Miss Sadie Thompson Miss Sadie Thompson

A Beckworth Corporation Production
Released by Columbia Pictures (1953)

Producer: Jerry Wald
Director: Curtis Bernhardt

Screenplay: Harry Kleiner and James Gunn,
from story , Miss Thompson, by W. Somerset Maugham

The Stars:
Rita Hayworth as Sadie Thompson
Jose Ferrer as Alfred Davidson
Aldo Ray as Sergeant Phil O'Hara

Songs: "Hear No Evil, See No Evil," "Blue Pacific Blues" ("Sadie Thompson's Song"), "The Heat Is On": by Lester Lee and Ned Washington;
"A Marine, A Marine, A Marine": by Lester Lee and Allan Roberts

Miss Hayworth's song vocals: Jo Ann Greer
Dances staged by Lee Scott
Gowns by Jean Louis

Color, 91 mins. running time

Miss Sadie Thompson was based upon the Somerset Maugham story, "Miss Thompson", as it was dramatized on the Broadway stage as "Rain". Rita Hayworth's performance as Sadie Thompson is considered by many critics to be the finest interpretation of the Somerset Maugham character ever brought to life on screen. The role had previously been played in movies by the likes of Gloria Swanson and Joan Crawford. The creator of the character, Somerset Maugham said of Rita, "I couldn't be more delighted that it was in a screen version of one of my stories that she proved just how superb an actress she really is."

The story begins when Sadie Thompson (Rita Hayworth) arrives at a South Seas island where a troop of woman starved marines are stationed. She is on a stopover between ships, waiting to sail for New Caledonia, where she has a job waiting for her. She's having a grand time entertaining the marines when she receives word that she must remain on the island for another week while her ship is quarantined. A carefree sort of person, Sadie gets back to enjoying herself with Sgt. Phil O'Hara (Aldo Ray) and the rest of the marines.

She finds lodging at the hotel of Joe Horn (Harry Bellaver). Unfortunately, another of the hotel guests is a religious fanatic named Alfred Davidson (Jose Ferrer). He remembers having seen Sadie before. She worked in a place called the Emerald Club, which he took steps to have closed down. The girls of the club were deported from Honolulu for prostitution. Though she goes about minding her own affairs, Davidson is deeply disturbed by Sadie's presence. The two have a confrontation and Davidson reveals to Sadie that he knows about her tawdry past. The following day, he goes to see the governor to have Sadie deported from the island. She is ordered to return home to San Francisco, where police are searching for her in connection with a murder.

Sadie is set to leave the hotel to avoid Davidson when O'Hara arrives and tells her that he loves her and wants begin a life with him in Australia. She returns his loves and wants to go, but she's being sent away to San Francisco. Sadie appeals to Davidson to let her stay so she can catch the boat to Australia instead. Though she explains she had nothing to do with the murder, and is therefore undeserving of a prison sentence, Davidson changes her mind through his preaching and prayers. He convinces Sadie that though she may be innocent of what they have accused her, she must accept the punishment as atonement for her past sins. Completely changed by Davidson, Sadie is now willing to serve time in San Francisco.

Davidson then reveals his true character when he rapes her. He then kills himself. Back to her old self, Sadie soon sets sail for the promise of a settled life in Australia. She leaves the island a woman changed for the better, not by the hypocritical Davidson, but by the love of Sgt. Phil O'Hara.

The song "Blue Pacific Blues" ("Sadie Thompson's Song") was an Academy award nominee for "Best Song". Originally shot in 3-D, the film did fairly well at the box office. As Miss Sadie Thompson, Rita gives what is perhaps her most outstanding performance. In spite of the fact that she was so tired of Hollywood by then, Rita's energy and vivacity on screen were as brilliant as ever. Still, four years would pass before fans would be able to see her on the big screen again.

Miss Sadie Thompson

Lyrics to "Blue Pacific Blues" ("Sadie Thompson's Song")

By: Lester Lee and Ned Washington

I'm gettin' the blue pacific blues
The feelin' ya get from real bad news
I wanna hear bells, I wanna see trains
I get in this mood whenever it rains
I'm gettin' the blues

Alone in the dark and sultry night
Ya'd think of the times ya ain't done right
To add to the fact your feelin' so bad
the cry of the birds keeps drivin' you mad
I got the blues

Ya lie awake and how you wish that it was mornin'
and then ya smoke a hundred cigarettes or more
That devil rain continues poundin' at your window
And the tropic winds, keep howlin' at your door

Because of all the rain and mud
The feel of the place gets in your blood
But deep in the night there comes unawares
the terrible thought that nobody cares
Your back with the blues-again

To be even more specific
You've got what they call-the blue pacific blues.

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