6.2/10
465
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)
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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 »
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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

Leslie Fenton filled in as director for some added scenes when Jack Conway became ill. See more »

Quotes

Manon DeVargnes: It isn't true. You're being nice to me. It isn't true!
Bill Carey: You're coming with me as my wife - in the eyes of God and man and the United States Passport Bureau.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Hollywood Mouth 2 (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Ai tuoi piedi son
(uncredited)
from "Manon Lescaut" (1893)
Music by Giacomo Puccini
Libretto by Domenico Oliva and Luigi Illica
Performed by uncredited singers at the opera
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Hedy's sultry beauty matched against Taylor's good looks...
4 April 2008 | by DoylenfSee all my reviews

With a script by Ben Hecht, LADY OF THE TROPICS is a film that recalled another Hedy Lamarr film--at least the title does--called "A Lady Without Passport"--a wretched film she made in 1950. Here too, she's a lady without passport and that's what triggers the entire plot. But it must be said that the comparison between the two films ends with the title.

This is strictly old-fashioned melodrama reeking of either "Manon Lescaut" or "Madame Butterfly", with Hedy as the ill-fated heroine who allows herself to be "used" by Joseph SCHILDKRAUT while hiding her indiscretions from her smitten American admirer (ROBERT TAYLOR), who meets her in French Indochina (Saigon) before WWII and immediately falls in love with her. When Schildkraut gets revenge by planting false evidence of his association with Lamarr to open Taylor's eyes to the truth, the consequences turn tragic.

Hedy has never been more beautiful and gives a sensitive performance as Manon (yes, that's her name!), a "lady of the tropics" with a sultry beauty enhanced by her MGM transformation into a stunning star who is always ready for her close-ups. Attired in an equally stunning Adrian wardrobe, she's a glittering testament to the power of Golden Age films to give stars glamor with a capital "G". Taylor, attired in white linen suits and Panama hats must have made female hearts flutter as the romantic hero willing to sacrifice all for his yen for Manon.

It's a better film than I expected. Joseph SCHILDKRAUT makes a perfect villain, the kind you like to hiss, with his Oriental make-up and oily manner oozing menace at every quiet inflection of his voice. The B&W photography of some artfully designed sets is soothing to the eye and so, of course, is the teaming of Lamarr and Taylor--two of the most photogenic stars on the MGM lot.

The script by Ben Hecht helps sustain interest in the storyline, even if it does get a bit too weepy toward the end. Lamarr shows evidence that she could be a very sympathetic heroine if given half a chance.


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