There's Always a Woman

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For the Desperate Housewives episode, see There's Always a Woman (Desperate Housewives).
There's Always a Woman
There's Always a Woman.jpg
Directed by Alexander Hall
Produced by William Perlberg
Written by Gladys Lehman
Based on There's Always a Woman
1937 story in American Magazine
by Wilson Collison
Starring Joan Blondell
Melvyn Douglas
Mary Astor
Music by George Parrish
Cinematography Henry Freulich
Edited by Viola Lawrence
Distributed by Columbia Pictures Corporation
Release date
April 20, 1938
Running time
80-82 minutes
Country United States
Language English

There's Always a Woman is a 1938 comedy mystery film starring Melvyn Douglas as a detective investigating a murder and Joan Blondell as his interfering wife Sally. The movie was based on the short story of the same name by Wilson Collison and the supporting cast includes Mary Astor. Seeing the potential for a series Columbia Pictures quickly made a sequel, There's That Woman Again (1939) with Douglas reprising his role but with Virginia Bruce as Sally. No further films were made in the series.

A 19-year-old Rita Hayworth makes a small uncredited appearance in this film as Mr. Ketterling's secretary.


Bill Reardon's (Melvyn Douglas) private detective agency isn't making enough money, so he closes it and takes a job with the district attorney's office. Because the bills keep piling up, wife Sally (Joan Blondell) decides to try being a private eye herself.

Sally is hired by a socialite, Lola Fraser (Mary Astor), to find out if Lola's husband Walter (Lester Matthews) is having an affair with Anne Calhoun (Frances Drake), as she suspects. At a nightclub owned by Nick Shane (Jerome Cowan), pretending to be out with Bill for pleasure rather than business, Sally observes that Anne's angry fiancé Jerry Marlowe (Robert Paige) is threatening Walter Fraser, and before long Walter ends up dead.

Jerry is the prime suspect. Mr. Ketterling (Pierre Watkin), who is Jerry's employer, hires Sally to prove him innocent. Shane could be behind it, she figures, but Shane's murdered body is found as well, and Sally catches a whiff of a familiar perfume, Lola's.

With her husband's help, Sally proves that Lola decided to kill Walter to become a wealthy widow because he was planning to divorce her. Lola gets her just deserts, and Sally becomes a first-rate sleuth.



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