This Day in Ann Dvorak History: Loaned to RKO for “Racing Lady”

Year of Ann Dvorak: Day 246

On September 3, 1936, Warner Bros. and RKO Pictures reached an agreement for Ann Dvorak to be loaned out to the latter for All Scarlett, which was ultimately released as Racing Lady. Ann had not made a film for Warners for a year, and actress and studio had spent the first half of 1936 embroiled in litigation over the terms of her contract. The only thing they seemed to have agreed on was Ann making movies for RKO – this was her second visit in less than two months, the first being for We Who Are About to Die.  For her services, RKO handed $3,000 a week to Warner Bros., half of which covered Ann’s weekly salary.

Ann was probably relieved to have the steady work, and to not have it be at the studio she’d been warring with. She didn’t need to worry too much – her days at Warner Bros. were numbered.


  1. Mike September 3, 2013

    This picture immediately invoked images of Joan Crawford in bed with her Oscar; I believe there was one shot where she was actually on the phone, probably accepting congratulations for the win. As noted before, Ann did bear a resemblance to the legendary star.

  2. admin September 3, 2013

    Alas, Oscar is something they do not have in common!

  3. Grand Old Movies September 3, 2013

    My own association with Ann’s photo was Paramount Studios; the white satin sheets & pillows and the white telephone have that Paramount gleam.

  4. Scott September 3, 2013

    The resemblance between Ann and Joan Crawford is certainly valid, but, more and more, I’m noticing one between Ann and Luise Rainer.

    They’re both brunettes, of course, and their eyes are similar.

    As noted, the Hurrell photo of Ann in shadow with her hand on her chin, that is seen at the top website, here, always struck me as looking Rainer-esque.

    The photo, above, while very much evocative of the famous Crawford-on-Oscar-night one, also kind of evokes the noted scene from “The Great Ziegfeld”, where Luise, as Anna Held, congratulates her ex-husband, Ziegfeld on the telephone.

  5. Mike September 3, 2013

    Though she bears no resemblance to Ann, the wonderful Jean Arthur has a memorable bed scene with 2 white telephones in one of her best comedies, the 1937 Paramount film “Easy Living”.

    I believe it was a reflective Billy Wider who remarked (and I paraphrase) that not winning an Oscar for “Double Indemnity” was not a big deal; heck, Luise Rainer won 2 of them, and look what happened to her career.

  6. admin September 4, 2013

    While were on the subject of white on white telephone calls in bed – there’s also Jean Harlow in “Dinner at Eight.”

    I knew about Luise Rainer years and years before Ann, specifically because of the those two Oscars. That statue may not propel careers, but it can provide a degree of long-term awareness, even if it’s just in the form of trivia questions.

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