What a Woman! (film)

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What a Woman!
What a woman 1943.jpg
Poster
Directed by Irving Cummings
Produced by Irving Cummings
Written by Erik Charell (story)
Screenplay by Therese Lewis
Barry Trivers
Starring Rosalind Russell
Brian Aherne
Willard Parker
(See below)
Music by John Leipold
Cinematography Joseph Walker
Edited by Al Clark
Production
  company
Columbia Pictures
Release date(s)
  • December 28, 1943 (1943-12-28)
Running time 93m
Country United States
Language English

What a Woman! also known as The Beautiful Cheat is a 1943 black and white romantic comedy movie starring Rosalind Russell and Brian Aherne.

The movie revolves around a literary agent Carol Ainsley's trying to transform her star client, Michael Cobb, into the actor playing his most famous character. After it becomes obvious that it's impossible and he quits, Henry Pepper, a journalist writing a profile on the agent, calls him and convinces him that he's in love with Carol. Michael returns and the media embellishes their relationship constraining Carol to lead him on.

Plot[edit]

Henry Pepper, top writer for Knickerbocker magazine, is assigned to write a profile on Carol Ainsley, who has been named the outstanding career woman of the year. Carol, a super agent and star-maker, has just scooped her competition by selling the movie rights to the romance novel Whirlwind and is spending a fortune to find the perfect actor to play the male lead. When Carol learns that the book's author, Anthony Street, may be the man to play his own hero, she searches him out and discovers that he is actually Professor Michael Cobb of Buxton College.

Although handsome and blonde, the professor is an intellectual snob immersed in Elizabethan literature, and consequently, is horrified when he is exposed as the writer of a romance novel. While at Buxton, Carol gets Michael in trouble with the faculty and convinces him to accompany her to New York. There she takes over his life, arranging for lessons in comportment and charm. Michael is a failure at speaking the romantic words he wrote, however, and after his screen test proves a dismal failure, he decides to return to Buxton.

Henry, meanwhile, has become intrigued by Carol and has decided that she would be terrific if she developed her human side more. Intending to see if she has anything other than a dollar sign for a heart, Henry contacts Michael and convinces the professor that he is in love with Carol. While radiating the charm and assurance that Carol has taught him, Michael begins to court her. Their courtship becomes headline news, and although she is not in love with him, Carol is afraid to tell him the truth for fear that he might walk out on his contract.

Henry is thoroughly enjoying Carol's predicament until he kisses her and begins to fall in love with her himself. When Carol tries to trick Michael into going to Hollywood while she takes refuge at her father's house in Washington, D.C., Michael outsmarts her, follows her home and announces their engagement. Thus trapped, Carol agrees to the marriage.

On the eve of the wedding, the guests are socializing in the various rooms of the Ainsley house when Carol, angry at Henry for agreeing to be the best man, goes to his room to confront him. After Henry insults Carol and accuses her of being only a "ten percent woman," she slaps him, runs into the hallway and announces that she is calling off the wedding because she is not in love with Michael and refuses to be married just for the sake of business. Henry listens to her speech in admiration, and when she finishes, she rushes into his arms.[1]

Cast[edit]

In credits order:

Rosalind Russell ... Carol Ainsley
Brian Aherne ... Henry Pepper
Willard Parker ... Prof. Michael 'Mike' Cobb
Alan Dinehart ... Pat O'Shea
Edward Fielding ... Sen. Howard Ainsley
Ann Savage ... Jane Hughes
Norma Varden ... Miss Timmons
Douglas Wood ... Dean Alfred B. Shaeffer
Grady Sutton ... Mr. Clark
Lilyan Irene ... Minna
Frank Dawson ... Ben
Hobart Cavanaugh ... Mailman

References[edit]

  1. ^ What a Woman! on TCM

External links[edit]