Lady in Question, The (1940): Charles Vidor’s Dramedy, Starring

Charles Vidor directed The Lady in Question, starring Brian Aherne, Rita Hayworth and Glenn Ford, a loose remake of the 1937 French film Gribouille.

This was the first of five films that Glenn Ford and Rita Hayworth made together, though it’s their second film, Gilda (1946), also directed by Vidor, that would establish Hayworth as a sex goddess and make the two actors a desirable onscreen couple.

Hayworth and Ford also teamed together in The Loves of Carmen (1948), Affair in Trinidad (1952) and The Money Trap (1965).

While serving on a Paris jury Andre Morestan (Brian Aherne) persuades his deadlocked peers to vote for the acquittal of Natalie Roguin (Rita Hayworth), a young woman on trial for the death of a man.

Securing her acquittal, Morestan invites her to live and work at his bicycle and music shop when no one else will give her a job. However, he decides to keep her true identity a secret, which raises doubts within his family.

Soon, his son (Glenn Ford) falls in love with her, even though he knows her true identity.

Then, persuaded by a fellow former juror that Natalie was indeed guilty, Andre goes to the authorities, only to find out that new evidence has exonerates her.

This is one of rare films in which Aherne (who was then married to on Fontaine), usually a character actor in secondary roles, plays the lead.

Hayworth and Ford’s off-screen liaisons were transformed into an enduring, lifelong friendship.

Brian Aherne as Andre Morestan
Rita Hayworth as Natalie Roguin
Glenn Ford as Pierre Morestan
Irene Rich as Michele Morestan
Evelyn Keyes as Francois Morestan
George Coulouris as Defense attorney
Edward Norris as Robert LaCoste
Curt Bois as Henri Lurette
Frank Reicher as President
Sumner Getchell as Fat Boy
Nicholas Bela as Nicholas Farkas