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Sylvia Scarlett Details

FULL SYNOPSIS

This big-budget 1936 RKO Studios picture lost money, perhaps due to a cool box-office reception to the idea of leading lady Katharine Hepburn in drag, and a rare-for-its-day screen kiss between two women. Edmund Gwenn plays the title character's father Henry, who is obsessed with gambling. His daughter Sylvia (Hepburn) has stolen some expensive lace which they hope to smuggle from France to England. To elude police, she cuts her hair short and disguises herself as a man. She and her father board a ship, and a drunken Henry confesses their scheme to Jimmy Monkley (Cary Grant), a jewel smuggler. To divert attention away from him, Jimmy snitches on Henry to the customs officials, and Henry has to pay up or be arrested. Later, Sylvia confronts Jimmy on a train and punches him. Jimmy apologizes and cuts them in on a scheme to steal jewels from a wealthy family, using his friend Maudie (Dennie Moore), a maid in the house. But Sylvia, still disguised as a man, talks Maudie out of it, and she responds with a kiss. Maudie and Sylvia's father fall in love and Maudie, an aspiring actress, invests money in a show to open in a seaside resort. There they are invited to the mansion of a wealthy artist, Michael Fane (Brian Aherne), who is unsettled by Sylvia's obvious affections before finally discovering that she's a woman. Jimmy is attracted to Michael's roommate, the Russian-born Lily (Natalie Paley) -- and from there, the romantic entaglements between the aformentioned parties proceed like a Shakespearean comedy. ~ Michael Betzold, Rovi

  • Release date:February 25, 1936

Cast

Katharine Hepburn
as Sylvia Scarlett
Cary Grant
as Jimmy Monkley
Brian Aherne
as Michael Fane
Edmund Gwenn
as Henry Scarlett
Natalie Paley
as Lily
Dennie Moore
as Maudie Tilt
Bunny Beatty
as Maid
May Beatty
Nina Borget
Elsa Buchanan
Colin Campbell
E.E. Clive
Edward Cooper
Adrienne D'Ambricourt
as Stewardess
Elspeth Dudgeon
Harold Entwistle
as Conductor
Alec Harford
Peter Hobbes
Olaf Hytten
as Customs Inspector
Ella McKenzie
Frank Moran
Leonard Mudie
as Steward
Lionel Pape
as Sgt. Major
Lennox Pawle
as Drunk
C. Montague Shaw
Dina Smirnova
as Russian
Pat Somerset
as Bits
Michael Visaroff
as Purser
Lionel Pape
as Sgt. Major
Harold Entwistle
as Conductor
Pat Somerset
as Bits
Lennox Pawle
as Drunk
Bunny Beatty
as Maid
Adrienne D'Ambricourt
as Stewardess
Dina Smirnova
as Russian
Leonard Mudie
as Steward
Olaf Hytten
as Customs Inspector

Crew

George Cukor
Director
Pandro S. Berman
Producer
Mortimer Offner
Screenwriter
Compton Mackenzie
Book Author
Gladys Unger
Screenwriter
Joseph H. August
Cinematographer
Roy Webb
Musical Direction/Supervision
Jane Loring
Editor
Sturges Carne
Art Director
Van Nest Polglase
Art Director
Mel Burns
Makeup
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