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The Hard Way (1943)

7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 684 users  
Reviews: 25 user | 4 critic

Embittered, ambitious Helen Sherman sees an opportunity to escape her drab small-town life by becoming a 'stage mother' to her musically-talented younger sister.

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Title: The Hard Way (1943)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Mrs. Helen Chernen
Dennis Morgan ...
Paul Collins
...
Katherine 'Katie' Blaine
...
Albert Runkel
...
Lily Emery
Faye Emerson ...
Ice Cream Parlor Waitress
Paul Cavanagh ...
John 'Jack' Shagrue
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Storyline

Ambitious Helen Chernin (Ida Lupino) pushes her talented younger sister Katherine (Joan Leslie) into marriage with broken down song-and-dance man Albert Runkel (Jack Carson) so that the two women can leave the dirty steel town where they live. Runkel's partner Paul Collins (Dennis Morgan), however, sees through Helen's plan. Helen continues driving her sister's career and eventually Katherine becomes a star on Broadway, while Runkel and Collins' act flounders. Success soon goes to Katherine's head and she becomes a fast-living party girl. Time passes and Helen and Katherine run into Paul, now a successful band leader. He and Katherine soon fall in love. The two sisters eventually have a showdown on opening night of Katherine's latest show when Katherine discovers that Helen is also in love with Paul. Written by Daniel Bubbeo <dbubbeo@cmp.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Sister LOVE...and HATE! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Musical | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

20 February 1943 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A nehéz út  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Bette Davis was originally the first choice for the role of Helen Chernin but turned it down. Upon seeing the finished product, however, she mused, "How did I let that one get away?" See more »

Goofs

Near the end of the film Dennis Morgan takes a seat to see Joan Leslie's play. He is seated next to a young woman. The next time the camera cuts to him he is in the same seat, but sitting next to an older woman wearing completely different clothing. See more »

Quotes

Katherine 'Katie' Blaine: [Looking in the mirror at her new, very sexy dress] Boy, if I showed up in Greenhill wearing this, they'd call out the fire department!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in American Me (1992) See more »

Soundtracks

Night and Day
(1932) (uncredited)
Written by Cole Porter
Played when Paul and Katie are at the bar at the Embassy Club
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Ida Lupino excels in archetypal tinsel-and-ashes melodrama
19 November 2001 | by (Western New York) – See all my reviews

The siren lure of show business must have had a more irresistible song in the days when stars, in the flesh, came right to towns like Pocatello, Idaho and Biloxi, Mississippi. The dreams were delivered fresh and piping hot, not through the many scrims of television and movie screens, and not through the machinations of crafty publicists and a fawning press. That's the milieu of Green Hill, a sooty steeltown where Helen Chernen (Ida Lupino) has cut her losses and her hopes until her little sister (Joan Leslie) gets a whiff of the greasepaint and hears the roar of the crowd. Lupino up and leaves her laborer husband to propel sis right to the boulevard of broken dreams. First steps on the stampede to the top are the mediocre vaudeville duo of Jack Carson and Dennis Morgan; Leslie marries Carson but leaves him in the dust at Lupino's bidding. Soon Leslie is poised to be the toast of all Broadway, but the tinsel is turning to ashes, and she's turning against her unstoppable bulldozer of a big sister. The bookends of this story told in flashback involve an ermine wrap, a pier on New York's waterfront, and a couple of New York cops....You get the idea. The Hard Way still packs a punch (after all these years), if a punch somewhat softened with a tinge of nostalgia. This is one of Lupino's strongest roles (along with Lily in Road House), and at her best she makes you wonder why she didn't achieve the superstardom of a Davis, a Hepburn, or a Stanwyck. She's just that good.


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James Agee, Ex Lax, and Joan Leslie jrhpax
'The Hard Way' ....A Great Escape ! preciousmeowme3
Ten Kids!? TopFlight
Released on Warner Brothers Archive Collection! charliebuenfil
Performances SPARKLED! And Who Else Loved Leona Maricle? Schmoozette
Astounded by Leslie's tumbling sequence AnjaValentine
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