6.8/10
291
17 user 5 critic

Lillian Russell (1940)

Approved | | Biography, Drama, Musical | 24 May 1940 (USA)
Life story of the musical star from her discovery in 1890 by band leader Tony Pastor till her retirement in 1912 when she married newspaperman Alexander Moore.

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(screen play)
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Edward Solomon
...
Alexander Moore
...
...
The Famous J.L.
Leo Carrillo ...
Tony Pastor
Helen Westley ...
Grandma Leonard
Dorothy Peterson ...
Cynthia Leonard
Ernest Truex ...
Charles K. Leonard
...
William Gilbert
Lynn Bari ...
Edna McCauley
Claud Allister ...
Arthur Sullivan (as Claude Allister)
Joe Weber ...
Himself (as Weber)
Lew Fields ...
Himself (as Fields)
Eddie Foy Jr. ...
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Storyline

Life story of the musical star from her discovery in 1890 by band leader Tony Pastor till her retirement in 1912 when she married newspaperman Alexander Moore.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

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Language:

Release Date:

24 May 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Bela Lillian Russell  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

After the huge success of The Great Ziegfeld (1936) MGM wanted to make a movie of Lillian Russell starring Jeanette MacDonald, but that project fell through. Twentieth Century Fox then decided to make a movie about Russell. See more »


Soundtracks

After the Ball
(1892) (uncredited)
Music and Lyrics by Charles Harris
Sung by Alice Faye and chorus, with piano by Don Ameche and orchestral accompaniment
Reprised by Faye at the end
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User Reviews

 
An astonishing woman, now fading star
7 August 2008 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

I was delighted by this little known film about a successful and talented woman entertainer before the time of film-making. A popular and alluring entertainer, according to her biography (which is an extra on this film) with surprising results. There were a number of things about the original Lillian Russell character that were played down in the film for some reason. This i found somewhat disappointing because it would have been nice to see more of her daring eccentricity, versatility and more of her entertaining potential instead of just swooning deep melodies by the luscious Alice Faye (and of her 4 marriages).

The film was beautifully led by Alice Faye though, who is a star in her own right and who shines like the classy madonna she is; very beautifully and alluringly entertaining, but this seems to almost misplay the character of the true Lillian Russell. They have their own styles that don't seem quite to match. The plot was also somewhat adjusted to disclude her first child and husband from the picture all together which is a tragedy significant to impact anyone's life story. Regardless, I did not find this story boring like other watchers. Instead I found a delightful classic: a surprisingly gentle and pleasant tale conserving the memory of a fading star. In doing so, it drew someone like me, of generations separated, to gain some insight and appreciation for a lady of an age where women were just beginning to arise in society to a more reasonable social compatibility.


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