Lady of the Tropics (1939)

Passed   |    |  Drama, Romance

Lady of the Tropics (1939) Poster

Playboy Bill Carey woos a half-caste beauty in French Indochina, but her second-class legal status makes a formidable barrier.


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Reviews & Commentary

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User Reviews

10 December 2018 | umbraco-42719
| Vastly Underrated
Truly I don't understand the poor reviews of this film.

It's a melodramatic romance in the vein of "Camille" or "Waterloo Bridge." (Both of which also starred Robert Taylor). It is certainly no worse than those, and the overall theme is not that much different.

Hedy Lamarr's role here is very subtly played. She lies and deceives because she doesn't want anyone to be hurt. That is key to understanding her character. Placed in an impossible situation, Manon tries her best to rise above it the only way she knows how. Lamarr captures this struggle magnificently. It's written on her face in so many scenes.

Sometimes I've heard she is "wooden" in this role. Are you kidding? In her scenes with evil Delaroch, she masks her agony with a Mona Lisa smile, trying to reveal nothing. That is acting, folks. Sorry you don't recognize it. Perhaps it is because so many stars of the era regularly chewed the scenery, and in comparison, Lamarr's portrayal is too realistic. It's the only thing I can fathom.

As for Robert Taylor, also a favorite of mine...I think he plays the American playboy perfectly. One of my favorite scenes is where he's trying to buy a "hat" for his heiress girlfriend early in the film. He supplies humor in just the right amounts, and his eventual adoration of Manon is well done, hauntingly.

I have seen this movie probably more than any others of hers, and I never get tired of it.

Critic Reviews


Release Date:

11 August 1939


English, French

Country of Origin


Filming Locations


Box Office


$913,000 (estimated)

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