6.2/10
469
24 user 6 critic

Lady of the Tropics (1939)

Passed | | Drama, Romance | 11 August 1939 (USA)
Playboy Bill Carey woos a half-caste beauty in French Indochina, but her second-class legal status makes a formidable barrier.

Directors:

Jack Conway, Leslie Fenton (uncredited)

Writer:

Ben Hecht (screen play)
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Robert Taylor ... Bill Carey
Hedy Lamarr ... Manon DeVargnes
Joseph Schildkraut ... Pierre Delaroch
Gloria Franklin ... Nina
Ernest Cossart ... Father Antoine
Mary Taylor ... Dolly Harrison
Charles Trowbridge ... Alfred Z. Harrison
Frederick Worlock ... Colonel Demassey
Paul Porcasi ... Lamartine
Marguerita Padula Marguerita Padula ... Madame Kya (as Margaret Padula)
Cecil Cunningham ... Countess Berichi
Natalie Moorhead ... Mrs. Hazlitt
Edit

Storyline

A party of yachting jet-setters visit French Saigon, where they meet lovely Manon deVargnes, a second-class citizen not allowed to leave the country due to her part-Oriental ancestry. When the others leave, playboy Bill Carey stays behind to woo Manon; but all his efforts to get her out of the country with him run into a brick wall. And Pierre Delaroch, her wealthy former admirer, waits for him to give up... Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The picture you've been waiting for! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

11 August 1939 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Flor del trópico See more »

Filming Locations:

Cambodia See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$913,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The American Film Institute Catalog of Feature Films 1931-1940 tells us that this was Hedy Lamarr's last film under her MGM contract; actually, it was her first. AFI also informs us that Mary Taylor was signed to a long term MGM contract as a result of her work in this picture; actually, she would be seen in a total of only four feature films in her entire career, and only one more of them, Blossoms in the Dust (1941) would be made at MGM. See more »

Quotes

Bill Carey: Oh, Manon, my unpredictable little screwball!
Manon DeVargnes: What is screwball?
Bill Carey: A girl with one dress and laughing about it.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Hollywood Mouth 2 (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Each Time You Say Goodbye (I Die A Little)
(1939)
Music by Phil Ohman
Lyrics Foster Carling
Sung by Gloria Franklin (uncredited) (dubbed by Harriet Cruise (uncredited))
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Lamarr's Night of Nights
4 September 2002 | by rparisiousSee all my reviews

Hedy Lamarr was not generally as fortunate in her scripts or her directors as most of the great leading ladies of her day.Yet this now almost forgotten film may ,in fact, be her most perfect vehicle. "Samson and Delilah" appears the only alternative possibility ;still the gentler less garish approach here serves to better accentuate Miss Lamarr's exquisite beauty and muted, perfectly timed, performance.

The part of the half-caste Manon seems written for her (an excellent Ben Hecht script); the photography deserved its Oscar nomination and makes us ask for what do we need technicolor? Furthermore,Lamarr is ably seconded by then newcomer Gloria Franklin as another gentle victim of the Saigon love game.And can Miss Franklin handle a heartbreaking rhythm. Why did America fail to take this delicate chanteuse to its heart?

The main flaw in this work,which otherwise would deserve a nine or ten rating, is the casting of an already hardening Robert Taylor as the enraptured playboy.It is patent,considering the obvious parallels with "Camille, why Taylor was hired. He even goes through some almost identical motions a second time in the death scene here. And that is exactly the problem.Taylor has left romanticism behind him by the time this film was shot. His best notes here are quiet desperation. Francis Lederer would have been great for the role(remember him with Louise Brooks?),but, under the Hollywood casting system ,there was no chance he could have gotten the part.

Flawed as it is, it is flawless Lamarr.And as every romantic believes ,there must still be audiences of unknowing lovers out there who will want to see it again-and again.


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