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Smash-Up: The Story of a Woman (1947)

Approved | | Drama, Film-Noir, Music | March 1947 (USA)
1:25 | Trailer
A successful nightclub singer weds a struggling songwriter, but when his fame eclipses hers, she delves into alcoholism.


Stuart Heisler


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





Complete credited cast:
Susan Hayward ... Angelica 'Angie' 'Angel' Evans Conway
Lee Bowman ... Ken Conway
Marsha Hunt ... Martha Gray
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
Sharyn Payne Sharyn Payne ... Angelica 'Angel' Conway
Robert Shayne ... Mr. Gordon


Fast-rising nightclub singer, Angie Evans, interrupts her career to marry struggling songwriter Ken Conway. When Ken lucks into a career as a chart-topping radio crooner, Angie's forced into idle luxury which proves her downfall. Her alcoholism grows ever more and Ken remains clueless concerning his part in her problems. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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


Approved | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


In 1947, alcoholism was still a relatively unexplored topic in Hollywood films. Billy Wilder had created quite a stir with The Lost Weekend (1945) two years previously, obviously paving the way for this depiction of the disease from a female perspective. See more »


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


Featured in Fear Stalk (1989) See more »


A Cowboy's Never Lonesome
by Jack Brooks
Played on guitar by Eddie Albert (uncredited) and sung by Lee Bowman (uncredited) (dubbed by Hal Derwin (uncredited)) at the radio broadcast
See more »

User Reviews

A Hayward Showcase
29 March 2015 | by dougdoepkeSee all my reviews

This was Hayward's watershed film, thrusting her into the A-Bracket. That's not surprising since she delivers an ace performance as a down spiraling alcoholic wife. Angie's (Hayward) given up her singing career so that hubby Ken (Bowman) can shoot to the top of his. Trouble is he now neglects his wife, while his super organized assistant Martha (Hunt) attends to his every need. So Angie looks for consolation in one bottle that quickly leads to two, and so on. Now Bowman must take informal custody of their baby. Looks like both the marriage and Angie are doomed.

The movie's pretty strong melodrama with some nice touches by director Heisler, (e.g. the subjective camera conveying Angie's delirium). It's hard to picture the wooden Bowman as any kind of lounge singer; still he is recessive enough not to take focus from Hayward's central role. I expect that's why he was cast. Eddie Albert certainly has an easy way as nice guy Steve, while Marsha Hunt appears ice cold except for her one revealing scene, (btw, she's still with us as of 2015 at age 98, a fine actress whose career was unfortunately damaged by the blacklist). And catch the omniscient psychiatrist (Esmond) back when Hollywood was having a love affair with head doctors.

Anyhow, the film holds up as human interest, even if it long ago lost its cutting edge. Too bad there's that phony Code enforced ending. It's so abruptly brief, my guess is writer Lawson and director Heisler wanted to lessen the sappy impact as much as possible. Nonetheless, the film does showcase one of Hollywood's few glamour girls who was also a whale of an actress. RIP Susan.

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Release Date:

March 1947 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Smash-Up See more »


Box Office


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

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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