A nightclub singer uses alcohol in excess to sooth her painful life.
A nightclub singer uses alcohol in excess to sooth her painful life.
A Woman Destroyed, Smash-Up, Smash-Up, the Story of a Woman, Smash-Up: Story of a Woman
There's a lot of movie here for its roughly 100-minute run-time, and not just because it attempts to depict the broad arc of an entire relationship—from their charmed beginnings, falling in love, having a baby, struggling with the small stuff but largely happy together, to the husband finding success, both professional and financial, becoming an absentee husband and father, leaving his wife home alone with her downward spiral or bringing her to parties where she's not comfortable, not recognizing what's wrong or taking the time to deal with it, and essentially letting his wife self-destruct.
It's also a lot because it attempts to tackle alcoholism pretty head-on, and moreover it uses the specifics of alcoholism to illustrate some of the…
SMASH-UP: STORY OF A WOMAN IS DESTROYED BY SUPPORTING A MAN AND ALSO BOOZE BUT MAINLY BY SUPPORTING A MAN LET US STOP MEN!!!
Stuart Heisler’s Oscar-nominated film-noir in which a successful nightclub singer marries a striving songwriter, but when his reputation obscures hers, she digs into alcohol. Starring Susan Hayward and Lee Bowman.
The story concerns Angie Evans (Susan Hayward), a fast-rising nightclub singer, who puts her job on hold to wed struggling songwriter Ken Conway (Lee Bowman).
Susan Hayward gives an excellent performance in her role as Angie Evans, the nightclub singer who marries another singer, but then her life goes into a downward spiral. She suits her role well.
Elsewhere, there are fine performances to be had from Lee Bowman, Charles D. Brown, Eddie Albert and Marsha Hunt in their respective parts as Ken, Mike, Steve and Martha. Ken is the…
That was intense!
Not sure how to feel about the conclusion, but if i am sure about one thing it’s that this had to be one of Susan Hayward’s best performances. Liked Marsha Hunt’s side character as the supposed “other woman” but obviously wish i could have seen more of her.
Although this plays like another “A Star is Born” i definitely think it stands on it’s own, i just wish it could have been more direct to the point instead of “she drinks for 10 different reasons and in the end it’s everyone’s fault”. I don’t know how to explain it but give me something to aim for and execute it without all the lagniappe.
Becoming more of a Susan Hayward fan with each new to me film of hers that I watch. The woman clearly had a niche for playing troubled alcoholics in women's pictures -- this was was logically next on my list after I'll Cry Tomorrow and I Want To Live!, as she once again takes on the role of a miserable drunk (and also garnered an Oscar nomination for best actress).
It's well deserved. From all accounts, it's the film in which she established herself as a serious actress and not just another pretty starlet. It's layered with nuance from start to finish with just the perfect amount of dramatic outbursts, holding back when it needs to so that the film…
Allegedly, Susan Hayward got this breakthrough role because every other Hollywood actress turned it down, due to the fact that it is the story of Bing Crosby's wife, Dixie Lee. Whatever, it got Susan an Oscar nomination and put her on the road to meatier parts.
As other comments have pointed out, this was probably considered very hard-hitting back in the day. But while it's true that "The Lost Weekend" tackled alcoholism, this is the story of a woman alcoholic, and that carries a lot of baggage with it - baggage Hollywood probably wasn't ready to face in 1947.
One of the stereotypes of female alcoholism is promiscuity, a subject not broached here. Also, rather than a slovenly, bedraggled appearance,…
Viewed on TCM
According to IMDB: Reportedly suggested by the life and career of Bing Crosby and songstress wife Dixie Lee; when his popularity as an entertainer eclipsed that of Lee, she drifted into extreme alcoholism, just as Susan Hayward's character does in film.
Smash-Up: The Story Of A Woman (1947) is a vehicle for powerhouse actress Susan Hayward.
Director Billy Wilder a couple of years earlier had a major hit with The Lost Weekend (1945) where actor Ray Milland won a Best Actor Oscar for his portrayal of an alcoholic.
Susan Hayward earned a Best Actress Nomination for her portrayal of a lounge singer who put her career on hold for her husband who own singing career was just up and coming. Angie (Hayward) turns to the bottle as her husbands career takes off and exceeds hers.
The film overall is just OK but its Hayward's performance and the film's snappy dialogue are the picture's highlight.
Very clearly a B movie, with a clunky delivery and iffy direction, but it's held together by a solid cast. Susan Hayward is great as the alcoholic former singer, though I wish more time was spent on her character, rather than saving it for the 2nd and 3rd act. Without her, I wouldn't even give this a slight recommendation.
Smash-Up marks the shift in star Susan Hayward's career from what were usually lightweight support roles to darker, more serious fare, often the true stories of real women; it earned her her first of several Best Actress Oscar nominations, eventually culminating in her win in 1958 for "I Want to Live!" in one of the most powerful performances in Hollywood history. As with many of her films, Smash-Up lives or dies on the strength of her performance - luckily it's a very strong one.
Hayward's character, Angie Evans, is based on Bing Crosby's first wife Dixie Lee and we see the tumultuous conflicts brought about by Angie's dissatisfaction with her restricted domestic life, her husband's absence and, crucially, Angie's spiralling…
A woman's perspective on alcoholism two years after Lost Weekend and it, of course, cannot match up despite the effort. Still it's very engaging with story line and a very unique perspective. Marsha Hunt's turn is particularly interesting and thoughtful.
Third time of watching and yet not quite the film I thought it was. Had no memory of the singer husband angle at all.
I’d mostly moved this movie before because of Susie’s sensational booze hound perf but it’s not quite as no hols barred as I’d remembered. The bit where she drunkenly walks into a mirror is built up as a great cinematic moment. It’s totally anti climactic.
Hayward is still me winner for ‘47 though as it’s a dreadful lineup other wise.
Not enough plot, and way too much singing. But Susan Hayward gives one hell of subtle, underplayed performance as an alcoholic singer. Really brings out the pain and self hatred, while not over playing drunk.
As far as the screenplay goes things pick up once the alcohol kicks in.
Jumps back and forth between an educational film about alcoholism and a serious drama written by a thirteen-year-old who is sure this is how adults behave. Hayward's performance is inspired. She's deft as she turns effortlessly mid-scene from calm to hopeless, miserable to maniacal. She deserved the Oscar nod, but the movie was just too bad for her to win. Albert is terrific, as well, playing cool and remaining the lone bridge between Hayward's brilliance and the mess that is everyone and everything else in the film. This just isn't how you successfully tell a story. The film looks terrible and I'd say it needs a restoration, but the poor picture quality actually makes the animated fire look more real.
Angie Conway (Susan Hayward) is a successful singer, with a bit of a drinking issue, and gets married to a penniless songwriter, Ken Conway (Lee Bowman). After marriage, they quickly have child at the same time Ken's success skyrockets. Angie has too much time on her hands and is jealous of Ken's assistant, so Angie turns to the bottle and becomes an alcoholic, with tragic consequences.
Marsha Hunt, as Ken's assistant Marsha Gray, is the shining star of this movie.
Singer becomes addicted to alcohol when her husband becomes a bigger star then her. Best part of this movie is Susan Hayward performance.
I need a loop of Susan Hayward breakdowns.
A noir tinged melodrama about a nightclub singer who marries a songwriter, giving up her career when he starts singing as well and his career takes off. Domestic speed bumps transition to dire problems as boredom and jealousy combine with alcohol in a kamikaze dive into destructive behavior endangering marriage and child. The movie promises recovery and redemption upon reaching rock bottom.
Good performances all around. Wish Marsha Hunt's supporting role had been developed more, but she's great with what she's given to work with.
Loosely based on the life of Dixie Lee, first wife of Bing Crosby. A talented and successful night club singer who gives up her career to be a stay at home wife. While her husbands singing career soars, she falls deeper into alcoholism. Started a bit slow for me but the second half was great. Susan Hayward knocked it out, as usual.
Scavenger Hunt 65
Since Stuart Heisler is one of the protagonists in Il Cinema Ritrovato this year and I've had the DvD of this on my shelf for years, I decided why not.
Perhaps a little overly melodramatic but certainly has its moments; the unforgettable song that keeps on playing like obsessional memory, something symbolizing the good times filled with love as well as start of a downfall (ironically caused by rise). Stanley Cortez' cinematography elevates the mood, turns bedroom into something surreal, gives the shadows claustrophobic tone and turns the few spots of light into something raw and revealing. Story of trophy wives whose talent is dismissed by the man's success. Story of failed family values. Story of social alienation. Heisler might…
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