The life of 1920s actress Jeanne Eagels.

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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 largely fictionalized account of the career of actress Jeanne Eagels, whose fame was both on stage and on the screen in the 1910s and 1920s, is presented. After losing in a rigged carnival beauty pageant, winning which she believed would be her first step to becoming a serious actress, Jeanne joins the traveling carnival itself under the guidance of the pageant organizer, Sal Satori, who features her in a variety of carnival stage shows. But it's when the carnival approaches New York City that Jeanne demonstrates how she truly mapped out her road to acting fame even before meeting Sal. Under the tutelage of renowned acting coach Nellie Neilson, Jeanne, who does possess true acting talent, is given her big acting break and does achieve fame on the Broadway stage, and ultimately also in Hollywood films. Jeanne is not averse to doing whatever is required to advance her career, even at the expense of others. Achieving fame so quickly takes its toll on Jeanne, who turns to alcohol and ... Written by Huggo

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Plot Keywords:

carnival | actress | fame | stage | career | See All (55) »

Taglines:

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


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Details

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Release Date:

2 August 1957 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

George Sidney's Jeanne Eagels  »

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Technical Specs

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Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Final film of Dorothy Vernon. 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: Maybe I come from nowhere, but I'm *going* somewhere!
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Soundtracks

I'll Take Romance
Music by Ben Oakland
Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II
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User Reviews

 
Too Much Pills And Liquor
29 September 2008 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

Although Jeanne Eagels is a fascinating film with one of two career roles for Kim Novak, the other being Vertigo, it does do some disservice in telling the story of the legendary Jeanne Eagels, Broadway star of the Twenties. The Roaring Twenties was a hard partying era, especially on women as three of the brightest stars of that era, Marilyn Miller, Helen Morgan, and Jeanne Eagels died way to soon because they indulged too much.

That part of the story is all too true, Jeanne went like Elsie in the title song from Cabaret, from too much pills and liquor. What's not true is the fact that Jeanne was basically a raw talent who came to Broadway out of nowhere and then died. Eagels did pay her dues in a long hard road in stock companies. The character that Jeff Chandler plays is based on someone she did actually marry, one of the heads of a touring company, not a carnival barker. Her second husband played by Charles Drake was a Broadway playboy and former All American football player.

The surviving members of the Eagels family did threaten suit against Columbia Pictures for this film. From what I've researched about Eagels she got a whitewash in this picture.

Kim Novak does a great job playing Eagels, a woman who indulged too much in her life. She picked Jeff Chandler for her leading man in Jeanne Eagels. This was Chandler's first picture after finishing up his exclusive contract with Universal Studios. His new contract was non-exclusive and this was his first outside film. Jeff dusted off his Brooklyn accent for his role as the carnival man who loves Jeanne, but stands by helplessly as she self destructs.

Agnes Moorehead plays Jeanne's acting coach and Larry Gates her overwrought producer. This film was the farewell performance of Gene Lockhart who has a brief scene as the presiding member of an Actors Equity Hearing. Eagels got herself in lots of problems with Equity back in the day because she blew off performances. Lockhart was active in Equity and essentially is playing himself.

There is one other really good performance, a very touching one by Virginia Grey of a fading Broadway star who also dissipated herself. The role is great, but of course it has no basis in fact, Eagels did not 'steal' the play Rain away from this woman or anyone else.

Jeanne Eagels is a fine film capturing the essence of a self destructive star of a bygone era though factually it leaves quite a lot to be desired.


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