6.4/10
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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
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

Taglines:

Her Real Story From Real Life!

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

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 »

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

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

Soundtracks

You Do Something to Me
(uncredited)
Written by Cole Porter
Performed by Ann Blyth (dubbed by Gogi Grant)
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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