I Was an Adventuress 1940 Crime Drama

Stars Vera Zorina Richard Greene Erich von Stroheim Peter Lorre
Director Gregory Ratoff
Writers Karl Tunberg Don Ettlinger John O’Hara

This light-hearted crime drama is a lot of fun, starring Vera Zorina, who was an accomplished Ballet Dancer in real life.

It’s a remake of the French Film J’étais une Aventurière from 1938, which was directed by Raymond Bernard, and starred Edwige Feuillère, Jean Murat and Jean-Max.

Vera Zorina, whose real name was Brigita Hartwig, was married to dance director George Balanchine.

The twelve-minute ballet sequence of Swan Lake was the longest ballet scene to appear in any film to date. For the scene, a $15,000 (equivalent to $300,000 in 2021) all-glass set, the first of its kind, was built using 40,000 square feet (3,700 m2) of 1⁄4-inch (6 mm) plate glass.

Electrician Jack Lorenz was killed when he fell from a 30-foot-high catwalk while lighting a scene for the film.

Vera Zorina’s costumes are quite something in this movie, it’s likely they were designed by Rory (Lewis Royer Hastings) who designed costumes for many films of the period, though he is uncredited. There’s an interesting and relevant article about the 20th Century Fox Wardrobe Department here:

Also Stars: Sig Ruman Fritz, Feld Cora Witherspoon, Anthony Kemble-Cooper, Paul Porcasi.