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The Helen Morgan Story (1957)

Torch singer Helen Morgan rises from sordid beginnings to fame and fortune only to lose it all to alcohol and poor personal choices.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Russell Wade
Whitey Krause
Benny Weaver
Dorothy Green ...
Mrs. Wade
Johnny Haggerty
Warren Douglas ...
Mark Hellinger
Sammy White ...
The De Castro Sisters ...
Jimmy McHugh ...


The 1920's and 30's career of singer Helen Morgan is followed from her early days singing outdoors in a carnival, through her speak-easy and chorus-girl days, to her stardom on Broadway in Ziegfeld's "Show Boat". Her involvement with Larry Maddux, a gin-runner and con-man, and Russell Wade, a prominent, married New York lawyer, and her decline thanks to these failed romances and alcohol are punctuated by performances of many of the songs she made famous. Written by Ron Kerrigan <mvg@whidbey.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Her Real Story From Real Life! See more »


Biography | Drama | Music


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Release Date:

5 October 1957 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Jazz Age  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


Although Ann Blyth had done her own singing in her other movie musicals, her trained soprano voice was judged too operatic for the role of Helen Morgan, and pop singer Gogi Grant's voice was dubbed in. Ironically, the real Helen Morgan's light soprano voice was actually closer to Blyth's in quality than it was to Grant's. Ann Blyth revealed to writer-producer John Fricke that studio head Jack L. Warner had insisted on an intense, belting, Judy Garland-type sound for the film's Morgan. See more »


When Larry robs the liquor warehouse, he pulls out a crate at the top of a stack. The crate directly beneath it partially pulls out under it, too, and it tilts down slightly. If the case was filled with full liquor bottles, as it supposedly would have been, it would have been too heavy to have moved in this way. See more »


Johnny Haggerty: It's tough to be a good guy and a cop at the same time.
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Spoofed in The Carol Burnett Show: Episode #2.21 (1969) See more »


My Time Is Your Time
Music by Leo Dance
Lyrics by Eric Little
Performed by Rudy Vallee at the uptown speakeasy
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User Reviews

Soap opera masquerading as truth
11 May 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Mostly fictional, miscast biographical hogwash of hard luck songtress Morgan. Ann Blyth, in her last theatrical feature, was the wrong actress for the title role, many were considered she was probably the least suitable, so the film starts off with a major flaw from the get go. Judy Garland whose style especially when young was compared to Morgan's would have been ideal. Another shortcoming is that although Blyth was a singer whose voice was relatively close to the real Helen Morgan's she is dubbed by Gogi Grant, also a fine singer but completely different from Morgan in sound and technique. If they were going to dub her why not use Helen Morgan's voice? Curtiz direction is unremarkable here, a few of his more customary florid touches would have helped greatly. Paul Newman who was just starting out when this was made is adequate but missing that loutish air that is needed for the reptile he is playing either Kirk Douglas or Robert Ryan would have been more suitable. The real Morgan story is a compelling one so this comes off as a wasted opportunity.

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