First Lady (Film)

First Lady is an American movie from 1937 with Kay Francis in the lead role.


Other than the title may suggest, it is not about the first female president of the United States, but to all sorts of political machinations surrounding the nomination of a presidential candidate. The focus is Lucy Chase Wayne, the granddaughter of a former U.S. president who is the current United States Secretary of State, Stephen Wayne, married. Lucy desperately wants that her husband is set up as a candidate for the next presidential elections. Their main rival is Irene Hibbard, who is married to a corrupt judge of the Supreme Court. She wants a divorce and marry her lover Senator Gordon Keane, in which she sees the best aspirates to the highest office in the state. Lucy organized a campaign in return, at the end, not only Wayne receives the longed nomination, but also the justice of corruption and nepotism is freed.


Kay Francis was at Warner Brothers went up immediately after changing from Paramount in 1932, a popular actress of independent, self-confident women who fight for their love and not submit to the prevailing moral beliefs. Her career, however, was conceived again on the wane since the mid- decade. Most roles that got to play Francis, put more emphasis on her outfit than enthralling dialogues or credible scenarios. Since the beginning of 1937, open conflict between the Studio line and the actress had broken out, what kind of roles Francis should play in the future. The following roles offered a bit of everything, without the fans, however, recover in the long term: Mother Love ( Confession ), dramatic complications in distant countries ( Another Dawn ), and involvement in high finance ( Stolen Holiday ). The dispute came to a climax when Francis asked to take over the lead role in Tovarich, a frivolous Broadway comedy. Contrary oral, Claudette Colbert was given the role and Francis sued in September of 1937, the studio on termination of the contract. The play first lady of George S. Kaufman managed with Jane Cowl in the lead role in 246 performances in the 1935/36 season and was loosely based on the life of Alice Roosevelt Longworth, daughter of Theodore Roosevelt. Warner Brothers acquired the film rights as a potential piece for Norma Shearer and Ann Harding.

The audience rejected the film and Francis got abound angry letters from her fans, who complained about the role do not have enough warmth and sympathy. The actress admitted himself to have made ​​a mistake with the Part:

" I am aware that I like most actresses bring a special, individual quality to the canvas. The fans expect from me Glaubwüridigkeit and if they do not get, then they cry on. My fans want to "First Lady a bit. I knows this you have written to me in the hundreds of letters. "

Theatrical Release

With production costs of 485,000 U.S. Dollars First Lady was produced with a self Warner Brothers rather low budget. The revenue in the U.S. amounted to catastrophic 322,000 U.S. dollars to the foreign income in the amount of approximately 102,000 U.S. dollars were added again. The total box office receipts of cumulative 424,000 U.S. dollars made ​​from the films a full-blown flop and accelerated Francis ' demise as a top star.


  • Scott O'Brien - Kay Francis I Can not Wait to be Forgotten - Her Life on Film and Stage; ISBN 1-59393-036-4