5.4/10
1,000
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
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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

In the song-and-dance number "Two-Faced Woman" (music by Arthur Schwartz, lyrics by Howard Dietz), Joan Crawford performs in blackface. Crawford's singing voice was dubbed by India Adams, whose pre-recording was originally intended for Cyd Charisse in The Band Wagon (1953). The song-and-dance performance by Charisse - with Oscar Levant on piano - was dropped from the film. However, the footage appears on the DVD release from Warner Home Video. In That's Entertainment! III (1994), the Charisse and Crawford versions are compared via split screen. 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 Vegas in Space (1991) See more »

Soundtracks

Two-Faced Woman
Music by Arthur Schwartz
Lyrics by Howard Dietz
Sung by Joan Crawford (dubbed by India Adams (uncredited)) and chorus
See more »

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User Reviews

 
"Art to you is the fruit in the slot machines!"
23 March 2008 | by moonspinner55See all my reviews

Fruity semi-musical in Technicolor starring Joan Crawford--returning to her old stomping grounds, MGM. Crawford didn't make many pictures in color, and she looks great in this, particularly in dark make-up for the Cotton Club-styled number "Two-Faced Woman" (for the capper, Crawford rips off her black wig, her flaming red hair wild underneath). The plot, taken from I.A.R. Wylie's short story "Why Should I Cry?", is pure hokum: tough-as-nails Broadway star drives everyone to the breaking point, but she meets her match in the new rehearsal pianist, a blind war veteran who has harbored a crush on the performer for many years. The scenes of Crawford's tyrannical Jenny Stewart bossing everyone around are a hoot (it resembles a song-and-dance variation on "Harriet Craig"!). Charles Walters ably directed (and also plays a dancer who, perhaps ironically, is brow-beaten by Joan), although he gets serious acting out of Crawford only once, in the film's final scene. She looks every inch the star, smoking furiously and showing lots o' leg, but her dancing barely passes muster and her vocals were dubbed. Still, not bad, with the compensation being some unintentional comedy (noticing the clock in her bedroom is an hour slow, Crawford angrily corrects the time, and then, as if ready to chew the timepiece out, she gives the clock a smirking once-over). Michael Wilding holds his own as the new man in her life, Gig Young has an obtuse role as Crawford's party pal, and Marjorie Rambeau plays Joan's mother of humble means (and received an Oscar nomination!). Some well-handled scenes, and one has to give points to the star for her courage: what other screen icon (besides Bette Davis, of course) would be so brave as to intentionally come across so steely cold? **1/2 from ****


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