Swing Your Lady (1938): Ray Enright Musical Comedy, Featuring Bogart in his Worst Film; Ronald Reagan in Early Role

Ray Enright directed Swing Your Lady, a minor musical comedy, starring Bogart, Frank McHugh, and Louise Fazenda.

Swing Your Lady
Swing Your Lady FilmPoster.jpeg

Theatrical release poster

Also featured in the cast is future U.S. President, Ronald Reagan, in early role.

Bogart was becoming disenchanted with the film roles that Warner was offering him at this stage of his career. The following year, he appeared in his only horror-sci-fi film, The Return of Doctor X.

These were two roles that he never liked talking about when he became a major star, in 1941.

In fact, he considered his performance in Swing Your Lady the worst of his career.

Swing Your Lady was listed in the 1978 book “The Fifty Worst Films of All Time.”

Swing Your Lady features the first film performance by the vaudeville comedy troupe the Weaver Brothers and Elviry. After this film, the trio was picked up by Republic Pictures for a series of comedies.

Promoter Ed Hatch comes to the Ozarks with his slow-witted wrestler Joe Skopapoulos whom he pits against a hillbilly Amazon blacksmith, Sadie Horn.

In the process, Joe falls in love with her, but he won’t fight–at least not until Sadie’s beau Noah shows up.


Humphrey Bogart Ed Hatch
Frank McHugh Popeye Bronson
Louise Fazenda Sadie Horn
Nat Pendleton Joe Skopapolous
Penny Singleton Cookie Shannon
Allen Jenkins Shiner Ward
Leon Weaver Waldo Davis
Frank Weaver Ollie Davis
June Weaver Mrs. Davis (as Elviry Weaver)
Ronald Reagan Jack Miller
Daniel Boone Savage Noah Webster
Hugh O’Connell Smith
Tommy Bupp Rufe Horn
Sonny Bupp Len Horn (as Sunny Bupp)
Joan Howard Mattie Horn
Sue Moore Mabel
Olin Howland Hotel Proprietor
Sammy White Specialty Dancer


Directed by Ray Enright
Written by Joseph Schrank, Maurice Leo, based on Swing Your Lady by Kenyon Nicholson and Charles Robinson (play)
Produced by Samuel Bischoff
Cinematography Arthur Edeson
Edited by Jack Killifer
Music by Adolph Deutsch

Production company: Warner

Release date: January 8, 1938

Running time: 77 minutes