Search This Blog

Saturday, October 27, 2012

I'll Cry Tomorrow (1955)

The story of Lillian Roth (Susan Hayward), who became a Broadway and film star in her teens because of her ambitious stage mother (Jo Van Fleet, EAST OF EDEN). After the death of her fiance (Ray Danton), she descends in alcoholism and her life and career spirals downward. MGM had a banner year in female singer movie bios in 1955. In addition to Lillian Roth, MGM presented the lives of Ruth Etting and Marjorie Lawrence too. Based on Roth's autobiography, the film is fairly gritty by 1955 standards but there's a desperation to Hayward's pull out all the stops "I want that Oscar, dammit!" performance (she lost to Anna Magnani) that's uncomfortable. Not that she doesn't have some good moments, she does, but for someone playing an alcoholic, her drunk scenes are pretty embarrassing. I could have done without the "inspiring" ending too. Two performers stand out: Jo Van Fleet fleshes out a tangible person rather than a movie cliche and Richard Conte is impressive as Roth's passive/aggressive sadistic husband. Hayward does her own singing and she ain't bad. Ironically, directed by Daniel Mann who directed Magnani's Oscar performance, THE ROSE TATTOO. A strong underscore by Alex North. With Eddie Albert, Don Taylor, Margo, Virginia Gregg and Donald Barry.

No comments:

Post a Comment