Deprived of a normal childhood by her ambitious mother, Katie, Lillian Roth becomes a star of Broadway and Hollywood before she is twenty. Shortly before her marriage to her childhood ...
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Jane Froman (Susan Hayward), an aspiring songstress, lands a job in radio with help from pianist Don Ross (David Wayne), whom she later marries. Jane's popularity soars, and she leaves on a... See full summary »
Angie Evans, fast-rising nightclub singer, interrupts her career to marry struggling songwriter Ken Conway. When Ken lucks into a career as chart-topping radio crooner, Angie is forced into... See full summary »
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Fourteen-year-old Tessa is hopelessly in love with handsome composer Lewis Dodd, a family friend. Lewis adores Tessa, but has never shown any romantic feelings toward her. When Tessa's ... See full summary »
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Covering the tulip festival in Little Delft, Michigan, reporter Henry Taggart takes a room at an inn ran by an eccentric old Dutchman, Mr. Van Maaster and his seven daughters. The eldest, ... See full summary »
Deprived of a normal childhood by her ambitious mother, Katie, Lillian Roth becomes a star of Broadway and Hollywood before she is twenty. Shortly before her marriage to her childhood sweetheart, David Tredman, he dies and Lillian takes her first drink of many down the road of becoming an alcoholic. She enters into a short-lived marriage to an immature aviation cadet, Wallie, followed by a divorce and then marriage to a sadistic brute and abuser Tony Bardeman. After a failed suicide attempt, Burt McGuire comes to her aid and helps her find the road back to happiness after sixteen years in a nightmare world, not counting the first twenty with her mother. Written by
Les Adams <email@example.com>
In March 1955, The Hollywood Reporter wrote that nine-year-old Lana Wood had tested to play Lillian Roth as a child. In May, the trade paper noted that Thelma Ritter was being considered for the role of Lillian's mother Katie. See more »
When Susan is giving her "I'm a drunk" speech in the bar (at around 1h 16 mins) the woman she has accosted suddenly turns into a man in a dark suit. See more »
[alcoholic Lillian is desperate for a drink - mother drops the glass bottle on the floor, shattering it]
OH! Look what ya did! And ya DID IT ON PURPOSE! You're still trying to make me do what you want, to be what you want! I can't be anything except what I am! Look, look what did you drop that bottle for? What are you trying to do, drive me crazy? Go on, GET THE BOTTLE! GET IT NOW!
All right! All right! All right, it's my fault, huh? I made you become an actress, you didn't want to, all right. ...
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Sad story but Susan Hayward's powerhouse performance holds you from beginning to end. She's matched by Jo Van Fleet as her mother, even though she's overbearing and grasping she makes it clear that she loves her daughter and is at a loss as to how to help her as she washes away in a sea of alcohol. This could be Hayward's career best performance even if it's a stretch at the beginning to believe she's suppose to be in her late teens. Forget that and watch as she takes you through the downward spiral of this tormented woman, doing her own vocals most impressively. Her scenes when Lillian has hit rock bottom are almost painful to watch but her mastery is assured.
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