: Keep Your Powder Dry
1 Oct. 1945: Week-End At The Waldorf
2 May 1946: The Postman Always Rings Twice
5 Nov. 1947 : Green Dolphin Street
1 Nov. 1947: Cass Timberlane
29 April 1948: Homecoming
20 Oct. 1948: The Three Musketeers
1 Sept. 1950: A Life Of Her Own
2 March 1951: Mr. Imperium
5 Sept. 1952: The Merry Widow
25 Dec. 1952: The Bad And The Beautiful
25 Aug. 1953: Latin Lovers
1 May 1954: Flame And The Flesh
7 Sept. 1954: Betrayed
13 May 1955: The Prodigal
4 June 1955: Sea Chase
14 Dec. 1955: The Rains Of Ranchipur
12 Jan. 1956: Diane
13 Dec. 1957: Peyton Place
30 Jan. 1958: The Lady Takes A Flyer
2 May 1958: Another Time, Another Place
30 April 1959: Imitation Of Life
23 June 1960: Portrait In Black
19 July 1961: By Love Possessed
2 Nov. 1961: Bachelor In Paradise
25 Dec. 1962: Who’s Got The Action?
24 Febr. 1965: Love Has Many Faces
27 April 1966: Madame X
30 April 1969: The Big Cube
7 Nov. 1974: Persecution
27 Oct. 1976: Bittersweet Love
31 Oct. 1980: Witches Brew
21 May 1982: Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid
Sources: Wikipedia, IMDB, Rotten Tomatoes, Lana’s biography “Lana, the Lady, The Legend, The Truth“, “The Films Of Lana Turner” by Lou Valentino and “Lana Turner, The Memories, The Myths and The Movies” by Cheryl Crane.