IMDb > Torch Singer (1933)
Torch Singer
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Torch Singer (1933) More at IMDbPro »


Overview

User Rating:
6.9/10   399 votes »
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Up 9% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Writers:
Grace Perkins (story)
Lenore J. Coffee (screenplay) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for Torch Singer on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
8 September 1933 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
The worst woman in New York...sang the best love songs! Lips that had kissed more men than she could remember ...crooned lullabies no one could forget!
Plot:
When she can't support her illegitimate child, an abandoned young woman puts her up for adoption and pursues a career as a torch singer. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
NewsDesk:
(3 articles)
DVD Playhouse: April 2009
 (From The Hollywood Interview. 11 April 2009, 11:58 AM, PDT)

This Week On DVD and Blu-ray: April 7, 2009
 (From Rope Of Silicon. 7 April 2009, 1:36 AM, PDT)

Uni taps library for latest DVD set
 (From The Hollywood Reporter. 17 February 2009, 12:00 PM, PST)

User Reviews:
Colbert is great, the movie a clumsy production (there were even two directors) See more (20 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Claudette Colbert ... Sally Trent, aka Mimi Benton

Ricardo Cortez ... Tony Cummings
David Manners ... Michael 'Mike' Gardner
Lyda Roberti ... Dora Nichols
Baby LeRoy ... Bobby, Dora's Baby at 1 Year (as Baby Le Roy)

Charley Grapewin ... Andrew 'Juddy' Judson
Sam Godfrey ... Harry, Radio Announcer
Florence Roberts ... Mother Angelica
Virginia Hammond ... Mrs. Julia Judson
Mildred Washington ... Carrie, Mimi's Maid
Cora Sue Collins ... Sally at 5 Years

Helen Jerome Eddy ... Miss Spaulding
Albert Conti ... Carlotti

Ethel Griffies ... Agatha Alden
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Jean Acker ... Nightclub Patron (uncredited)
Bobbe Arnst ... The Blonde (uncredited)
James Burke ... Taxicab Driver (uncredited)
Kathleen Burke ... Sobbing Girl (uncredited)
Shirley Ann Christenson ... Baby Sally (uncredited)
Davison Clark ... Mr. Seymour - Detective (uncredited)
Edward Cooper ... Agatha Alden's Butler (uncredited)
William B. Davidson ... Jarrett (uncredited)
Anna Demetrio ... Italian Diner (uncredited)
Lester Dorr ... Man in Radio Station (uncredited)
Grace Goodall ... Head Nurse (uncredited)
Gladys Hulette ... Nightclub Patron (uncredited)
Perc Launders ... Bass Fiddle Player (uncredited)
Edward LeSaint ... Doctor (uncredited)
Margaret Mann ... Miss Thomas, Little Sally's Nanny (uncredited)
Dennis O'Keefe ... Nightclub Patron (uncredited)
Eddie Phillips ... Nightclub Patron (uncredited)
Ronald R. Rondell ... Nightclub Patron (uncredited)
Harry Semels ... Waiter in Bistro (uncredited)
Walton Trout ... Baby (uncredited)
Jerry Tucker ... Mickey (uncredited)
Toby Wing ... Nightclub Patron (uncredited)
Florence Wix ... Nightclub Patron (uncredited)

Directed by
Alexander Hall 
George Somnes 
 
Writing credits
Grace Perkins (story "Mike")

Lenore J. Coffee (screenplay) (as Lenore Coffee) and
Lynn Starling (screenplay)

Produced by
Albert Lewis .... producer (uncredited)
 
Original Music by
Ralph Rainger 
 
Cinematography by
Karl Struss 
 
Film Editing by
Eda Warren (uncredited)
 
Costume Design by
Travis Banton 
 
Sound Department
Harold Lewis .... sound recording engineer (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Eugene Joseff .... costume jeweller (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Howard Jackson .... orchestrator (uncredited)
John Leipold .... orchestrator (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
71 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording)
Certification:
USA:Passed (National Board of Review) | USA:Approved (PCA #1379-R, 31 August 1935 for re-release)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
One of over 700 Paramount Productions, filmed between 1929 and 1949, which were sold to MCA/Universal in 1958 for television distribution, and have been owned and controlled by Universal ever since.See more »
Quotes:
Mimi Benton:[to Mother Angelica] Dora's the kind of girl that some guy always wants to marry. I get a lot of proposals, but marriage isn't one of them.See more »
Movie Connections:
Featured in Complicated Women (2003) (TV)See more »
Soundtrack:
The Slumber BoatSee more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
3 out of 4 people found the following review useful.
Colbert is great, the movie a clumsy production (there were even two directors), 24 September 2011
Author: secondtake from United States

Torch Singer (1933)

A hobbled movie if you expect something naturalistic and moving, but Claudette Colbert is so convincing and terrific she almost compensates. A Depression-era tale of an affair that produced a baby, and then the mother having to struggle alone trying and failing to raise it. It takes off from there, as Colbert as the mother makes good with her life in other ways. The baby of course is still in the back of her mind, and causes a couple of dramatic twists later on.

The plot is a huge contrivance, and so you have to jump in and see it as a kind of morality tale, packaged a little too neatly and with some comic and tragic episodes almost too forcefully inserted. It's all interesting and fun, though, and Colbert really is a versatile and heartfelt actress here.

The one thing she may not do so well for modern audiences is sing so well, and as the title suggests, this is a key part of the middle of the movie. The orchestras are great, and the parade of side characters rather convincing as we go along, however. The sudden reappearance of the father, and the rather neat coincidences that follow, were way too much for me to swallow, however, especially the patched-on ten second last scene, which could have at least had some honest drama to it. You'll see.

It's probably the ending most people wanted to see, however, and a justification of what had happened earlier (all of which is a kind of taboo just a year later when the Hays Code would have made an out-of-wedlock birth a more serious offense). I think it's handled here in a believable way, however, at first, so thank goodness it was finished before the artifice of the later 1930s took over these kinds of themes.

The movie also has some nice (if neatly packaged) insights to the crude beginnings of commercial radio, which was always live, and which amounted to some people standing in front of a microphone. This was much like television was in its first years after WWII, with live broadcasts the necessity. And Colbert sings her own songs in this movie, for better or for worse. A total period effort, in tone and in content.

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