Cast & Crew
Hounded by London creditors, American wrestling manager Ham Hamilton convinces his charge, champion Mike Scanlon, to "throw" his next country club match. On the way to the ring, however, Mike overhears beautiful actress Marcia Trent betting on him with her fiancé, American tenor Robert Densmore, and wins the contest to please her. Still broke, Ham steals Robert's coat to sneak out of the club, but later shows up at Robert's hotel to return the coat and ingratiate himsef with the rich singer. After designating himself as Robert's physical trainer, Ham then exposes Marcia as a gold digger by telling her that Robert has lost all of his money. Marcia, who has been seeing Mike secretly, jilts Robert on their wedding day, and Robert begins to drink at a suicidal rate. Concerned, Ham talks his "meal ticket" into moving to Budapest, but soon after their arrival, they learn from reporter Jim Trask that Marcia has married Mike. Convinced now that he has to kill himself, a drunk Robert confers in a Budapest cafe with a drunk Jim on the best method of suicide. Finally, Jim decides that Robert should flirt with singer Marietta and incur the wrath of her jealous admirer, Spadissimo, an aristocratic swordsman who has already killed forty-four men in her name. While Spadissimo is out of town, Robert woos Marietta and genuinely wins her heart. As soon as Spadissimo returns, he challenges Robert to a duel, which Robert blithely accepts. To save Robert, Marietta tells Spadissimo, who has a serious "mother complex," about Robert's mother. Touched, Spadissimo agrees to only wound his foe, but when Jim and Ham tell Marietta about Robert's suicide plan just as Marcia shows up, Marietta angrily informs Spadissimo that Robert has no mother. Now desperate, Ham tricks Robert into signing a phony robbery confession, and on the morning of the duel the singer is arrested. Eventually, however, Spadissimo has Robert bailed out of jail, and the duel begins. Dressed in women's clothing, Ham throws himself at Spadissimo's feet, begging for mercy for her "boy." Overcome, Spadissimo spares Robert, who then speeds away with a forgiving Marietta.
Samuel J. Briskin
Hugh Mcdowell Jr.
Van Nest Polglase
Fight For Your Lady
There are many more story points and characters than the truncated synopsis above indicates all for a film that runs barely over an hour. Fight for Your Lady is one of those globetrotting comedies in which the makers have assumed that more characters, relationships, and situational mayhem squeezed into a dialogue-heavy screenplay will only result in more laughs. It doesn't, and the viewer is only left more confused than amused.
Critics blasted the picture. In The New York Times, Frank Nugent called it "a fumbling, unoriginal and infantile farce [which] comes unpleasantly close to being the composite year's worst picture....John Boles plays it rather badly and Ida Lupino is hobbled by a witless script. Jack Oakie, Margot Grahame and Erik Rhodes accept the silliness for what it is worth." In addition to funnymen Oakie and Rhodes, Fight for Your Lady features a late-act appearance by the always welcome comedic actor Billy Gilbert, but it is too little, too late to save the proceedings. The film did nothing for the career of Ida Lupino, but she is a versatile enough actress to not seem out-of-place in the goings-on. In fact, she is very convincing in her opening scene, in which she takes to the stage to work a ventriloquist dummy.
Director Ben Stoloff began in silent pictures in the 1920s, helming several Tom Mix westerns and two-reel comedies at Fox Film Corporation. In the sound era, he never rose above second-feature status, but in that capacity he was able to turn out a few interesting movies, such as The Mysterious Doctor (1943), a peculiar ghost story set in an English village during World War II.
Executive Producer: Samuel J. Briskin
Producer: Albert Lewis
Director: Ben Stoloff
Screenplay: Ernest Pagano, Harry Segall, Harold Kusell
Cinematography: Jack Mackenzie
Film Editing: George Crone
Art Direction: Van Nest Polglase
Costume Design: Edward Stevenson
Cast: John Boles (Robert Densmore), Jack Oakie (Honest 'Ham' Hamilton), Ida Lupino (Marietta), Margot Grahame (Marcia Trent), Gordon Jones (Mike Scanlon), Erik Rhodes (Anton Spadissimo), Billy Gilbert (Boris).
by John M. Miller
Fight For Your Lady
RKO borrowed Ida Lupino from Paramount for this production. According to Hollywood Reporter, Herbert Marshall was first slated to star in the film. Hollywood Reporter production charts list Gertrude Purcell as a screenwriter with credited writers Ernest Pagano and Harry Segall, but her contribution to the final film has not been determined. A Hollywood Reporter news item adds Bill Begg, Hal Cooke, Otto Fries and Gil Perkins to the cast, but their participation in the final film has not been confirmed. Actor Forrester Harvey's name is misspelled as "Forester" in the onscreen credits.