Lady with Red Hair

Lady with Red Hair (1940) is an American historical drama film directed by Curtis Bernhardt and starring Miriam Hopkins, Claude Rains and Richard Ainley. Released by Warner Brothers it stars Hopkins as the nineteenth century actress Mrs. Leslie Carter.[1] Future star Alexis Smith made her screen debut in a small role.[2]

Lady with Red Hair
Directed byCurtis Bernhardt
Produced byEdmund Grainger
Bryan Foy
Jack L. Warner
Written byMrs. Leslie Carter (memoirs)
Brewster Morse (story)
Norbert Faulkner (story)
Charles Kenyon (screenplay)
Milton Krims (screenplay)
StarringMiriam Hopkins
Claude Rains
Richard Ainley
Music byHeinz Roemheld
CinematographyArthur Edeson
Edited byJames Gibbon
Warner Bros.
Distributed byWarner Bros.
Release date
  • November 30, 1940 (1940-11-30)
Running time
78 minutes
CountryUnited States

The film's sets were designed by the art director Max Parker.


When Caroline Carter is divorced by her wealthy husband, she also loses custody of her son Dudley in the proceedings. Down on the ground she decides to win her fortune and son back. She leaves Chicago for New York to become an actress and tries to get acquainted to the theatrical producer David Belasco.

Belasco just wants to get rid of Caroline and promises to write her a play to get her out of his office. He has no intention of giving her work, but when she ultimately confronts him on the matter several months afterwards, he tries to get her a part in a show.

He succeeds, but the show is a failure, and instead Caroline decides to marry an actor living at the same boardinghouse, Lou Payne. Belasco tries to stop her from domesticating too soon, and take a part in another show instead. This show is a success on Broadway and Caroline eventually gets an opportunity to return to Chicago to perform. However, her triumph is stained by the fact that she doesn't get to meet her son.

Caroline goes on to perform in both America and Europe and in lack of a family she is consumed by her career. After some time she decides to go back to Payne and marry him. Belasco gets jealous and punishes her by not letting her work with him anymore.

Caroline pursues a career on her own, but her ambitions are thwarted by a series of unsuccessful shows. Payne eventually convinces Belasco to start working with Caroline again, and the duo reconciles.[3]



  1. "Lady with Red Hair (1940)". Retrieved 25 August 2017.
  2. Bubbeo p.214
  3. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-12-30. Retrieved 2013-12-30.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)


  • Daniel Bubbeo. The Women of Warner Brothers: The Lives and Careers of 15 Leading Ladies, with Filmographies for Each. McFarland, 2001.
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