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I'll Cry Tomorrow (1955)

Passed  |   |  Biography, Drama, Music  |  25 December 1955 (USA)
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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 ... See full summary »



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Won 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »
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Complete credited cast:
Tony Bardeman
Burt McGuire
Katie Roth
Don Taylor ...
David Tredman
Margo ...
Jerry (as Don Barry)
David Kasday ...
David as a Child
Carole Ann Campbell ...
Lillian as a Child
Peter Leeds ...
Tol Avery ...
Fat Man


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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


She fell from fame to shame! See more »


Biography | Drama | Music


Passed | See all certifications »




Release Date:

25 December 1955 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Mañana lloraré  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Appearing together for the only time on film were Eddie Albert (playing Burt McGuire) and his wife Margo (portraying Selma). The couple were wed from December 5, 1945 until Margo's death on July 17, 1985. See more »


Although most of the film takes place in the 1920s and 1930s, the clothes, hairstyles, and musical arrangements are strictly in the much different style of the mid-1950s. See more »


[alcoholic Lillian is desperate for a drink - mother drops the glass bottle on the floor, shattering it]
Lillian Roth: 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!
Katie Roth: All right! All right! All right, it's my fault, huh? I made you become an actress, you didn't want to, all right. ...
See more »


Featured in MGM Parade: Episode #1.15 (1955) See more »


The Vagabond King Waltz
Music by Rudolf Friml (uncredited)
Lyrics by Brian Hooker (uncredited)
Performed briefly in a medley montage by Susan Hayward (vocal) and Eddie Albert (piano)
See more »

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User Reviews

Hayward alone makes this movie great, but the story is well told, too...
25 July 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I'll Cry Tomorrow (1955)

Well, never mind the famous Alcoholics Anonymous ending, Susan Hayward is just fabulous through and through. This is a drama based on real life singer Lillian Roth, and Hayward (who does her own singing) pulls off both the successful early years and the decline into drinking. It's lively and vivid and tragic.

Richard Conte is second billing, and a big name at this point in his career, but he's got a small, if important, role, perfectly suited to him. I just happened to see Conte and Hayward yesterday in a movie together, "House of Strangers" (from six years earlier). The relationship of their characters is more compact and complicated here, but in both cases Conte plays a cool type, smart and in control. But Conte here has two sides, is wonderfully manipulative, and ends up having his own demons that come from drinking too much.

Hayward often plays strong characters, and emotional ones, and yet her approach is grounded with an inner calm. I'm not sure why she wasn't a legendary star the way Bette Davis and Ingrid Bergman and Joan Crawford were, because she acts her heart out and has good, rich roles. It's no surprise she got an Oscar nomination for this performance, just as she did for an earlier amazing performance as an alcoholic, the terrific 1949 "My Foolish Heart" across from Dana Andrews, who is a more compelling actor overall than Conte. Hayward did finally win that big Best Actress award for her gutsy performance in "I Want to Live" (where director Robert Wise made everything look good as well as come alive).

Jo Van Vleet, who play's Lillian Roth's mother, is scary perfect as a controlling mother with seemingly good intentions. There's no shortage of movies about mothers who mess up their daughters by trying too hard ("Mommy Dearest" is the most famous, but it gets even more sordid in "Where Love Has Gone" with Hayward playing the mother).

There is a terrible colorized version of "I'll Cry Tomorrow" out there which is best to avoid--it's a simple color palette applied across the board, and everyone comes off uniform and pasty. It matters less what color her hair is when it's simply colorless. That colorized version is also cropped (pan and scan) to fit the 4:3 format of television, and the original is shot with some helpful moderately wide widescreen expansiveness, so the edges of faces don't get chopped. Arthur Arling's cinematography is very good in the way that all movies were at this point, but it isn't remarkable on its own terms. The soundtrack, by the way, is interesting to many because it has Hayward singing rather rich versions of some standards of Roth's.

7 of 10 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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