Here’s another Warren William pic I added to my collection recently (click to enlarge):
It’s an 8×10 Press Photo with press tag attached on the back:
You should be able to read that if you click on it to make full-size, but in case you’re lazy here’s what it says:
“May Robson in Columbia’s “LADY FOR A DAY” adapted from Damon Runyon’s famous Cosmopolitan Magazine story. Frank Capra directed and the imposing case is headed by May Robson, Warren William and Glenda Farrell. They are supported by Walter Connolly, Jean Parker, Guy Kibbee, Barry Norton, Hobart Bosworth, Ned Sparks and Nat Pendleton.
“Please credit Columbia Pictures
“Opening at the Criterion for an extended run September 5th or 6th”
Here’s an old premium photo featuring Jean Parker in case you’d like to put a face to the name:
Warren William plays slick Dave the Dude in “Lady for a Day” (1933), a gambler/gangster type with a soft spot for Apple Annie (May Robson), the down on her luck woman we see in this photo. The Dude turns her into a “Lady for a Day” to impress her visiting daughter (Jean Parker). This is really May Robson’s picture, she was nominated for Best Actress at age 75 for it, but, of course, Warren William manages to stand out in all of his scenes.
Speaking of May Robson, I get that age 75 from the imdb which gives her date of birth as April 19, 1858. TIME Magazine’s contemporary review of “Lady for a Day,” in its September 18, 1933 issue makes Ms. Robson a bit younger, and also tells us a little more of her career: “At 68 she is six years older than Marie Dressler, ten years older than Alison Skipworth, eight years older than the late Louise Closser Hale…May Robson played in stock for 40 years as well as starring internittently in Manhattan, London and elsewhere…For the last ten years or so she has been an expert bit-part actress in the cinema.” A little further down the page: “She has a five-year contract with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. MGM will make a fat profit on Actress Robson for lending her services to Columbia…Like most old time actresses, May Robson is light-hearted as well as competent. She takes tapestry pillow covers to the studio to work on when she is not acting, writes a daily letter to her son, a Manhattan stock broker, goes to the races at Agua Caliente as often as she can.”
About the film itself, the TIME review is still pretty fresh, opening “Lady for a Day (Columbia) is a Broadway sob story, highly effective because in it sentiment is used mainly as a springboard for comedy.” Later in the article “Director Frank Capra’s light touchas much as Damon Runyon’s story makes the picture the more likable for being entirely implausible.”
Of course, Capra would himself remake “Lady for a Day” in 1961 as “A Pocketful of Miracles.”
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