Maisie Was a Lady (1941) starring Ann Sothern, Lew Ayres
Look who’s rubbing elbows with the New York upper crust. It’s sometime showgirl and carny sideshow attraction Maisie Ravier (Ann Sothern, playing the brassy screen heroine for the fourth time), earning her daily bread as a maid at the posh Rawlston estate on Long Island. There, she finds that the Rawlston patriarch is a neglectful and absentee parent, the fragile daughter (Maureen O’Sullivan) is engaged to a fortune hunter, and the son (Lew Ayres) is an indulgent layabout (but he is kind of handsome). Maisie may be out of her milieu at the Rawlston manor, but she is in her element when it comes to confronting the shams, pretensions and wrongs she finds there. C. Aubrey Smith joins the fun as the ever-dutiful Rawlston butler. Later during the same year of Maisie Was a Lady‘s release, Sothern, O’Sullivan and Ayres reunited for a radio version.
Al Walpole, the Main Butler: [about Mr. Robert’s drinking] He’s just going through a phase right now, that’s all
Maisie Ravier: yeah a phase, on the barroom floor
Cast of characters
- Ann Sothern (Lady Be Good, A Southern Yankee) … Maisie Ravier. Our heroine, who loses her most recent job due to the drunken antics of Bob.
- Lew Ayres (Holiday, Dr. Kildare’s Wedding Day) … Bob Rawlston. Bored, wealthy, and almost perpetually drunk. He’s responsible for Maisie losing her latest job. And the courtroom judge orders him to hire her for two months, to make up for her lost revenue. So, she comes to the household as a domestic. Where she’s a square peg in a round hole.
- Maureen O’Sullivan (The Quiet Man, Tarzan The Ape Man) … Abby Rawlston. Bob’s sister. A sweet, beautiful, naive young woman who’s getting engaged to Link.
- C. Aubrey Smith (Five Came Back) … Walpole. The Rawlston’s butler for 30 years. He clearly cares about them.
- Joan Perry … Diana Webley
- Paul Cavanagh (Sherlock Holmes: The Woman In Green, The Kennel Murder Case) … ‘Cap’ Rawlston. The absentee father, who thinks that money is a substitute for spending time with his children.
- Edward Ashley (Dick Tracy Meets Gruesome) … Link Phillips. Abby’s fiancée, whom Maisie thinks is a cad. And, she’s right.
Link Phillips: [after its exposed he’s only getting married for the money] Well what are you looking at?
Maisie Ravier: Nothing. I’m nearsighted… I can’t see that far down
- Hillary Brooke (Sherlock Holmes: The Woman In Green, The Abbott and Costello Show) … House Guest
- Charles D. Brown (The Big Sleep) … ‘Doctor’ in Sideshow
- Georgia Carroll … House Guest
- Hans Conried (Sleeping Beauty, Summer Stock) … Georgie Porgie – House Guest
- Cliff Danielson … House Guest
- Doris Day (With Six You Get Eggroll, Romance on the High Seas) … House Guest
- Bruce Edwards … House Guest
- Howard Hickman (Gone with the Wind) … Dr. Stephen W. Fredericks
- Kay Sutton … House Guest
- Will Wright (The Las Vegas Story, The Andy Griffith Show) … Judge Thatcher
- Jingle Bells (1857)
- Written by James Pierpont (as J.S. Pierpont)
- Sung a cappella by Lew Ayres and the 5 midgets