This film is based on a true story. Katie Roth has a beautiful young daughter and she wants Lillian to get into show business. They go to auditions but Lillian doesn’t seem to be getting noticed. She does get a big break and she becomes a star on Broadway and in Hollywood. Lillian meets David Tredman and they want to get married. Katie is against the relationship from the beginning. She feels 'they' have worked too hard to get where they are now to give this up for Lillian to be a wife? David dies and Lillian begins drinking to recover from her intense grief and loss.
Lillian was never allowed to have a childhood and be able to do what other kids were doing. She had to work because Katie’s husband and Lillian’s father left them. They were poor and Katie needed to find a way to get out of their poverty. Lillian was the answer. Lillian really hits bottom with here drinking, it’s hard enough for her but the newspapers and the rumor mill follow her downward progress. 3 ½* (I liked this movie)
117 min, Bio directed by Daniel Mann with Susan Hayward, Richard Conte, Eddie Albert, Jo Van Fleet, Don Taylor, Ray Danton, Margo, Virginia Gregg, Don ‘Red’ Barry, David Kasday, Carole Ann Campbell, Peter Leeds.
Note: Imdb 7.4 out of 10, 71% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Amazon 4.6* out of 5* with 94 reviews, TCM Leonard Maltin 3.5* out of 4*.
Special Note: Filmed in Culver City and Los Angeles, California; New York City, New York. Susan Hayward studied Lillian Roth’s vocal style, tone and delivery from her performance in Las Vegas. The two women also became friends during production. There is a mistake in this film. Katie scolds Lillian in front of a Dad’s Root Beer sign. This is supposed to be 1918 but Dad’s didn’t exist until 1937. Other actresses considered for the role of Lillian Ross were June Allyson, Grace Kelly, Janet Leigh, Jane Wyman, Jean Simmons, Jane Russell and Piper Laurie. This picture became the fourth highest moneymaker of 1956 earning nearly $8 million dollars with an estimated budget of $2,247,000.