Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Robert Stevenson|
|Screenplay by||Edmund H. North|
|Based on||Dishonored Lady (play)
by Edward Sheldon and Margaret Ayer Barnes
|Music by||Carmen Dragon|
|Cinematography||Lucien N. Andriot|
|Edited by||John M. Foley|
Hunt Stromberg Productions
Mars Film Corporation
|Distributed by||United Artists|
|Budget||$1.2 million (original)|
Dishonored Lady is a 1947 film noir crime film directed by Robert Stevenson and starring Hedy Lamarr, Dennis O'Keefe, and John Loder. It is based on the 1930 play Dishonored Lady by Edward Sheldon and Margaret Ayer Barnes.
It is the story of a beautiful editor at a high-profile Manhattan fashion magazine who becomes a lively party girl at night. With the pressures of her work and her disappointing love life driving her to a breakdown, she seeks out the help of a psychiatrist, who recommends that she leave her job and her lifestyle behind and move into a smaller apartment under another name. Following his advice, she takes an interest in painting and meets a handsome neighbor.
Dishonored Lady was released by United Artists in the United States on May 16, 1947.
Madeleine Damien is the fashion editor of a slick Manhattan magazine called Boulevard. Men are attracted to her, including boss Victor Kranish, wealthy advertiser Felix Courtland and a former assistant, Jack Garet, who is now working for Courtland and blackmailing her about events from her past.
Madeleine makes a suicide attempt and is headed toward a breakdown. She crashes her car near the home of a psychiatrist, then, while under his care, quits her job and moves into a smaller flat under a new identity. She becomes interested in painting and in David Cousins, a handsome neighbor.
After having marriage proposed to her by David, who knows nothing of her past, Madeleine is confronted by Courtland, who is still interested in her. After she slips away from his home, Garet arrives. Accused of a home burglary by Courtland, Garet bludgeons him with a table lighter. Madeleine is charged with the murder and is too depressed to defend herself. David realizes the truth, confronts Garet and manages to save Madeleine just in time.
- Hedy Lamarr as Madeleine Damien
- Dennis O'Keefe as Dr. David Cousins
- John Loder as Felix Courtland
- William Lundigan as Jack Garet
- Morris Carnovsky as Dr. Richard Caleb
- Natalie Schafer as Ethel Royce
- Paul Cavanagh as Victor Kranish
- Douglas Dumbrille as District Attorney O'Brien
- Margaret Hamilton as Mrs. Geiger
- Production Dates: early May-late Jul 1946 at California Studios
- The film is also known as Sins of Madeleine.
- In 1936, a US Federal Court said that the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer film Letty Lynton (1932), based on a novel by Marie Adelaide Belloc Lowndes, also plagiarized the Sheldon-Barnes play Dishonored Lady. This has resulted in Letty Lynton being out of distribution since 1936.
- Production of the film was supposed to begin no later than January 1945, however problems with the Hays Office delayed production until May 1946. The Hays Office insisted that two affairs-one in Mexico and one in New York-might be "overloading" the picture, and also objected to the "night of sordid passion."
- A memo dated April 25, 1946 stated that, despite revisions, the script was unacceptable because of its gratuitous sex and its references to Madeleine's unsavory family secrets. In the released version of the story, references to Madeleine's parents were omitted completely. The character of Moreno and the affair in Mexico City were completely excised, and the "night of sordid passion" was not shown. All suggestions that Madeleine was a murderer, or had even contemplated murder, were also removed from the film. In a final studio synopsis in the Code file, Madeleine goes away on a trip hoping the time will come when David and she can be together; the reunion at the film's closing was added later.
- The film went over budget by $1.2 million and was a failure at the box office.
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