Lady for a Day

The story (derived from Damon Runyon) is pure sentiment. A lady known as Apple Annie (Robson) is reduced to selling apples on the sidewalk for a living. She keeps the awful truth from her daughter by writing fanciful letters about high society on purloined headed notepaper... until her daughter (Parker) decides to come to New York with her fiancé, a Spanish count. What will the poor gin-soaked old body do? As it's a Capra fable, everyone from fellow street bums to the mayor is eventually galvanised in her cause. You can tell just how rich the comedy is by the fact that not even a plot like that can sink it. Robert Riskin's razor-sharp dialogue is matched by Capra's super-subtle visuals, and backed by an array of suitably Runyonesque characters. In fact it is just about worth swallowing your cynicism (and scruples) for Ned Sparks' definitive stone-faced Broadway sharpie alone. Remade by Capra himself as Pocketful of Miracles in 1961.

Release details

Duration: 95 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Frank Capra
Screenwriter: Robert Riskin
Cast: Warren William
May Robson
Guy Kibbee
Glenda Farrell
Jean Parker
Walter Connolly
Ned Sparks
Nat Pendleton
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