Lady Hamilton (movie, 1941)

Lady Hamilton ( That Hamilton Woman ) is an American film of Alexander Korda released in 1941 .


In Calais , an English girl is caught while stealing a bottle of wine. Put in jail, she tells another prisoner, Mary Smith, that she is the famous “Lady Hamilton”.

In 1786, the young and beautiful Emma Hart arrives at Naples with her mother, me Cadogan-Lyon, in the palace of Sir William Hamilton , the British ambassador, who is the uncle of her lover, Charles Greville. Hamilton informs him that Charles never intended to marry her. He offers her a new life and she agrees to live with him, and even to become his wife. One morning they are visited by Horatio Nelson, an officer of the British navy, who announces to them that England is at war with France. Nelson has come to Naples to seek military help, and Emma uses her influence over the Queen to procure troops for her. However, five years of war exhaust both the resources of the navy and the sympathy of the European countries, which are, to the detriment of Nelson, too intimidated by Napoleon Bonaparte to help England. While his ship is anchored near Naples, Nelson receives a visit from Emma, who is horrified to see that he has lost an arm and has become one-eyed. She brings a promise of help from the Queen, and Nelson goes to beat Napoleon in Egypt. Back in Naples, sick Nelson is cared for by Emma, whom he falls in love with. NelsonMalta , but, disobeying orders, returns to Naples when he learns that the revolution has broken out. He saves the royal family and the Hamilton, but disapproved by the Admiralty, he must return to England alone.

While waiting for Nelson at a London hotel, Lady Frances Nelson and her step-father Reverend Nelson are visited by Lord Spencer, who tells them that Nelson has already arrived, accompanied by Emma. The next day, Emma fainted in the House of Lordsand Lady Nelson, who concludes that Emma is pregnant, gets angry with her husband and swears to her that she will never divorce. The Reverend Nelson begs his son to make the right decision, to leave Emma, but Nelson refuses. After Emma gives birth to a daughter, Horatia, her mother pushes her to reconcile with Hamilton, who is ill, if only to protect her inheritance. Emma refuses and is left penniless when he dies. Nelson and Emma move to a country house where they live happily until 1805, when Nelson is recalled to defend England, which has formed an alliance with Spain. Nelson leads his men to victory at the Battle of Trafalgarbut is killed by a sniper. Nelson’s aide-de-camp, Captain Hardy, in tears, brings the news to Emma, and years later, in the Calais prison, she tells herself that the story of her life ended at this moment -the.

Technical sheet

  • Original title: That Hamilton Woman
  • French title: Lady Hamilton
  • Director: Alexander Korda , assisted by Walter Mayo
  • Scenario: Walter Reisch and RC Sherriff
  • Artistic direction: Lyle R. Wheeler
  • Sets: Vincent Korda , Julia Heron
  • Costumes: René Hubert and Marjorie Best
  • Photography: Rudolph Maté
  • Sound: William H. Wilmarth
  • Editing: William Hornbeck
  • Music: Miklós Rózsa
  • Production: Alexander Korda
  • Production Company: Alexander Korda Films and United Artists
  • Distribution Company: United Artists
  • Country of origin: United States
  • Original language: English , French , Italian
  • Format: Black and White – 35mm – 1.37: 1 – Mono Sound (Western Electric Noiseless Recording)
  • Genre : Historical drama
  • Duration: 128 minutes
  • Release dates:
    •  United States :(world premiere in New York ), (national release)
    •  United Kingdom :(first in London )
    •  France :


  • Vivien Leigh : Lady Emma Hamilton
  • Laurence Olivier : Lord Horatio Nelson
  • Alan Mowbray : Sir William Hamilton
  • Sara Allgood : me Cadogan-Lyon
  • Gladys Cooper : Lady Frances Nelson
  • Henry Wilcoxon : Captain Hardy
  • Heather Angel : Mary Smith
  • Halliwell Hobbes : Reverend Nelson
  • Gilbert Emery : Lord Spencer
  • Miles Mander : Lord Keith
  • Ronald Sinclair : Josiah
  • Luis Alberni : the king of Naples
  • Norma Drury Boleslavsky : Queen of Naples
  • Olaf Hytten : Gavin
  • Juliette Compton : Lady Spencer
  • Guy Kingsford : Captain Troubridge

And, among the uncredited actors:

  • Leonard Carey : the prescription
  • Georges Renavent : the director of the hotel


Lady Hamilton was in the eyes of her director and producer Alexander Korda an authentic propaganda film intended to draw the attention of the free world to the dangers facing England. It is not difficult to guess behind Hitler’s threat , the British Navy playing the later role of the Royal Air Force . […] Even if the historical truth is sometimes abused, Lady Hamilton remains a superb novel of love, benefiting from the exceptional presence of the couple formed by Vivien Leigh and Laurence Olivier . “

– André Moreau , Télérama , August 28, 2010

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