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Come Back, Little Sheba (1952)

 -  Drama  -  24 December 1952 (USA)
7.9
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 2,873 users  
Reviews: 45 user | 10 critic

An emotionally remote recovering alcoholic and his dowdy, unambitious wife face a personal crisis when they take in an attractive lodger.

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(screenplay), (original play)
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Title: Come Back, Little Sheba (1952)

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 6 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
...
Turk Fisher
...
Ed Anderson
Edwin Max ...
Elmo Huston
Lisa Golm ...
Mrs. Coffman
Walter Kelley ...
Bruce Cunningham
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Storyline

For two decades Doc and Lola Delaney avoided coming to terms with what Doc considered a "shot gun" marriage. Lola lost the baby and gives a lot of her affection to Sheba, a dog that disappeared a few months before the film opens. Doc blames Lola for having to drop out of medical school and not becoming a "real" doctor. Until joining AA a year ago, his escape was alcohol. Then college student Marie rents a room in their home. Doc feels passion for the first time in 20 years. But Marie has two suitors her age. Lola -- unaware of Doc's emotions --becomes as interested in Marie's future as if Marie were her daughter. Written by Dale O'Connor <daleoc@interaccess.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

marriage | dream | dog | meeting | lodger | See more »

Taglines:

That girl in their house spelled trouble!

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

24 December 1952 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Cruz da Minha Vida  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (TCM print)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Sidney Blackmer won the 1950 Tony Award (New York City) for Actor in a Drama for "Come Back, Little Sheba" for his portrayal of Doc. See more »

Goofs

When Burt Lancaster comes home, the boarder's sweater is lying on the newel post at the foot of the staircase. He puts his hand on it. When he come back down to the kitchen, and back up again, it's no longer there. See more »

Quotes

Doc Delaney: [to Lola as he's leaving for work] Give Daddy a kiss goodbye.
[he kisses his wife]
Marie Buckholder: [teasingly] Aren't you going to kiss me, too, Doctor Delaney?
Lola Delaney: Go on, Doc.
Doc Delaney: I can't spend my time kissing all the girls.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Loved One (1965) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Forget "Hazel" - And Bring Tissues
21 August 2004 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Shirley Booth was a remarkably versatile actress - she did comedies, musicals, and dramas - and won the adoration of critics and audiences in all. But as with Agnes Moorehead and Eve Arden, her success in a TV comedy, "Hazel" tended to over-shadow her work on stage or film. A well-liked comedic actress on Broadway since the 1930s, she reinvented herself as a dramatic actress in 1949 with COME BACK, LITTLE SHEBA, winning every award in sight. Although the film version was offered to the likes of Bette Davis (who turned it down because she felt she couldn't bring to the role the "gorgeous vagueness" Booth had), Hal Wallis wisely went with Booth to recreate her stage role, casting Burt Lancaster for box-office appeal.

Booth's performance as Lola is astonishing, filled with nervous energy and anxiety, living on the edge - ask anyone who's ever lived with an alcoholic

  • every gesture, every emotion she plays, is honest and accurate. When I


finally saw this film in the early 1990s, I was floored by Booth - where in heck had she done her research? Help for families of alcoholics (the Al-Anon Family Groups) was still several years off when the stage version was done - the resources available to Booth would have been "open" AA meetings and perhaps talking with family members. (Incidentally, the director, Daniel Mann, wasn't finished with AA - a more realistic AA meeting figured in his 1956 I'LL CRY TOMORROW, in which he directed Susan Hayward to an Oscar nomination - ironically, she lost out to Anna Magnani's Mann-directed performance in THE ROSE TATTOO!)

Booth was still alive at the time I first saw this film (around 1991-92), and I knew after watching that, unfortunately, her great success as TV's "Hazel" over-shadowed SHEBA, and that when she died, the obit's would begin, "Shirley Booth, TV's HAZEL, is Dead..." and I was right. Agnes Moorehead had a similar fate - the generation which grew up on "Bewitched" was clueless that Moorehead was one of the finest, most versatile and respected actresses around and, like Booth, every bit the equal of the other leading ladies (whom she'd usually supported). I remember attending a screening for the 50th anniversary of CITIZEN KANE and hearing gasps of astonishment as the cast's names appeared "That was AGNES MOOREHEAD!!!!"

Yes, indeed. And THAT was Shirley Booth, breaking our hearts in COME BACK, LITTLE SHEBA. Forget "Hazel," and bring tissues.


38 of 45 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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