Deprived of a normal childhood by her ambitious mother, Katie, Lillian Roth becomes a star of Broadway and Hollywood before she is twenty. Shortly before her marriage to her childhood ...
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Deprived of a normal childhood by her ambitious mother, Katie, Lillian Roth becomes a star of Broadway and Hollywood before she is twenty. Shortly before her marriage to her childhood sweetheart, David Tredman, he dies and Lillian takes her first drink of many down the road of becoming an alcoholic. She enters into a short-lived marriage to an immature aviation cadet, Wallie, followed by a divorce and then marriage to a sadistic brute and abuser Tony Bardeman. After a failed suicide attempt, Burt McGuire comes to her aid and helps her find the road back to happiness after sixteen years in a nightmare world, not counting the first twenty with her mother.Written by
Les Adams <email@example.com>
In her second autobiography published in 1958, "Beyond My Worth," Lillian Roth noted that although her mother Katie spoke with a Boston accent, Jo Van Fleet portrayed Katie as sounding ethnically Eastern European Jewish. See more »
After Lillian loses out on an audition at age 8, her mother speaks to her on the street in front of a Dad's Root Beer sign. This takes place in 1918. Dad's Root Beer didn't exist until 1937. See more »
[alcoholic Lillian is desperate for a drink - mother drops the glass bottle on the floor, shattering it]
OH! Look what ya did! And ya DID IT ON PURPOSE! You're still trying to make me do what you want, to be what you want! I can't be anything except what I am! Look, look what did you drop that bottle for? What are you trying to do, drive me crazy? Go on, GET THE BOTTLE! GET IT NOW!
All right! All right! All right, it's my fault, huh? I made you become an actress, you didn't want to, all right. ...
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You'll Be Optimistic Tomorrow After Seeing this Film
One of the best pictures ever made showcasing the talent of the brilliant Susan Hayward.
Miss Hayward was never better as Lillian Roth. Her drunk scenes are unbelievably realistic. Just ask any alcoholic.
Susan Hayward was equally matched by the terrific supporting performance of Jo Van Fleet as her mother. Van Fleet would win the coveted Oscar that same year (1955) for "East of Eden." I'll never understand why. She was far better as Katie Roth.
Hayward, who did her own singing, did very well. It is even said that Lillian Roth tried to emulate Hayward, when trying to make a comeback.
The film co-stars Ray Danton as Hayward's ill-fated fiancé, whose death from an apparent rapidly growing brain tumor, sets Roth on a downward spiral. Don Taylor, who would later become a director, is effective as Wallie, the guy who Roth marries when she is dead drunk. Richard Conte steals the show as the brutal Tony, who takes Roth for a ride, before she dumps him in California.
Eddie Albert, in one of his greatest roles, is terrific as Burt McGuire from AA. A recovering alcoholic, still hesitant about life, he acted beautifully in some memorable scenes.
Hayward's singing and dancing, especially in the number, Sing You Sinners from the Vagabond King, is marvelously staged.
Susan Hayward began her long trek in playing troubled women in the 1947 hit Smash-Up: The Story of A Woman. Both she and Eddie Albert got great experience for their parts, 8 years later, in this fabulous movie.
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