Smash-Up: The Story of a Woman (1947)

Approved   |    |  Drama, Film-Noir, Music


Smash-Up: The Story of a Woman (1947) Poster

A successful nightclub singer weds a struggling songwriter, but when his fame eclipses hers, she delves into alcoholism.


6.4/10
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  • Susan Hayward and Lee Bowman in Smash-Up: The Story of a Woman (1947)
  • Susan Hayward and Lee Bowman in Smash-Up: The Story of a Woman (1947)
  • Susan Hayward in Smash-Up: The Story of a Woman (1947)
  • Susan Hayward and Marsha Hunt in Smash-Up: The Story of a Woman (1947)
  • Susan Hayward in Smash-Up: The Story of a Woman (1947)
  • Susan Hayward and Lee Bowman in Smash-Up: The Story of a Woman (1947)

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29 March 2015 | dougdoepke
A Hayward Showcase
This was Hayward's watershed film, thrusting her into the A-Bracket. That's not surprising since she delivers an ace performance as a down spiraling alcoholic wife. Angie's (Hayward) given up her singing career so that hubby Ken (Bowman) can shoot to the top of his. Trouble is he now neglects his wife, while his super organized assistant Martha (Hunt) attends to his every need. So Angie looks for consolation in one bottle that quickly leads to two, and so on. Now Bowman must take informal custody of their baby. Looks like both the marriage and Angie are doomed.

The movie's pretty strong melodrama with some nice touches by director Heisler, (e.g. the subjective camera conveying Angie's delirium). It's hard to picture the wooden Bowman as any kind of lounge singer; still he is recessive enough not to take focus from Hayward's central role. I expect that's why he was cast. Eddie Albert certainly has an easy way as nice guy Steve, while Marsha Hunt appears ice cold except for her one revealing scene, (btw, she's still with us as of 2015 at age 98, a fine actress whose career was unfortunately damaged by the blacklist). And catch the omniscient psychiatrist (Esmond) back when Hollywood was having a love affair with head doctors.

Anyhow, the film holds up as human interest, even if it long ago lost its cutting edge. Too bad there's that phony Code enforced ending. It's so abruptly brief, my guess is writer Lawson and director Heisler wanted to lessen the sappy impact as much as possible. Nonetheless, the film does showcase one of Hollywood's few glamour girls who was also a whale of an actress. RIP Susan.

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