The Great Man's Lady (1942) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Great Man's Lady (1942)

The Great Man's Lady (1942)

The Great Man's Lady





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

The Great Man's Lady Trailers & Photos

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.more
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
Paramount Pictures


Barbara Stanwyck
as Hannah Sempler
Joel McCrea
as Ethan Hoyt
Brian Donlevy
as Steely Edwards
Katharine Stevens
as Girl biographer
K.T. Stevens
as Girl Biographer
Thurston Hall
as Mr. Sempler
Lloyd Corrigan
as Mr. Cadwallader
Frank M. Thomas
as Senator Knobs
Helen Lynd
as Bettina
Mary Treen
as Persis
Lucien Littlefield
as City editor
John Hamilton
as Senator Grant
Anna Q. Nilsson
as Paula Wales
Fern Emmett
as Secretary to City Ed...
Monte Blue
as Man at Hoyt City
Bob Perry
as Miner
William B. Davidson
as Senator Knobs
George Irving
as Dr. Adams
David Clyde
as Bartender
Ottola Nesmith
as Mrs. Frisbee
Pat O'Malley
as Murphy the Policeman
Hank Bell
as Man #1, Hoyt City
Larry Lawson
as Man #3, Hoyt City
Lee Phelps
as Chairman
Buck Mack
as Bartender
G.P. Huntley
as Quentin
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for The Great Man's Lady

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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