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The Helen Morgan Story (1957)

6.3
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 410 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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Title: The Helen Morgan Story (1957)

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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

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 »

Goofs

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

Quotes

Johnny Haggerty: It's tough to be a good guy and a cop at the same time.
See more »

Connections

Spoofed in The Carol Burnett Show: Episode #2.21 (1969) See more »

Soundtracks

Ochi Tchornya
(uncredited)
Traditional Russian folk tune
Played on the accordion at the rent party
See more »

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User Reviews

 
What's the Matter with Helen?
18 August 2013 | by (Earth) – See all my reviews

During the wild and reckless 1920s, pretty small-town girl Ann Blyth (as Helen Morgan) gets her start as a singer for sex-minded bootlegger Paul Newman (as Larry Maddox). Although deserted after a "one night stand" in Chicago, Ms. Blyth hooks up with Mr. Newman for the long haul. "The customers drink more when they cry," advises Newman, and Blyth becomes a successful "torch singer" (one who sings the blues over lost loves). For publicity and profit, Newman enters Blyth in a "Miss Canada" beauty pageant, although she is not Canadian. Blyth is kept out of jail by kindly lawyer Richard Carlson (as Russell Wade), who becomes the another significant man in her life...

Gogi Grant sings beautifully for Blyth, but one wonders why the actress wasn't allowed to sing for herself. Her style more closely fit the real Helen Morgan's range. Morgan was a big star during the 1920s and 1930s and anyone listening to the radio in 1957 would also be familiar with Ms. Grant's hits - and the titular heroine's real ending. Moviegoers in 1957 must have been puzzled. Blyth is given a role to showcase her acting skills, but holds back; she'd be least haggard looking alcoholic on skid row. Newman had recently been making progress, but appears to still be finding his way. Shadowy scenes staged by director Michael Curtiz and photographer Ted McCord are a strength.

***** The Helen Morgan Story (10/2/57) Michael Curtiz ~ Ann Blyth, Paul Newman, Richard Carlson, Gene Evans


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