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Magnificent Doll

  • Drama
  • History
  • 1946
  • Frank Borzage
  • 90 mins
  • PG

Summary

Biographical drama starring Ginger Rogers, David Niven and Burgess Meredith. America in the late 18th century. When her first husband dies, Dolly Payne and her mother open a boarding house in the Washington area, where Dolly is courted by two men active in politics - Aaron Burr, a charming scoundrel, and the philosophical James Madison, later to become president of the United States.

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Review

A star rating of 1 out of 5.

Magnificently dull, more like. One of the great romantic dramas of American history is rendered flatter than a pancake by grotesque miscasting and direction (by the often overrated Frank Borzage) that completely fails the subject matter. Ginger Rogers is spectacularly wrong as Dolly Payne Madison, one of the White House's great ladies, in a screenplay by Irving Stone (who also wrote the novel Lust for Life about Vincent van Gogh) that plays fast and loose with the facts. Not that it matters, given the truly awful performance by David Niven as Aaron Burr, who apparently relinquished his bid for the presidency because of his love for Madison. Burgess Meredith, as President James Madison, brings a shred of dignity to the proceedings, but seems bored with it all. Not awful enough to be entertaining, just barely watchable. For fans of the stars only.

How to watch

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Credits

Cast

rolename
Dorthea "Dolly" Payne MadisonGinger Rogers
Aaron BurrDavid Niven
James MadisonBurgess Meredith
John ToddStephen McNally
Mrs PaynePeggy Wood
Amy, the maidFrances Williams
Thomas JeffersonGrandon Rhodes
Mr PayneRobert Barrat

Crew

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DirectorFrank Borzage

Details

Theatrical distributor
General Film Dist Ltd
Languages
English
Available on
Blu-ray
Formats
Black and white
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