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The Helen Morgan Story (1957)

6.3
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 435 users  
Reviews: 15 user | 2 critic

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
Gene Evans ...
Whitey Krause
...
Benny Weaver
Cara Williams ...
Virginia Vincent ...
Sue
Walter Woolf King ...
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

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

As with many other films made in the 1950's, this movie was preceded by a television episode of an anthology series. The original, live production of _"Playhouse 90: The Helen Morgan Story" (1957)_, starring Polly Bergen, was presented on CBS TV five months before the release of the film version. Miss Bergen won that year's Emmy Award for Best Single Performance, Lead or Support, by an actress. See more »

Goofs

In real life, Helen Morgan married three times. In the film, she never marries. See more »

Quotes

Larry Maddux: This town's ready. I'm ready to open it for you like an oyster.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Valley of the Dolls (1967) See more »

Soundtracks

Silent Night, Holy Night
(uncredited)
Music by Franz Gruber
Lyrics by Joseph Mohr
Performed by Ann Blyth (dubbed by Gogi Grant) at the Klingman Agency
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Not much to like about this one...
25 January 2013 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

I think the only reason they made "The Helen Morgan Story" is because of the success of similar movies such as "Love Me or Leave Me" and "I'll Cry Tomorrow"--both exceptional movies from 1955 about very hard luck singers of the 1920s. Like these other films, "The Helen Morgan Story" is about a lady with lots of talent--but also had a talent for screwing up her life. But, unlike these other films, you really never care about her or anyone in the films. For example, in "Love Me or Leave Me", Doris Day plays a real life lady who had a gangster boyfriend BUT she left him and cleaned up her life--so the notion of overcoming circumstances makes this an enjoyable film. In "I'll Cry Tomorrow" you like the story because Susan Hayward did a nice job of putting over the role. Here, there really is nothing good. With "The Helen Morgan Story", however, it feels like an episode of "The Jerry Springer Show" as her boyfriend (Paul Newman) slaps her around and treats poor Helen (Ann Blythe) like crap. It gets old very fast--it's just vicious and nasty. And, it's hard to care about her as well--she's just pathetic. Overall, I found it to be a real chore to watch this one--especially since in real life it only got worse and worse and worse until the lady was dead. Not pleasant nor particularly entertaining.

By the way, there is no narrator listed on IMDb but the beginning of the film sure sounded as if the voice was Efram Zimbalist Junior. If you can enlighten me on this, let me know.


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