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A Life of Her Own (1950)

Small town Kansas girl, Lily James, is the latest model working for the Thomas Callaway Agency in New York City. Despite her small town roots, Lily is street-wise because of her tough ... See full summary »

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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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...
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Tom Caraway
...
Jim Leversoe
...
Mary Ashlon
...
Lee Gorrance
Margaret Phillips ...
Nora Harleigh
...
Maggie Collins
...
Jerry
Sara Haden ...
Smitty
...
Specialty Dancer
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Storyline

Small town Kansas girl, Lily James, is the latest model working for the Thomas Callaway Agency in New York City. Despite her small town roots, Lily is street-wise because of her tough growing up experiences, and as such she is a good judge of character. She believes she can escape her troubles through professional success. Because of her hard work ethic, she quickly does rise to the top of her profession. She attracts the attention of Steve Harleigh, a wealthy copper mine owner. Despite they both knowing that nothing can come between them, they fall in love. The issues are that he lives and works in Montana, and that he is already married. Steve feels guilty about his marital infidelity as his wife, Nora, is physically disabled from a car accident in which he was the cause. Lily has to decide if her own happiness is worth destroying the life of a woman - an invalid - she's never met. Written by Huggo

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Drama

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Release Date:

1 September 1950 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Abiding Vision  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The ending in the original script had washed-up model Lily James, played by Lana Turner, at forty-five years of age working as a hotel maid. The original ending as filmed had Lily James committing suicide, following in the footsteps of Mary Ashton, the older model Lily meets earlier in the film who jumps to her death from a window. After filming finished in late March 1950 the film was shown to test audiences who gave such a negative reaction to this ending that retakes were done in mid-April 1950, to provide the film with the happier ending that's used in the finished film, much to the dismay of director George Cukor. See more »

Goofs

Lily James appears as "Top Model" on the cover of a Life magazine being read by Jim Leversoe. The scene immediately dissolves to the cover of the same Life magazine in a plane with Steve Harleigh, but the cover shot of the Life magazine on the plane is an entirely different pose (but the same outfit and hairdo). See more »

Quotes

Mary Ashlon: Nobody can help anybody.
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Soundtracks

A Life of Her Own
(uncredited)
Music by Bronislau Kaper
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User Reviews

 
George Cukor & Lana Turner! But Ann Dvorak steals the show!
28 July 2000 | by (San Francisco) – See all my reviews

Lana Turner fresh off a two year "break" in film-making, returns to the screen with MGM and George Cukor. Her time off (due to suspension from refusing MGM's crappy scripts) resulted in a marriage to multi-millionaire Bob Topping and the resulting (and slightly double-chinned) effects of partying and drinking champagne for the duration.

She's supposed to be a "fresh-faced" model from a small town who makes it big in NYC. It's quite a stretch at her age (30)since the role belongs to a MUCH younger actress, but she IS Lana Turner and still beautiful. But don't expect an explosion of Cukor's magic combined with Lana's beauty; it's not happening.

This movie is watchable if you love Lana or Cukor, but the real draw in this film is Ann Dvorak. She plays a washed-up, alcoholic and depressed super-model who mentors Lana briefly upon her arrival in the Big Apple and she steals EVERY scene she's in. The first 20 minutes of this film are the best and belong to Ann Dvorak all the way.

Ray Milland is sleepwalking, boring and unbelievable as the married man smitten with Lana. Not to mention that someone who looks like Lana would hardly be attracted to him! But his wheelchair-bound, suffering and loving wife is played beautifully, deeply and touchingly by Margaret Phillips in one of her only 3 film roles. She is so good that she actually inspires Lana to "act" in the scene they share (gasp!). Barry Sullivan can always be relied upon to play the creepy guy and Lana gets off some good n' nasty verbal shots at him.

There's definitely some glamour moments, but they are far too rare. As George Cukor had noted during filming, costumer Helen Rose was "bereft of talent" and Lana wears some of the geekiest looking and unflattering outfits. But every now and then a mink coat, the right angle and lighting and some stylish camera work highlight the magic of director Cukor and star Turner. But poor Sidney Guilaroff must have been on valium; watching the tight curls on the the side of Lana's head multiply, shrink or stare at you like a group of peonies is part of the show.

The original ending was met so badly at pre-release screenings that a new ending was filmed later on command of the studio. Could it really have been worse than the one released?!?!!


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