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Lady Be Good

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Lady Be Good (1941), starring Robert Young, Ann Sothern, Eleanor Powell, Lionel Barrymore, Red Skelton, Virginia O'Brien
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Lady Be Good (1941), starring Robert Young, Ann Sothern, Eleanor Powell, Lionel Barrymore, Red Skelton, Virginia O’Brien

Synopsis of Lady Be Good

In Lady Be Good, married songwriters go through a series of ups and downs over the years, including divorce and remarriage.

Review of Lady Be Good

In short, Lady Be Good is the story of a romance between two song writers – who can’t live with each other, or without each other.  They’re one of those couples, deeply in love, who seem to always be getting involved in a fight.  They literally get together, get married, get divorced, become a songwriting sensation, get remarried … And back to divorce court.  It’s a surprisingly adult look at divorce – especially in 1941.  And I love the wisdom the divorce court judge dispenses on their 2nd attempt.  It’s something that modern society could learn as well.

This sounds like a serious, almost depressing, description.  But it’s not.  It’s actually an enjoyable musical, with lots of comedy to counterbalance (thanks to Red Skelton and Virginia O’Brien).  And the typical second romantic couple as well (Eleanor Powell and John Carroll, dancing and singing).  It’s an enjoyable musical of the 1940’s with some interesting surprising twists.  For example, Robert Young plays his character as a short-tempered, suspicious boyfriend/husband.  Who causes most of his own problems.

Songs in Lady Be Good

Cast of characters in Lady Be Good

Editorial review of Lady Be Good courtesy of

Everyone in this movie is terrific, and the story, about the humorously tempestuous relationship of a songwriting couple played by Ann Sothern and Robert Young, is one of the better ones among musicals of the period. The songs and dances are great, too, with two of the high points being Sothern’s “The Last Time I Saw Paris” and Eleanor Powell’s dancing finale. But most amazing of all is Powell’s duet with her dog. This number should be rated along with Fred Astaire’s dance on the ceiling in “Royal Wedding” and Donald O’Connor’s “Make ‘Em Laugh” as one of the best of all time. If you’re looking for social commentary, turn on NPR. If you want something deep, find a stable and pick up a shovel. This movie was meant to be fun and entertaining, and it succeeds perfectly.

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