Magnificent Doll (1946)

Magnificent Doll (1946)





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Magnificent Doll Photos

Movie Info

Director Frank Borzage and star Ginger Rogers both came acropper in the lavish but dull historical biopic Magnificent Doll. The usually ebullient Rogers seems encased in wax as Dolly Madison, first lady of the United States in the early 19th century. The story begins as young Washington socialite Dolly Payne, previously and unhappily wed to one John Todd (Horace McNally), can't make up her mind romantically between idealistic politician James Madison (Burgess Meredith) and firebrand Aaron Burr (David Niven). Burr solves that problem when he flees the country after killing Alexander Hamilton in a duel, leaving the field clear for Madison. What should have been the film's highlight, Dolly's rescue of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution during the 1812 burning of Washington, is treated as a throwaway. Told in flashback, the film ends just before Madison's ascendancy to the White House, with Dolly chastely charming the current chief executive Thomas Jefferson (Grandon Rhodes). Magnificent Doll is anything but .
Classics , Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
Universal Pictures


Ginger Rogers
as Dolly Payne Madison
David Niven
as Aaron Burr
Burgess Meredith
as James Madison
Horace McNally
as John Todd
Peggy Wood
as Mrs. Payne
Robert H. Barrat
as Mr. Payne
Grandon Rhodes
as Thomas Jefferson
Henri Letondal
as Count D'Arignon
Joe Forte
as Sen. Ainsworth
Francis McDonald
as Barber Jenks
Emmett Vogan
as Mr. Gallentine
Arthur Space
as Alexander Hamilton
Byron Foulger
as Servant
Vivien Oakland
as Mrs. Witherspoon
Joseph Crehan
as Williams
Larry J. Blake
as Charles
Pierre Watkin
as Harper
Harland Tucker
as Ralston
John Sheehan
as Janitor
Ruth Lee
as Mrs. Gallentine
Jack Ingram
as Lane, the Courier
Olaf Hytten
as Blennerhassett
Sam Flint
as Waters
Boyd Irwin
as Hathaway
Lee Phelps
as Hatch, a Bettor
Lois Austin
as Grace Phillips
Louis Austin
as Grace Phillips
Johnny Hines
as Dr. Ellis
Ferris Taylor
as Mr. Phillips
Eddy Waller
as Arthur, the Coachman
Stanley Price
as Man at Platform
Jack George
as Gov. Stanley
Ethan Laidlaw
as Sanders, a Soldier
Mary Emery
as Woman
Carey Hamilton
as Sen. Mason
Dick Dickinson
as Man Who Falls
Larry Steers
as Lafayette
Frank Erickson
as Capt. White
Grace Cunard
as Woman with Baby
Tom Coleman
as Mr. Carroll
Pietro Sosso
as Mr. Anthony
Jack Curtis
as Edmond
Harry Denny
as Mr. Calot
Garnett Marks
as Justice Drake
Jerry Jerome
as Thomas
John Hamilton
as Mr. Witherspoon
Harlan Tucker
as Ralston
Vivian Oakland
as Mrs. Witherspoon
Al Hill
as Man
Joe King
as Jailer
Larry Blake
as Charles
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Critic Reviews for Magnificent Doll

All Critics (0)

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Full Review… | February 22, 2012
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Magnificent Doll


A frustrating movie because of what events it chooses to depict in Dolley's life. The romantic triangle is just tedious and feels off, mostly because of David Niven as Burr. Not only does he feel extremely miscast, but the characterization is totally off. Yes, he was a shady guy ultimately, but the dialogue they have him spouting is just so mustache-twirling wrong. Also Ginger's Dolley never gets to be presented as a strong woman or show as to why so many were charmed by her fire and intelligence.

Matt Heiser
Matt Heiser

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