|Miss Sadie Thompson|
|Directed by||Curtis Bernhardt|
|Produced by||Jerry Wald|
W. Somerset Maugham
|Music by||Morris Stoloff|
|Cinematography||Charles Lawton Jr.|
|Editing by||Viola Lawrence|
|Distributed by||Columbia Pictures|
|Release date(s)||December 23, 1953|
|Running time||91 min.|
Miss Sadie Thompson (1953) is a musical drama 3-D film starring Rita Hayworth, Aldo Ray, Jose Ferrer, and released by Columbia Pictures. The film is based on the W. Somerset Maugham short story Miss Thompson. Previous versions include Sadie Thompson (1928) starring Gloria Swanson and Rain (1932) starring Joan Crawford.
A B-girl from Hawaii, a religious zealot and a love struck Marine struggle with sin and salvation while Sadie Thompson kicks out several songs including the Oscar nominated "Blue Pacific Blues".
This was Rita Hayworth's third film after her marriage to Prince Aly Khan had kept her off screen for four years. The public eagerly welcomed her return in two previous films Affair in Trinidad and Salome so Columbia had no problems in giving Miss Sadie Thompson an "A" film budget. 3-D films had become a fad, with some 3-D films drawing huge crowds in major cities, so it was used as well. Exteriors were filmed on Kauai, Hawaii with interiors on the Columbia lot. The original story of sin and redemption was sanitized to appease the Production Code and several musical numbers were inserted to spice up the tepid reworked plot. As with her previous films Rita's singing was dubbed, this time by Jo Ann Greer. By the time of its premiere on December 23, 1953 interest in 3-D had died down considerably. After a two-week run, all 3-D prints were pulled. The film was given a national release "flat", in other words, in regular prints, minus the 3-D.
Miss Sadie Thompson was produced during the era of the production code. To conform with censors' dictates, the character of Sadie Thompson was changed from a prostitute into a nightclub singer with a past, and Alfred Davidson was changed from a morally corrupt and sadistic reverend into an unaffiliated religious zealot (to avoid offense to any specific religious group). Even with the changes, the film still drew criticism. Lloyd T. Binford, the 85-year-old head of the Memphis Board of Censors, said, "It's rotten, lewd, immoral, just a plain raw dirty picture," called "The Heat Is On" a "filthy dance scene," and believed the film should be banned. Several state censorship boards banned the film outright.