IMDb > Torch Song (1953)
Torch Song
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Torch Song (1953) More at IMDbPro »


Overview

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5.3/10   611 votes »
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Director:
Writers:
Contact:
View company contact information for Torch Song on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
1 October 1953 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
Tough Baby - a wonderful love story with the star of "Sudden Fear" and for the FIRST TIME you'll see her in TECHNICOLOR!
Plot:
Jenny Stewart is a tough Broadway musical star who doesn't take criticism from anyone. Yet there is one individual... See more » | Full synopsis »
Awards:
Nominated for Oscar. Another 1 win See more »
User Reviews:
"Cuz I'm FIFTY......and I can KICK!" See more (34 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order)

Joan Crawford ... Jenny Stewart

Michael Wilding ... Tye Graham

Gig Young ... Cliff Willard
Marjorie Rambeau ... Mrs. Stewart

Harry Morgan ... Joe Denner (as Henry Morgan)
Dorothy Patrick ... Martha
James Todd ... Philip Norton
Eugene Loring ... Gene, the Dance Director
Paul Guilfoyle ... Monty Rolfe
Benny Rubin ... Charles Maylor
Peter Chong ... Peter

Maidie Norman ... Anne
Nancy Gates ... Celia Stewart
Chris Warfield ... Chuck Peters
Rudy Render ... Singer at Party
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Mary Benoit ... Woman in Audience (uncredited)
Ralph Brooks ... Party Guest (uncredited)
Steve Carruthers ... Man in Audience (uncredited)
Adolph Deutsch ... Conductor (uncredited)
Estelle Etterre ... Woman in Audience (uncredited)
Bess Flowers ... Woman at Rehearsal (uncredited)
Mimi Gibson ... Susie (uncredited)
Sam Harris ... Restaurant Patron (uncredited)
Peggy King ... Cora (uncredited)
Mitchell Lewis ... Bill the Doorman (uncredited)
Joan Maloney ... Dancer (uncredited)
Frank Mazzola ... Merle (uncredited)
Harold Miller ... Party Guest / Man at Rehearsal (uncredited)
Paul Power ... Man in Audience (uncredited)
John Rosser ... Chauffeur (uncredited)
Norma Jean Salina ... Margaret (uncredited)
Reginald Simpson ... Cab Driver (uncredited)
Donna Jean Stewart ... Elsie (uncredited)
Gary Stewart ... Eddie (uncredited)
Charles Walters ... Ralph Ellis (uncredited)
Dick Winslow ... Party Guest (uncredited)
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Directed by
Charles Walters 
 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
John Michael Hayes  writer
Jan Lustig  writer
I.A.R. Wylie  story

Produced by
Henry Berman .... producer
Sidney Franklin .... producer (as Sidney Franklin Jr.)
Charles Schnee .... producer
 
Original Music by
Adolph Deutsch 
 
Cinematography by
Robert H. Planck 
 
Film Editing by
Albert Akst 
 
Art Direction by
E. Preston Ames 
Cedric Gibbons 
 
Set Decoration by
Jack D. Moore 
Edwin B. Willis 
 
Costume Design by
Helen Rose 
 
Makeup Department
Sydney Guilaroff .... hair stylist
William Tuttle .... makeup artist
 
Production Management
Jay Marchant .... unit manager (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Douglas Shearer .... recording supervisor
 
Special Effects by
Warren Newcombe .... special effects
 
Music Department
Walter Gross .... musician: piano
Alexander Courage .... composer: additional music (uncredited)
Alexander Courage .... orchestrator (uncredited)
 
Other crew
Charles Walters .... choreographer
 

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Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
90 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.75 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Sound System)
Certification:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
In her mother's apartment, Jenny Stewart (played by Joan Crawford) is listening as the phonograph plays one of her greatest hits: "Tenderly" (music by Walter Gross, lyrics by Jack Lawrence), which, in reality, was a great hit for Rosemary Clooney, via her 1952 Columbia single. As Jenny's platter spins, the voice of India Adams is heard, while Jenny reminisces about her early show-business career to her mother (portrayed Marjorie Rambeau). In Miss Crawford's own singing voice, she offers phrases of the classic ballad while the record plays.See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: Jenny closes her eyes to find out what it's like for a blind person to light a cigarette. Meanwhile, the cigarette and cigarette lighter switch hands.See more »
Quotes:
[first lines]
Jenny Stewart:Hold the record.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Soundtrack:
Blue MoonSee more »

FAQ

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40 out of 43 people found the following review useful.
"Cuz I'm FIFTY......and I can KICK!", 5 October 2005
Author: Poseidon-3 from Cincinnati, OH

It's hard to believe that, except for a couple of very brief sequences in earlier films, audiences had to wait until 1953 to see Miss Crawford in Technicolor. She gave them enough here to last a lifetime! With inferno red hair, scarlet lips and an assortment of garish costume pieces, she served up a retina-scorching musical that is as fascinating as it is preposterous. Crawford plays the most hard-nosed, ball-busting theatre diva imaginable. (Things veer into science-fiction rather early when it's shown that Crawford has a loyal following of devoted TEEN fans.) During rehearsals for her latest revue, she berates everyone in sight as she strives to have everything her way. She trips her dance partner with her ever-extended right leg, rewrites the dialogue, redesigns the costumes (hilariously swooping the design board in the air to see how the swatch of chiffon will behave once it's attached to her!) and just generally steamrolls over everyone. She meets her match, however, when meek pianist Wilding shows up and softly, but firmly challenges her taste when it comes to her interpretations of the show's songs. To top it off, he's blind, though this detail only slightly curbs Miss Crawford's vicious tongue. Eventually, the two begin to work together, tenuously, but Wilding's effect on her starts to become a romantic one. Despite her slight softening, he remains strangely reticent. Crawford, used to getting what she wants, strives to make him her own. In the midst of all this romantic tension are several musical numbers (with a throaty India Adams providing the highly melodramatic vocals) which range from pitiful to screamingly ridiculous. One has Crawford emerging hilariously from behind a wall and rolling in circles across the stage where she finally disappears behind another wall. In the most famous scene, she descends a cheap-looking staircase dressed in a scary turquoise chiffon and beaded gown with a slit up to her loin while wearing black-face!!! Exceedingly uncoordinated female dancers stiffly turn about as Crawford wanders through the male chorus (with all of them in black-face as well!) Afterwards, in a fit of fury, she rips off her black wig and the viewer is faced with her chocolate skin, crimson lips, ice blue eyes and a tangled mess of tangerine orange hair sprouting heavenward! The film is bent on displaying the most putrescent colors imaginable. Her bedroom walls are a nauseating sea foam green and she wears a hysterical electric lemon yellow robe that is about 10 sizes too big. (In a symbolic touch, she shuts out the world from her bedroom with THREE layers of draperies at the window.) Oddly, though Joan isn't the blind one, her home is virtually devoid of any pictures or artwork. Only one small painting can be seen in the place. The film is chock full of deliciously rotten dialogue and snippy comments and is a must see for any fan of the star. It's also brimming over with unintentional humor as Joan overdoes every line, look and gesture. Clocking in with some intentional humor is the splendorous Rambeau as Crawford's money-grubbing mother. Her reaction (both verbal and non-verbal) to Crawford's announcement that she's fallen for a blind man is one of the all-time uproarious bits of acting and dialogue. For her trouble, she was granted an Oscar nomination, which couldn't have thrilled Crawford, who was busily gnawing on all of the scenery in an attempt to gain another one herself! As for Wilding, he plays blindness as if the loss of one's sight equals the complete and utter loss of one's facial expression. Still, it's nice to see his underacting hold up against Crawford's fire-breathing. Norman appears as Crawford's trusted assistant and indentured servant. She would turn up years later as Crawford's maid in "What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?" receiving even worse treatment from Bette Davis. Check out Joan's cocktail party at which no other female is present! The one lady that rivals her for Wilding's affections is dealt with out of frame, but one can imagine the showdown that was had. The persona Joan presented here (and in "Queen Bee") would come back to haunt her. It was apparently what the producers of "Mommie Dearest" used as a launching pad when concocting that film and it was the subject of one of Carol Burnett's most cutting parodies during her long-running variety series. Crawford, who adored Burnett, was usually open to a joke on herself, but in this instance was quite hurt. Crawford followed this gem with the even more lurid, garish and bizarre "Johnny Guitar". Incidentally, the music used in Joan's first dance rehearsal number is "Minstrel Man" (!), which ties in bizarrely with the fact that she's later seen in blackface (or as Debbie Reynolds put it in "That's Entertainment III", "tropical makeup"!)

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