Jenny Stewart is a tough Broadway musical star who doesn't take criticism from anyone. Yet there is one individual, Tye Graham, a blind pianist who may be able to break through her tough ... See full summary »
Jenny Stewart is a tough Broadway musical star who doesn't take criticism from anyone. Yet there is one individual, Tye Graham, a blind pianist who may be able to break through her tough exterior. Written by
MGM's ad campaign erroneously boasted that this was moviegoers' first chance to see Joan Crawford in Technicolor. Actually, Crawford had appeared in a Technicolor sequence in same studio's Ice Follies of 1939, some 14 years earlier. See more »
In an old newspaper review, Ty rhapsodizes about Jenny's performance of the song "Tenderly" which he saw her perform on the night before he was shipped off to WWII (and subsequently blinded). In reality, that tune was not written until 1946, a year after war was over. See more »
Sometimes the release on DVD of a particular film in which, ostensibly, I have very little interest makes me watch it regardless when it happens to get shown on TV – and this is just one such example. Actually, it forms part of a Box Set which does contain at least two enticing titles: Frank Borzage’s STRANGE CARGO (1940) and George Cukor’s A WOMAN’S FACE (1941).
Although hardly one of my personal favorites, Joan Crawford was one of Hollywood’s foremost leading ladies: starting out in the late Silent era, she epitomized the “woman’s pictures” in the 1930s and 1940, eventually winning an Oscar for Michael Curtiz’s superb noir-ish melodrama, MILDRED PIERCE (1945). By the time Crawford did TORCH SONG, she had been a freelancer for ten years and this marked a return to the studio which had discovered her, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.
Stories of entertainment divas alienating their loved ones through their constant tantrums were already clichéd by this time, I suppose, but this is nevertheless a watchable and, given that there are a few musical numbers, surprisingly painless diversion which has, somewhat unaccountably, earned a reputation of late as a camp classic. This may be down mostly to the fact that Crawford (whose singing voice is dubbed) does one of her routines, “Two-Faced Woman”, in blackface; incidentally, this song was originally meant for Vincente Minnelli’s THE BAND WAGON (1953) as a duet of sorts between Cyd Charisse and Oscar Levant! This is not to say that watching Crawford (in her late forties and her first full-length feature in Technicolor) showing off her legs at every available opportunity does not give rise to some amusement.
Crawford’s leading man here is Britain’s Michael Wilding as a blind pianist(!) and her no-nonsense mother is played by Marjorie Rambeau (who was, surprisingly enough, even nominated for an Oscar); the supporting cast is further filled out by rather thankless turns from Gig Young (as Crawford’s playboy companion) and Harry Morgan (as the theatrical impresario). Director/choreographer Charles Walters rounded out a good year for him with this movie – which had also included the Oscar-nominated LILI and Esther Williams’ most popular vehicle, DANGEROUS WHEN WET.
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