Lady for a Day Overview:

Lady for a Day (1933) was a Comedy - Black-and-white Film directed by Frank Capra and produced by Harry Cohn.

The film was based on the short story Madame La Gimp written by Damon Runyon published in Hearst's International-Cosmopolitan in Oct 1929.


Capra directs this heartfelt adaptation of Damon Runyon's story "Madame La Gimp," in which a soft-hearted gangster (William) organizes his entire gang of thugs to help transform an elderly apple vendor (Robson) into a perfect society lady. Reportedly one of Capra's favorites among his own films, he remade it in 1961 with Bette Davis.

(Source: available at Amazon AMC Classic Movie Companion).


Academy Awards 1932/33 --- Ceremony Number 6 (source: AMPAS)

Best ActressMay RobsonNominated
Best DirectorFrank CapraNominated
Best PictureColumbiaNominated
Best WritingRobert RiskinNominated

BlogHub Articles:

Lady For a Day (1933)

By Lindsey on Oct 21, 2012 From The Motion Pictures

Apple Annie (May Robson) is, quite fittingly, the Times Square apple seller. She has a reputation for being a good luck charm among the likes of Dave the Dude (Warren William) and his merry band of gamblin’ gangsters, and they all love her. Dave the Dude refuses to make a deal without buying a... Read full article

Lady for a Day

By Alyson on Aug 21, 2010 From The Best Picture Project

As I popped the DVD in and pressed play, the first image to come up was full color. ?It was Frank Capra Jr., the great director?s son, telling me what a milestone Lady for a Day was for his father. ?He explained how Columbia Pictures was just itching for an Academy Award but none of their films had ... Read full article

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Quotes from

Missouri Martin: Happy, if you break anything, be sure it's your neck.

Dave the Dude - 'Dave Manville': If we have to dig up a husband for Annie, let's to it and get over it.
Happy McGuire: Now you got to dig up a husband for...
Happy McGuire: Where you gonna get a husband just like that?
Dave the Dude - 'Dave Manville': How about you, Happy?
Happy McGuire: Me?
Missouri Martin: Oh, that's a swell idea. I think you'd be just precious.
Happy McGuire: That's a wonderful idea but there's one thing that stands on the way. I got a wife that is very fussy. She don't like me to go around and marrying people!

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Facts about

Radio City Music Hall booked the film's premiere without seeing it, because Frank Capra's The Bitter Tea of General Yen had been the theater's first film and they considered the director to be good luck.
Frank Capra had been loaned to MGM to work on a film called "Soviet," in exchange for $50,000 and Robert Montgomery's participation in this picture; Capra also hoped to get Marie Dressler's services from MGM. After "Soviet" was cancelled as a project, Columbia was unable to get either James Cagney from Warner Bros. or William Powell from MGM for the role of Dave the Dude; they also tried to get W.C. Fields from Paramount to play Judge Blake, but again could not make a deal.
A number of beggars in downtown Los Angeles were cast in small roles, including the legless man, nicknamed Shorty, whom Capra had remembered as selling pencils when the director was a paperboy.
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Best Picture Oscar 1932/33

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Also directed by Frank Capra

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Also produced by Harry Cohn

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Also released in 1933

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