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The Hard Way (1943)

Approved | | Drama, Musical, Romance | 20 February 1943 (USA)
Embittered, ambitious Helen Chernen sees an opportunity to escape her drab small-town life by becoming a 'stage mother' to her musically-talented younger sister.

Director:

Vincent Sherman

Writers:

Daniel Fuchs (screen play), Peter Viertel (screen play)
Reviews
2 wins. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Ida Lupino ... Mrs. Helen Chernen
Dennis Morgan ... Paul Collins
Joan Leslie ... Katherine 'Katie' Blaine
Jack Carson ... Albert Runkel
Gladys George ... Lily Emery
Faye Emerson ... Ice Cream Parlor Waitress
Paul Cavanagh ... John 'Jack' Shagrue
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Storyline

Ambitious Helen Chernin (Ida Lupino) pushes her talented younger sister Katherine (Joan Leslie) into marriage with broken down song-and-dance man Albert Runkel (Jack Carson) so that the two women can leave the dirty steel town where they live. Runkel's partner Paul Collins (Dennis Morgan), however, sees through Helen's plan. Helen continues driving her sister's career and eventually Katherine becomes a star on Broadway, while Runkel and Collins' act flounders. Success soon goes to Katherine's head and she becomes a fast-living party girl. Time passes and Helen and Katherine run into Paul, now a successful band leader. He and Katherine soon fall in love. The two sisters eventually have a showdown on opening night of Katherine's latest show when Katherine discovers that Helen is also in love with Paul. Written by Daniel Bubbeo <dbubbeo@cmp.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Sisters face to face...one burning with love...the other seething with hatred! A story of crushing power! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Musical | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 February 1943 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A nehéz út See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

At 34 minutes into the film, Ida Lupino stands in front of a movie poster for "Bordertown," a 1935 Warners release starring Bette Davis who turned down the role Lupino plays in this film. See more »

Goofs

Near the end of the film Dennis Morgan takes a seat to see Joan Leslie's play. He is seated next to a young woman. The next time the camera cuts to him he is in the same seat, but sitting next to an older woman wearing completely different clothing. See more »

Quotes

The Morgan Twins: [in unison] Mr. Wade? We're playing in Jersey City. Can you catch our act? We're the Morgan Twins.
Max Wade: When you're triplets, come back and see me.
See more »

Connections

Featured in TCM Guest Programmer: Charles Busch (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

You Must Have Been a Beautiful Baby
(1938) (uncredited)
Music by Harry Warren
Lyrics by Johnny Mercer
Sung by a chorus in a show during a montage
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Ida Lupino excels in archetypal tinsel-and-ashes melodrama
19 November 2001 | by bmacvSee all my reviews

The siren lure of show business must have had a more irresistible song in the days when stars, in the flesh, came right to towns like Pocatello, Idaho and Biloxi, Mississippi. The dreams were delivered fresh and piping hot, not through the many scrims of television and movie screens, and not through the machinations of crafty publicists and a fawning press. That's the milieu of Green Hill, a sooty steeltown where Helen Chernen (Ida Lupino) has cut her losses and her hopes until her little sister (Joan Leslie) gets a whiff of the greasepaint and hears the roar of the crowd. Lupino up and leaves her laborer husband to propel sis right to the boulevard of broken dreams. First steps on the stampede to the top are the mediocre vaudeville duo of Jack Carson and Dennis Morgan; Leslie marries Carson but leaves him in the dust at Lupino's bidding. Soon Leslie is poised to be the toast of all Broadway, but the tinsel is turning to ashes, and she's turning against her unstoppable bulldozer of a big sister. The bookends of this story told in flashback involve an ermine wrap, a pier on New York's waterfront, and a couple of New York cops....You get the idea. The Hard Way still packs a punch (after all these years), if a punch somewhat softened with a tinge of nostalgia. This is one of Lupino's strongest roles (along with Lily in Road House), and at her best she makes you wonder why she didn't achieve the superstardom of a Davis, a Hepburn, or a Stanwyck. She's just that good.


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