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Sally Trent has an illegitimate child, but cannot support her and gives the baby up for adoption. The father, Michael Gardner, leaves for China not knowing about the baby, and she assumes he has abandoned her for life. She gets a job as a torch singer, changes her name to Mimi Benton, and becomes notorious for her drinking and philadering. Mimi fills in on a children's radio program as the character "Aunt Jenny," singing and telling bedtime stories, and eventually uses the airtime to find her long lost daughter, part with her wild lifestyle, and reunite with Michael.Written by
One of over 700 Paramount Productions, filmed between 1929 and 1949, which were sold to MCA/Universal in 1958 for television distribution, and have been owned and controlled by Universal ever since. Because of sponsor resistance to its age and depression themed pre-code aspects of its story, it was rarely taken off the shelf. Two of its earliest documented airings took place in Hartford, Connecticut Saturday 21 October 1961 on Gems of the Silver Screen on WHCT (Channel 18) and in Indianapolis, Indiana Tuesday 19 December 1961 on Mid-Day Matinee on WFBM (Channel 6). It was released on DVD 7 April 2009 as part of the Universal Backlot Series: Pre-Code Hollywood Collection, and again as a single 5 August 2014 as part of the Universal Vault Series. See more »
The next time you go in for rescue work, pick out someone who wants to be saved. I don't.
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The soap suds reach almost to the ceiling in "Torch Singer" but that's part of the fun. Claudette Colbert and the rest of the excellent cast have a grand old time as they work their way through the somewhat rusty plot. Colbert sings a couple of songs and wears some smashing gowns as she portrays a chorus girl with a heart of gold who's forced to give up her baby daughter and become a torch singer to earn a living in Depression-era New York. In no time at all she's the toast of the town, with a fancy apartment, a maid, and a boy friend who's a big radio executive. She covers up her need for her daughter by drinking, dancing and carrying on, and does it ever look like fun. But it all works out in the end, and with only minutes to spare.
Look for Lyda Roberti, the Polish bombshell in the first part of the movie as Colbert's friend and roommate. Roberti died tragically young, with only a few films to her credit, notably "The Kid From Spain " and "Million Dollar Legs," in which she played Mata Machree, The Woman No Man Can Resist. "Torch Singer" is kind of tame for a pre-Code feature but it's fun and well worth watching.
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