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I'll Cry Tomorrow

1 rating: 4.0
Drama movie

Susan Hayward has a signature role inI'll Cry Tomorrow, a pedal-to-the-metal look at the troubled times of singer Lillian Roth. Hayward snagged her fourth Oscar nomination for the part, which takes Roth from humble beginnings through great stardom and … see full wiki

Genre: Drama
1 review about I'll Cry Tomorrow

"My life was never my own--it was charted before I was born"

  • Nov 8, 2009
Rating:
+4
In I'LL CRY TOMORROW (1955), Susan Hayward pulls out all the stops as Lillian Roth, one of the most talented songbirds of the 1930s. Lillian had the entire showbusiness world at her feet, until the early death of childhood sweetheart David (Ray Danton) triggers her spiral into depression and eventually alcoholism. The 1950's was well and truly a banner decade for Susan Hayward. In addition to her Academy Award-nominated turn in I'LL CRY TOMORROW, Hayward was also applauded for her performance as another real-life singing sensation, Jane Froman in "With a Song in My Heart" (1952) and later played jailed death-row victim Barbara Graham in "I Want to Live!" (1959).

I'LL CRY TOMORROW was crafted from the first volume of Lillian Roth's autobiography. Roth subsequently got her act together, became one of the first celebrity members of Alcoholics Anonymous and starred on Broadway in such shows as "I Can Get It for You Wholesale" and "70, Girls, 70".

Watching Susan Hayward going through her paces as Roth is like witnessing an Olympic athlete at the peak of their prowess. It's quite simply an electric performance. For the first and only time in her screen career, Hayward sang using her real singing voice, delivering the goods with such Roth standards as "Sing, You Sinners", "When the Red-Red Robin..." and "Happiness is Just a Thing Called Joe". So successful was Hayward's foray into the musical world that MGM wanted her to sign a long-term recording contract, but Hayward didn't want to interrupt her film career, which was on a personal high after her appearance in I'LL CRY TOMORROW.

Jo Van Fleet is astonishingly good as Lillian's pushy stage mother Katie (she never received an Academy Award nomination; instead winning the 'Best Supporting Actress' award for her role as James Dean's mother in "East of Eden" which was released in the same year). Richard Conte ("The Blue Gardenia") is Lillian's abusive third husband Tony Bardeman, and Eddie Albert is her A/A saviour Burt McGuire--playing opposite real-life wife Margo for the first and only time in his career.

The DVD includes footage from the premiere (with both Hayward and Roth in attendance), portions from the "MGM Parade" TV show, the theatrical trailer; and the 1934 VitaPhone musical short "Story Conference" starring Lillian Roth.

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