The Great Man's Lady (1942)

The Great Man's Lady


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Movie Info

This rambling historical drama covers 109 years in the life of one woman. Encased in convincing old-age makeup, Barbara Stanwyck reminisces on her experiences in the American West. As a young woman, she is squired by gambler Brian Donlevy, but her heart belongs to dreamer Joel McCrea.

Rating: Unrated
Genre: Western , Drama , Romance
Directed By:
Written By: Adela Rogers St. Johns , W. L. Rivers , Seena Owen , W.L. River , Adela Rogers St. John
On DVD: Sep 12, 1995


as Hannah Sempler

as Ethan Hoyt

as Steely Edwards

as Girl biographer

as Girl Biographer

as Mr. Sempler

as Mr. Cadwallader

as Senator Knobs

as Bettina

as Persis

as City editor

as Senator Grant

as Paula Wales

as Secretary to City Ed...

as Man at Hoyt City

as Miner

as Senator Knobs

as Dr. Adams

as Bartender

as Mrs. Frisbee

as Murphy the Policeman

as Man #1, Hoyt City

as Man #3, Hoyt City

as Chairman

as Bartender

as Quentin
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Critic Reviews for The Great Man's Lady

All Critics (3) | Top Critics (2)

Full Review… | March 26, 2009
Top Critic

Full Review… | August 8, 2006
New York Times
Top Critic

[William] Wellman puts the story through its paces without giving it any life or sense of anything at stake...

Full Review… | April 26, 2010

Audience Reviews for The Great Man's Lady

With the dedication of a statue in honor of the late great Ethan Hoyt(Joel McCrea) happening in the city which bears his name, reporters from all over rush to the home of Hannah Sempler(Barbara Stanwyck), rumored to have once been married to him, to get her opinion and answers to all of their questions. But without giving any meaningful responses, she chases them away. However, one young woman(Katharine Stevens) remains, desperately wanting to write a biography about Hoyt. Hannah brusquely tells her to come back in a hundred years when they are both old women but reconsiders, taking pity on her to start her story when she was a young woman in Philadelphia in 1848 when she runs away with Hoyt to avoid being married to Mr. Cadwallader(Lloyd Corrigan).

Aided by excellent performances, especially Brian Donlevy in support, "The Great Man's Lady" is a very entertaining and touching tribute to those pioneers who thought big in building this country from the ground up and sacrificed much along the way. While smartly advocating for privacy and the public need not know every detail, the movie takes the Great Man Theory down a notch by commenting blithely that they could not have done it alone, as dreamers always need a partner to ground them to reality in order for them to fully succeed.(It does not hurt if she can handle a hunting rifle, like Hannah can.) And it is not just feminism that puts this movie far ahead of its time, as it is filmed innovatively with a stunning opening sequence that begins with a shot of the house before panning wider to reveal the city that has risen up around it. Sound familiar?

Walter M.

Super Reviewer

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