Lady in the Dark (film)

Lady in the Dark is a 1944 American Technicolor musical film directed by Mitchell Leisen and starring Ginger Rogers. It was nominated for three Academy Awards; for Best Cinematography, Best Music and Best Art Direction (Hans Dreier, Raoul Pene Du Bois, Ray Moyer).[2]

Lady in the Dark
Film poster
Directed byMitchell Leisen
Produced byRichard Blumenthal
Buddy G. DeSylva
Written byFrances Goodrich
Albert Hackett
Moss Hart
StarringGinger Rogers
Ray Milland
Music byRobert Emmett Dolan
CinematographyRay Rennahan
Edited byAlma Macrorie
Distributed byParamount Pictures
Release date
  • February 10, 1944 (1944-02-10)
Running time
100 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$3 million[1]


Life has become a series of headaches and bad dreams for Liza Elliott, the successful editor-in-chief of Allure fashion magazine. She is being romanced by publisher Kendall Nesbitt, but he is married and slow in obtaining a divorce. And her second-in-command, Charley Johnson, is a cut-up who drives her so crazy with his jokes, Liza ends up seeing him in her craziest dreams at night.

Reluctantly going into psychoanalysis with Dr. Alex Brooks, she discounts his theory that something from her past has caused Liza to take a no-nonsense approach to life and avoid all attempts at ever being glamorous.

Colleagues swoon when Hollywood movie star Randy Curtis arrives at Allure for a photo shoot. Kendall abruptly claims to be free at last, but Liza holds him off by accepting a dinner date offer from Randy instead. Aware that he doesn't care about her looks, the Allure editor becomes quite alluring herself in a beautiful dress for a change.

Charley quits to work for a magazine where he can be in charge. It turns out that all Randy is interested in is Liza running his studio's production company. While trying to persuade Charley to stay at Allure, she suddenly finds herself kissing him, the last man she'd ever expected to love.


Production background

The film was based on the 1941 Broadway musical Lady in the Dark, written by Kurt Weill (music), Ira Gershwin (lyrics), and Moss Hart (book and direction). The film version cut most of the Weill/Gershwin songs from the score. "The Saga of Jenny" and "Girl of the Moment" remained, and part of "This Is New" is played by a nightclub band in the background. Part of "My Ship" was hummed by Ginger Rogers, but the song itself was never sung.

Radio adaptation

"Lady in the Dark", adapted from the 1944 movie, was broadcast on BBC Home Service, August 14, 1944 (and repeated on September 18, 1944). The radio adaptation was by Rhoderick Walker and produced by Tom Ronald. Although it was adapted from the movie, Gertrude Lawrence played the original part she created in the New York stage production of 1941.[3] Lady in the Dark was presented on Lux Radio Theatre February 16, 1953. The one-hour adaptation starred Judy Garland and John Lund.[4]


  1. HOLLYWOOD SPENDS: Lavish Coin on 'Lady in the Dark' -- Academy Awards No Surprise By FRED STANLEY HOLLYWOOD. New York Times (1923-Current file) [New York, N.Y] March 14, 1943: X3.
  2. "NY Times: Lady in the Dark". NY Times. Retrieved December 19, 2008.
  3. BBC Genome: Radio Times, programs for August 14, 1944 and September 18, 1944.
  4. Kirby, Walter (February 15, 1953). "Better Radio Programs for the Week". The Decatur Daily Review. p. 42. Retrieved June 21, 2015 via
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