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I Was an Adventuress (1940)

Not Rated | | Comedy, Crime, Drama | 10 May 1940 (USA)
A pair of crooks (von Stroheim and Lorre) use a phony countess (Zorina) who winds up falling in love with one of their victims (Greene).


Gregory Ratoff


Karl Tunberg (screen play), Don Ettlinger (screen play) | 5 more credits »


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Complete credited cast:
Vera Zorina ... Countess Tanya Vronsky (as Zorina)
Richard Greene ... Paul Vernay
Erich von Stroheim ... Andre Desormeaux (as Erich Von Stroheim)
Peter Lorre ... Polo
Sig Ruman ... Herr Protz (as Sig Rumann)
Fritz Feld ... Henri Gautier
Cora Witherspoon ... Aunt Cecile
Anthony Kemble-Cooper Anthony Kemble-Cooper ... Cousin Emil (as Anthony Kemple Cooper)
Paul Porcasi ... Fisherman
Inez Palange Inez Palange ... Fisherman's Wife
Egon Brecher Egon Brecher ... Jacques Dubois
Roger Imhof Roger Imhof ... Henrich Von Korgen
Rolfe Sedan Rolfe Sedan ... Waiter
Eddie Conrad ... Waiter
Fortunio Bonanova ... Orchestra Leader


Andre Desormeaux, master con artist and jewel thief, has been very successful with his partners, light-fingered Polo and beautiful lure "Countess" Tanya Vronsky. But Tanya falls in love with one of their victims, resigns from the team, and (despite Andre's warning) marries rich young Paul Vernay...for love. Inevitably, Andre and Polo reappear in her life. Can Tanya outwit the master schemer? Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Crime | Drama


Not Rated | See all certifications »





English | French

Release Date:

10 May 1940 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Sedutora Aventureira See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Albert Conti, Anna Demetrio and George Humbert are listed cast members in contemporary Hollywood Reporter production charts, but they were not seen in the film. See more »


Countess Tanya Vronsky: I'm Countess Vronsky. I've heard some of the stories you've been spreading about me, Signor Rosselli
[slaps his face]
Countess Tanya Vronsky: I warn you against repeating any more of this malicious gossip
Herr Protz: [startled] I am not Signor Rosselli!
Countess Tanya Vronsky: You're not Signor Rosselli?
Herr Protz: No. I've never even heard of him.
Countess Tanya Vronsky: Oh. I've made a terrible mistake
Herr Protz: Oh, that's alright.
Countess Tanya Vronsky: I don't know what to say
Herr Protz: Say nothing, Countess.
See more »


Remake of I Was an Adventuress (1938) See more »


Swan Lake, Op.20
(1877) (uncredited)
Written by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Excerpts played at the ballet and danced by Vera Zorina, Lew Christensen and Charles Laskey
See more »

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User Reviews

10 June 2018 | by sb-47-608737See all my reviews

Writing a review is easy, but rating it isn't that easy. One way to rate a movie is to freeze the brain, and look whether the movie is enjoyable or boring, or could be seen, with portions skipped / fast-forwarded.

On this scale this movie is above average (my 7*, may be another half). The pace is good, the story, though quite predictable, has some fresh episodes, for example towards the end, the heroine conning her mentor, or even afterwards, the one upmanship of the same mentor on the heroine to carry out the jewel heist. Of course there is another 'ethical' angle of the heroine. She, though the honey-bait, of the racket, but legally, she did all her transactions purely above board, and in quite an ingenious way. When she sold the false-antique, she declared openly and vociferously that it was not real, but the greedy buyer though otherwise. And in addition to good performance by the heroine, Vera Zorina, and her ballet in the end, there was brilliant comedy by Peter Lorre, the second side-kick, the first being Zorina, of the mastermind, the sinister Stroheim. With above average performance by these three, around which the story revolved, the others didn't matter much, and Richard Greene, the love interest, didn't have much role, than being the eye-candy of the piece, and he didn't hurt.

The second way to look at the movie and rate them is through critical analysis, forgetting the enjoyable-ness of it. On this, this movie would be quite below average. It has quite a bit of large loop-holes and gaffs . For example, the society page, declaring the return of the new couple, was in English, in a french news paper, that would have been OK, had it been a notice. But it was the society tit-bits, not the notice put by the family.

Similarly, the great mastermind being unaware of his protege marrying, and that too one of the top ten richest men of the continent, in addition any one would have guessed her chances, was a blot on his intelligence, and mine, if I didn't notice it. Similarly, the sudden discovery of the fact too was a bit far-fetched. Which he should have in the beginning itself, when he traced her in the ballet, after all, being the wife of the big-man, she would have been well known. A few days search, and some chance encounter, it would have been alright, but then he would have missed the chance of heist, which was necessary to close the movie.

On this scale, naturally the movie, balancing for the plus (the intelligent heist plans, which are actually brilliant, and not fault-able) and the minus (the loopholes), probably it would fall in the 6* or a bit less category.

Close the logical portion of the brain, and enjoy, it is enjoyable. .

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