Mandalay (film)

Mandalay is a 1934 American pre Code drama film directed by Michael Curtiz and written by Austin Parker and Charles Kenyon based on a story by Paul Hervey Fox. The film stars Kay Francis, Ricardo Cortez, Warner Oland and Lyle Talbot, and features Ruth Donnelly and Reginald Owen.

Theatrical film poster
Directed byMichael Curtiz
Produced byRobert Presnell Sr.
Screenplay byAustin Parker
Charles Kenyon
Story byPaul Hervey Fox
StarringKay Francis
Ricardo Cortez
Warner Oland
Lyle Talbot
Music by"When Tomorrow Comes"
Sammy Fain (music)
Irving Kahal (lyrics)
CinematographyTony Gaudio
Edited byThomas Pratt
Distributed byWarner Bros.
Release date
  • February 10, 1934 (1934-02-10)
Running time
65 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$629,000[1]

The film is about a world-weary woman (Francis) nicknamed "Spot White" at the local brothel-bar who does what she can to survive. Curtiz used cutting edge wipes and opticals in the film.[2] Future child star Shirley Temple won a small role in the film as the daughter of the Donnelly and Littlefield characters, but the role was little more than a walk-on. Originally, her name was not listed in the credits and was only included years later.[3]

Plot summary



The lead roles were initially offered to George Brent and his wife Ruth Chatterton. Chatterton turned down the role because she did not want to play a prostitute again, and Brent because he did not want to make the trip to the Stockton, California location on San Joaquin River, where the film shot for 10 days. Afterwards, Ricardo Cortez was assigned by the studio to play "Tony Evans".[6]


Although the critics did not see the film as anything better than a good "B-movie", it was well-received nonetheless, and was a moneymaker for the studio.[4]

Box office

According to Warner Bros records the film made a profit of $83,462.[1]


  1. Mandalay at Kay Francis Films Archived 2014-04-05 at the Wayback Machine accessed 16 March 2014
  2. Baxter 54
  3. Edwards, p. 49
  4. Stafford, Jeff. "Mandalay" on
  5. Mandalay (1934) details Archived 2013-01-16 at,; accessed August 30, 2015.
  6. Mandalay (1934) - film notes,; accessed July 22, 2015.


  • Baxter, John (1968), Hollywood in the Thirties, A. Zwemmer Ltd, London, UK, ISBN 0-498-06927-3
  • Edwards, Anne (1988), Shirley Temple: American Princess, New York: William Morrow and Company, Inc.
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