A 1953 appearance on American TV's This Is Your Life brought forgotten '20s and '30s musical star Lillian Roth back into the limelight, courageously revealing the drink problems which destroyed her career. An autobiography followed, and then this no-holds-barred showcase for Hayward, who makes the emotional neediness of a woman who had her childhood stolen by the ambitions of a stage mother (Van Fleet, superb) touching but never mawkish, and then barrels into the drunken scenes with almost worrying intensity. Although the biopic format renders the action somewhat episodic, Mann's reputation as an actor's director is bolstered by further striking contributions from abusive charmer Conte and doubt-riddled AA mentor Albert. Susan Hayward was well worth her Oscar nomination, but had to wait three years before she won one for her performance in I Want To Live!
Cast and crew
|Screenwriter:||Helen Deutsch, Jay Richard Kennedy|
Jo Van Fleet