A Life of Her Own (1950)

 |  Drama  |  1 September 1950 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.2/10 from 511 users  
Reviews: 30 user | 6 critic

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


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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Release Date:

1 September 1950 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Abiding Vision  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


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 »


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 »


Mary Ashlon: Nobody can help anybody.
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A Life of Her Own
Music by Bronislau Kaper
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User Reviews

worth watching, but second-rate Cukor
5 June 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Small-town girl goes to big city to break into modeling, falls in love. Conflicts arise, are resolved. I would call this second-rate Cukor. The pluses: A good amount of wise, perceptive dialog in the cynical vein, well choreographed ensemble scenes in claustrophobic interiors (the hubbub at a busy modeling agency, a crowded restaurant, a hotel visitors' lounge, a wild party in Turner's apartment) and two strong supporting performances: Ann Dvorak as a has-been alcoholic model at the beginning and Margaret Phillips as the stoic, paraplegic wife toward the end (lesser turns have won Oscars). Lana Turner is appealing to the eye but miscast - too slick and mature for a Kansas girl trying to break into the modeling world. She is persuasive only when she is playing anger, disgust or drunkenness. Ray Milland with his patrician accent convinces no one that he runs a copper mine in the boonies of Montana and has seldom seen a big city. Neither performer even attempts an appropriate regional accent. The central problem, however, is that Turner and Milland do not click as a couple. And both seem bored.

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