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Smash-Up: The Story of a Woman (1947)

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A successful nightclub singer weds a struggling songwriter, but when his fame eclipses hers, she delves into alcoholism.

Director:

Stuart Heisler

Writers:

John Howard Lawson (screenplay), Lionel Wiggam (additional dialogue) | 2 more credits »
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Nominated for 2 Oscars. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Susan Hayward ... Angelica 'Angie' 'Angel' Evans Conway
Lee Bowman ... Ken Conway
Marsha Hunt ... Martha Gray, Elliott's Secretary
Eddie Albert ... Steve Nelson
Carl Esmond ... Dr. Lorenz
Carleton G. Young ... Fred Elliott
Charles D. Brown Charles D. Brown ... Michael 'Mike' Dawson
Janet Murdoch Janet Murdoch ... Miss Kirk, Baby Angelica's Nanny
Sharyn Payne Sharyn Payne ... Angelica 'Angel' Conway
Robert Shayne ... Mr. Gordon
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Storyline

Angie Evans, fast-rising nightclub singer, interrupts her career to marry struggling songwriter Ken Conway. When Ken lucks into a career as chart-topping radio crooner, Angie is forced into idle luxury which proves her downfall. Her potential alcoholism burgeons and Ken remains clueless concerning his responsibility for her problems. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

How Lonely Must a Wife Be Before She Does What "Angel" Did? See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

March 1947 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Smash-Up See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,360,286 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Walter Wanger Productions See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Loretta Young, who clinched the Oscar for Best Actress that year in a surprise win for The Farmer's Daughter (1947), in later years admitted that she voted for Susan Hayward to win the award. See more »

Quotes

Ken Conway: I'm gonna have a baby!
Steve Nelson: I told you you had talent.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Fear Stalk (1989) See more »

Soundtracks

Hushabye Island
(1947)
(Published as "Hush-a-bye Island")
Music by Jimmy McHugh
Lyrics Harold Adamson
Sung at home by Lee Bowman (uncredited) (dubbed by Hal Derwin) (uncredited)
Sung by Susan Hayward (uncredited) (dubbed by Peg La Centra (uncredited)) to her baby twice
See more »

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User Reviews

 
The background story is more interesting
17 June 2006 | by blanche-2See all my reviews

Allegedly, Susan Hayward got this breakthrough role because every other Hollywood actress turned it down, due to the fact that it is the story of Bing Crosby's wife, Dixie Lee. Whatever, it got Susan an Oscar nomination and put her on the road to meatier parts.

As other comments have pointed out, this was probably considered very hard-hitting back in the day. But while it's true that "The Lost Weekend" tackled alcoholism, this is the story of a woman alcoholic, and that carries a lot of baggage with it - baggage Hollywood probably wasn't ready to face in 1947. One of the stereotypes of female alcoholism is promiscuity, a subject not broached here. Also, rather than a slovenly, bedraggled appearance, Hayward looks gorgeous throughout. Had this subject been handled more brutally, it would have been groundbreaking. In 1947, alcoholics like Gail Russell hid out at home, leading miserable, lonely lives. Here, Hayward gives up her own successful singing career to be the stay at home wife of Lee Bowman, whose career takes off. (In Bowman's dubbing, they even give him those mellow, rounded Crosby-like tones.) Boredom, feeling left out, and jealousy lead her to consume more and more alcohol, although it's clear from the beginning of the film that she drinks for courage before performing.

Her downward cycle and the ending of the movie are all a little too pat, but Hayward does a good job with the material she's given. Lee Bowman is miscast as her successful husband - he lacks the charisma, breezy manner, and flirtatiousness one would associate with a successful pop singer of the era and displays none of the ambition one would suspect Crosby and Sinatra, for instance, possessed. He also lacks the self-involvement one would associate with a star of that magnitude, which would in turn drive his wife out of his life. This is more the fault of the script and the direction, however.

Eddie Albert is charming and gives an honest performance as partner and concerned friend.

Recommended if you want to see a young Susan Hayward in a meaty role.


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