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I'll Cry Tomorrow (1955)

Passed | | Biography, Drama, Music | 25 December 1955 (USA)
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 ... See full summary »

Director:

Daniel Mann

Writers:

Helen Deutsch (screenplay), Jay Richard Kennedy (screenplay) | 3 more credits »
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Susan Hayward ... Lillian Roth
Richard Conte ... Tony Bardeman
Eddie Albert ... Burt McGuire
Jo Van Fleet ... Katie Roth
Don Taylor ... Wallie
Ray Danton ... David Tredman
Margo ... Selma
Virginia Gregg ... Ellen
Don 'Red' Barry ... Jerry (as Don Barry)
David Kasday David Kasday ... David - as a Child
Carole Ann Campbell Carole Ann Campbell ... Lillian - as a Child
Peter Leeds Peter Leeds ... Richard
Tol Avery ... Fat Man
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Storyline

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 <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

This story filmed on location... inside a woman's soul! See more »

Genres:

Biography | Drama | Music

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 December 1955 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Mañana lloraré See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,147,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

At the beginning of the film, Lillian goes to audition at a theater playing "Lightnin'" starring Frank Bacon. That play was at the Gaeity Theatre, 1547 Broadway, opening on August 26, 1918 and ran for 1,291 performances until August 27, 1921. See more »

Goofs

At the end of the film when Lillian walks down the isle of the TV studio, she passes about 13 rows in a medium shot. In the next close-up shot, she is much further back in the isle, still walking as her name is announced. See more »

Quotes

Lillian Roth: What I'm doing now is 'wrong'... and I'm *doing* it!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in An Early Frost (1985) See more »

Soundtracks

Happiness Is a Thing Called Joe
Music by Harold Arlen (uncredited)
Lyrics by E.Y. Harburg (uncredited)
Sung by Susan Hayward (as Miss Hayward)
Arranged and conducted by Charles Henderson (uncredited)
Brief reprise in a medley montage by Susan Hayward (vocal) and Eddie Albert (piano)
See more »

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User Reviews

Hayward alone makes this movie great, but the story is well told, too...
25 July 2011 | by secondtakeSee all my reviews

I'll Cry Tomorrow (1955)

Well, never mind the famous Alcoholics Anonymous ending, Susan Hayward is just fabulous through and through. This is a drama based on real life singer Lillian Roth, and Hayward (who does her own singing) pulls off both the successful early years and the decline into drinking. It's lively and vivid and tragic.

Richard Conte is second billing, and a big name at this point in his career, but he's got a small, if important, role, perfectly suited to him. I just happened to see Conte and Hayward yesterday in a movie together, "House of Strangers" (from six years earlier). The relationship of their characters is more compact and complicated here, but in both cases Conte plays a cool type, smart and in control. But Conte here has two sides, is wonderfully manipulative, and ends up having his own demons that come from drinking too much.

Hayward often plays strong characters, and emotional ones, and yet her approach is grounded with an inner calm. I'm not sure why she wasn't a legendary star the way Bette Davis and Ingrid Bergman and Joan Crawford were, because she acts her heart out and has good, rich roles. It's no surprise she got an Oscar nomination for this performance, just as she did for an earlier amazing performance as an alcoholic, the terrific 1949 "My Foolish Heart" across from Dana Andrews, who is a more compelling actor overall than Conte. Hayward did finally win that big Best Actress award for her gutsy performance in "I Want to Live" (where director Robert Wise made everything look good as well as come alive).

Jo Van Vleet, who play's Lillian Roth's mother, is scary perfect as a controlling mother with seemingly good intentions. There's no shortage of movies about mothers who mess up their daughters by trying too hard ("Mommy Dearest" is the most famous, but it gets even more sordid in "Where Love Has Gone" with Hayward playing the mother).

There is a terrible colorized version of "I'll Cry Tomorrow" out there which is best to avoid--it's a simple color palette applied across the board, and everyone comes off uniform and pasty. It matters less what color her hair is when it's simply colorless. That colorized version is also cropped (pan and scan) to fit the 4:3 format of television, and the original is shot with some helpful moderately wide widescreen expansiveness, so the edges of faces don't get chopped. Arthur Arling's cinematography is very good in the way that all movies were at this point, but it isn't remarkable on its own terms. The soundtrack, by the way, is interesting to many because it has Hayward singing rather rich versions of some standards of Roth's.


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