5.5/10
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41 user 13 critic

Torch Song (1953)

Approved | | Drama, Music, Romance | 1 October 1953 (USA)
A tough but unhappy Broadway star re-evaluates her life when she crosses paths with a blind pianist.

Director:

Charles Walters
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview:
Joan Crawford ... Jenny Stewart
Michael Wilding ... Tye Graham
Gig Young ... Cliff Willard
Marjorie Rambeau ... Mrs. Stewart
Harry Morgan ... Joe Denner (as Henry Morgan)
Dorothy Patrick ... Martha
James Todd James Todd ... Philip Norton
Eugene Loring ... Gene, the Dance Director
Paul Guilfoyle ... Monty Rolfe
Benny Rubin ... Charles Maylor
Peter Chong Peter Chong ... Peter
Maidie Norman ... Anne
Nancy Gates ... Celia Stewart
Chris Warfield Chris Warfield ... Chuck Peters
Rudy Render Rudy Render ... Singer at Party
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Storyline

Jenny Stewart is a tough Broadway musical star who doesn't take criticism from anyone. Yet there is one individual, Tye Graham, a blind pianist who may be able to break through her tough exterior. Written by Kelly

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Tough Baby - a wonderful love story with the star of "Sudden Fear" and for the FIRST TIME you'll see her in TECHNICOLOR!

Genres:

Drama | Music | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 October 1953 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Herzen im Fieber See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.75 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

M-G-M originally planned to have Lana Turner star in this movie. See more »

Goofs

In an old newspaper review, Ty rhapsodizes about Jenny's performance of the song "Tenderly" which he saw her perform on the night before he was shipped off to WWII (and subsequently blinded). In reality, that tune was not written until 1946, a year after war was over. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Jenny Stewart: Hold the record.
See more »

Connections

Spoofed in The Carol Burnett Show: Episode #10.16 (1977) See more »

Soundtracks

Tenderly
Music by Jack Lawrence
Lyrics by Walter Gross
Sung partially by Joan Crawford along to a recording by India Adams (uncredited)
See more »

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User Reviews

Sweetness! Heatness!
26 March 2008 | by marcslopeSee all my reviews

That's a couplet from a production number in which Miss Joan Crawford declares, in Technicolor blackface, "I can't help being a two-faced woman." She overestimates herself: In this peerlessly ripe '50s melodrama she has one face, glaring, glaring. She's a harder-than-nails Broadway singer-dancer (dubbed, and clearly no Terpsichorean natural) who shouts down anyone opposed to her in the tiniest way, and then smokes countless cigarettes, glowers, and downs alcohol to betray her neuroses. She's inexplicably adored by her blind rehearsal accompanist (Michael Wilding, who got some terrible parts at MGM), who at least doesn't have to witness her terrifying eyebrows or orange hair, and who's in turn pursued by a nice blonde musician who's obviously a much better match for him. What's surprising and endlessly entertaining about this not-quite-musical is how willing, and even eager, La Crawford is to play up to her public's worst estimation of her. She'll play unsympathetic up to the armpits, as long as they sense that underneath is the heart of a real woman who merely needs to be dominated by a devoted male. None of the characters makes much sense--Marjorie Rambeau, Oscar-nominated as her mother, is either cold and grasping or warm and sympathetic depending on the moment in the plot--but the dialog has some sarcastic snap to it, and it's fun to watch Crawford go through her purification-through-humiliation paces. There's a brilliant Carol Burnett parody of this called "Torchy Song," but the original is even more giggle-inducing.


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