6.8/10
294
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.

Director:

Writer:

(screen play)
Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

An entertainer in Rio impersonates a wealthy aristocrat. When the aristocrat's wife asks him to carry the impersonation further, complications ensue.

Director: Irving Cummings
Stars: Alice Faye, Don Ameche, Carmen Miranda
On the Avenue (1937)
Musical | Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Broadway producer satirizes an important New York family. The family sues but their daughter falls in love with producer.

Director: Roy Del Ruth
Stars: Dick Powell, Madeleine Carroll, Alice Faye
Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

In turn-of-the-century San Francisco, an ambitious vaudevillian takes his quartet from a honky tonk to the big time, while spurning the love of his troupe's star singer for a selfish heiress.

Director: H. Bruce Humberstone
Stars: Alice Faye, John Payne, Jack Oakie
Drama | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A singer becomes a star in the Ziegfeld Follies, but her marriage to a con man has a bad effect on her career.

Director: Gregory Ratoff
Stars: Tyrone Power, Alice Faye, Al Jolson
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Starting in 1913 movie director Connors discovers singer Molly Adair. As she becomes a star she marries an actor, so Connors fires them. She asks for him as director of her next film. Many silent stars shown making the transition to sound.

Directors: Irving Cummings, Buster Keaton, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Alice Faye, Don Ameche, J. Edward Bromberg
Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

After WWI two men go into radio. Failure leads the wife of one to borrow money from another; she goes on, after separation, to stardom. A coast-to-coast radio program is set up to bring ... See full summary »

Director: Archie Mayo
Stars: Alice Faye, Jack Oakie, John Payne
Day-Time Wife (1939)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

When a young wife discovers her husband of two years is involved with his beautiful secretary, she applies for a job as secretary to a business rival.

Director: Gregory Ratoff
Stars: Tyrone Power, Linda Darnell, Warren William
Love Crazy (1941)
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A series of misunderstandings on their fourth wedding anniversary lead an architect and his wife to break up, but he pretends to be insane and even poses as his own sister in order to win her back.

Director: Jack Conway
Stars: William Powell, Myrna Loy, Gail Patrick
Certificate: Passed Musical | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Lucille Ball accepts a cadet's invitation to a military academy's senior prom in order to boost her career.

Director: Edward Buzzell
Stars: Lucille Ball, William Gaxton, Virginia Weidler
Drama | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

This send-up of ragtime song and dance begins in 1915 San Francisco when society boy Roger Grant decides to pursue popular rather than serious music.

Director: Henry King
Stars: Tyrone Power, Alice Faye, Don Ameche
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Attractive Nan, member of a bank-robbery gang, goes to prison thanks to evangelist Dave Slade...who loves her.

Directors: Howard Bretherton, William Keighley
Stars: Barbara Stanwyck, Preston Foster, Lyle Talbot
Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A young manipulative woman moves in with her fiances family and turns a happy household against itself.

Directors: John Brahm, John Cromwell, and 2 more credits »
Stars: Anne Baxter, Ralph Bellamy, Aline MacMahon
Edit

Cast

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

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 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

24 May 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Bela Lillian Russell  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

"Lux Radio Theater" broadcast a 60 minute radio adaptation of the movie on October 21, 1940 with Alice Fayeand Edward Arnold reprising their roles and Victor Mature in the Fonda part. See more »

Connections

Spun-off from Diamond Jim (1935) See more »

Soundtracks

Künstlerleben (Artist's Life), Op.316
(1867) (uncredited)
Written by Johann Strauss
Included in the "Waltz Is King" number
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

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.


1 of 2 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
What Lillian Russell *really* looked like meredithsloan
Discuss Lillian Russell (1940) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?