22 user 11 critic

Torch Singer (1933)

Passed | | Drama, Musical, Romance | 8 September 1933 (USA)
When she can't support her illegitimate child, an abandoned young woman puts her up for adoption and pursues a career as a torch singer.


Lenore J. Coffee (screen play by) (as Lenore Coffee), Lynn Starling (screen play by) | 1 more credit »




Complete credited cast:
Claudette Colbert ... Sally Trent, aka Mimi Benton
Ricardo Cortez ... Tony Cummings
David Manners ... Michael Gardner
Lyda Roberti ... Dora Nichols
Baby LeRoy ... Bobby, Dora's Baby at 1 Year (as Baby Le Roy)
Charley Grapewin ... Judson
Sam Godfrey Sam Godfrey ... Harry, Radio Announcer
Florence Roberts ... Mother Angelica
Virginia Hammond ... Mrs. Judson
Mildred Washington ... Carrie
Cora Sue Collins ... Sally - 5 Years
Helen Jerome Eddy ... Miss Spaulding
Albert Conti ... Carlotti
Ethel Griffies ... Agatha Alden


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 sarasdano

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


You'll Be Enchanted by This Woman Who Traded "SHAME" for "FAME!" (Print Ad- Buffalo Courier-Express, ((Buffalo, NY)) 27 October 1933) See more »


Drama | Musical | Romance


Passed | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Claudette Colbert searches for her long-lost daughter, Sally, given up for adoption shortly after birth. Colbert is told [at 0:42:55] that a young girl who may possibly be Sally lives at 1695 Melrose Avenue. This movie was made by Paramount Pictures, whose studio address was - and still is - at 5555 Melrose Avenue in Hollywood (Los Angeles), California. See more »


Carlotti: A woman must suffer much before she can sing a little.
Mimi Benton: [Disappointedly] I see.
Carlotti: Come back to me in about a year.
Mimi Benton: [Smiling ironically] All right. In the meantime watch me suffer.
See more »


Featured in Complicated Women (2003) See more »


Torch Singer
Music by Ralph Rainger
Lyric by Leo Robin
Published sheet music in connection with this movie, possibly played as background music
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User Reviews

The low down on the high life in New York
13 May 2003 | by A2ZJerrySee all my reviews

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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Release Date:

8 September 1933 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Torch Singer See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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