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Jeanne Eagels (1957)

 -  Biography | Drama  -  2 August 1957 (USA)
6.3
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 421 users  
Reviews: 29 user | 4 critic

The life of 1920s actress Jeanne Eagels.

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(screenplay), (screenplay), 2 more credits »
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Title: Jeanne Eagels (1957)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
Nellie Neilson
Charles Drake ...
John Donahue
Larry Gates ...
Al Brooks
Virginia Grey ...
Elsie Desmond
...
Equity Board President
Joe De Santis ...
Frank Satori (as Joe de Santis)
...
Chick O'Hara
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Storyline

A poor but beautiful girl named Jeanne takes part in a beauty contest but fails to be crowned its queen. Nevertheless both her determination and her shapely figure impress Sal Satori, the organizer, so much that he gives her a job as a carnival dancer. He becomes her friend and, before long, her great love. However, being a hootchie-kootchie dancer is not Jeanne's dream: she wants to be an actress. That is why Jeanne takes advantage of the Satori company being in New York to consult a renowned drama teacher, Mrs. Neilson. The latter thinks she CAN act and she is proved right since the audience of the first play Jeanne is in responds favorably. But Jeanne will only feel wholly satisfied when she acquires star status. She soon obtains the part which will lead her to stardom by stealing it from Elsie Desmond, an aging actress who planned a comeback through it. In desperation, Elsie commits suicide. Although feeling somewhat guilty, Jeanne openly relishes her triumph, which upsets her ... Written by Guy Bellinger

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

actress | suicide | star | play | love | See All (55) »

Taglines:

TOO MANY SINS TO FORGET! (original print ad - all caps)

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Certificate:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

2 August 1957 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

George Sidney's Jeanne Eagels  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Final film of Gene Lockhart. See more »

Goofs

When Jeanne is riding down Broadway and passes the show marquee, Fanny Brice's name is misspelled 'Fannie'. See more »

Quotes

Jeanne Eagels: Johnny, who are these peasants?
See more »

Soundtracks

Over the Waves
(uncredited)
Music by Juventino Rosas
Arranged by Mischa Bakaleinikoff
See more »

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User Reviews

 
There they go again!
30 September 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

It is amazing how badly Hollywood studios recreated past eras in their biopics. This atrociously dishonest and downright stupid movie about the great Jeanne Eagels is one of the worst. Only haphazard efforts are made to ground the story in the actual era (roughly the teens of the last century to 1929). Occasionally you can spot a few actors dressed and coiffed properly to the time depicted, but you have to look carefully to find them. The music veers between glossy 50s "smooth romance" to jarring, melodramatic accents which attempt to supply emotional power to scenes so badly written they would either put you to sleep or make you laugh. It goes without saying that poor Kim Novak in the title role is miles out of her league, not to mention miscast. Perhaps that's why the hacks who created the scenario decided to make her a carnival hootch dancer in the early scenes, just to show off her splendid physique - at the expense of the real story of a brilliantly talented midwestern girl who plunged passionately into serious acting before she was 10 years old and worked her way up to Broadway stardom over many years. Who would want to see THAT? Around 30 minutes into the implausible proceedings Agnes Moorehead shows up as a Broadway drama teacher; she makes a grand entrance and gives it all she's got and for a moment we feel the movie may be somewhat salvaged - but no. There is too much working against her. Eventually she too sinks into the torpidity surrounding her. For some incomprehensible reason half of the movie - which is supposed to be about a woman whose life played out in and around the legitimate theatre - is set in various amusement parks. Yes, we know that according to the writers of this abomination, Eagels was emotionally close to a carnival impresario (Jeff Chandler in a mighty but futile effort), but there is no other inherent connection between those settings and the story. The scenes that do take place in theatres are so ineptly conceived you wonder if the writers had ever set foot in such establishments. But the real crime here is that the life of Eagels is made boring in the extreme. It wouldn't be surprising if it were revealed that Jacqueline Susann had been inspired to write VALLEY OF THE DOLLS by this garbage; if not, then surely the makers of that movie must have studied it before their own cameras rolled in 1967. But at least DOLLS was hilarious.


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