6.4/10
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16 user 1 critic

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:

No star ever climbed higher...or fell lower! 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

Sammy White, who plays himself, appeared with the real Helen Morgan in three productions of "Show Boat" - the original 1927 Broadway stage production, the first Broadway revival in 1932, and the 1936 film version. White played the comic role of hoofer Frank Schultz in "Show Boat". 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.
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Connections

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

Soundtracks

Charleston
(uncredited)
Music by James P. Johnson
Played at the after-show party
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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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