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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

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

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

Taglines:

HELEN MORGAN - her songs...her sins. They called her the Goddess of the Jazz Age...He was the twisted brutish Larry, with the roar of the '20s in his shoulder holsters... See more »

Genres:

Biography | Drama | Music

Certificate:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

5 October 1957 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Jazz Age  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

LeRoy Prinz, who choreographed the musical numbers in this film, also choreographed the dances in the 1936 film version of "Show Boat", which featured the real Helen Morgan, along with Irene Dunne, Allan Jones, Charles Winninger, and Paul Robeson. See more »

Goofs

Paul Newman's character, Larry Maddux, repeatedly refers to Florenz Ziegfeld as "Ziegfield." All the other characters say Ziegfeld's name correctly. See more »

Quotes

Larry Maddux: Do yourself a favor. Hire the kid.
Whitey Krause: I hope your hooch is better than your suggestion, Larry. What's the canary to you.
Larry Maddux: Nuthin'. I'm just a music lover. Besides, I don't go for that sad stuff she sings.
See more »

Connections

Version of Playhouse 90: The Helen Morgan Story (1957) See more »

Soundtracks

Why Was I Born?
Music by Jerome Kern
Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II
Performed by Ann Blyth (dubbed by Gogi Grant) at the Helen Morgan Club
Also played on the radio at the bar
Originally from the musical "Sweet Adeline"
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Newman plays the cad
14 December 2004 | by See all my reviews

Since I was born decades after this film was made and this film was made about the period of Helen Morgan's life decades before 1957, I wasn't sure I would be able to appreciate it as much as perhaps it deserved to be. Actually I found it to be somewhat timeless in its depiction of the eternal quest for fame and fortune and the pitfalls that occur along the way. Even in today's headlines we see talented performers who achieve fame and fortune only to stumble due to relationship difficulties, substance abuse and shady characters in their entourage. Although I am not familiar with the real Helen Morgan, Ann Blyth does a credible job in portraying how stardom doesn't always lead to happiness and Paul Newman is very good as an opportunist with a conscience.


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