Okay, so that's not how Joan's big song goes, but nevertheless. I am going to do some snarking because this movie deserves it. I am guessing Joan Crawford made this movie because she missed MGM and wanted to take a last look. Or maybe she thought it was actually decent. I'm hoping for the former and praying it's not the latter.
See, this movie is terrible. Really, honest to God terrible. The plot--bitch goddess Jenny Stewart crushes people beneath her feet on a regular basis, but she is actually quite vulnerable ON THE INSIDE. (Yeah, one of those.) However, one day she comes across Tye Graham (played by Michael Wilding, who pronounces "Graham" as "Grimm"--rather appropriate) when he is hired to replace her burned-out rehearsal pianist. He's blind due to an accident, and she is unable to believe that a blind man can read music and play the piano. They clash immediately, as is to be expected, until the relationship sort of blossoms into something else. Okay, I can live with that. But, damn, the things that happen along with the way are intolerable!!! I am not even going to get started on the blackface number, which is obscenely awful. I will, however, elaborate on some of the little things.
First--why is Gig Young in this movie? He's Jenny's boyfriend-kinda-sorta, but he cheats on her on a regular basis, and she's incapable of feeling anyhow. I guess the filmmakers realized his utter lack of importance, because he disappears halfway through. Gee, darn. He apparently attached himself to her so he could steal money from her. ("Next time you go out without Jenny, don't sign her name to the checks," Joan says testily. I must confess I get a kick of out her lines like that, because my name happens to be Jenny. I wish I could boss people around like that!) So basically Gig Young is there, and then he isn't. Fine. Whatever. If my memory serves me, Gig Young is most famous for committing suicide rather than any movies he made, but that's beside the point. This movie didn't help his outlook on life, it would seem. Didn't mine, either.
Second--Joan, who could be quite attractive, has somehow ended up with orange hair. Maybe it looked good in black and white, but it don't here, that's for sure. I can only hope it wasn't her decision, or that she was in some alcohol-induced stupor when she had it done. Or maybe the hairdresser was incompetent, because I ended up with orange hair for that exact reason one time. Whatever the reason, she looks ghastly. Especially during the blackface number I've vowed not to think about again.
Third--the color of everything else is a little too garish for my liking as well. I am thinking, as some of you have probably guessed, of the chartreuse bathrobe Joan wears midway through the movie. What the heck is that thing? Underneath she's wearing some stylish white pajamas, why not show them off? Joan's makeup (not the blackface, the regular stuff) also struck me as a little off--in the scene where she tries to adjust the clock with her eyes closed her face is a full three shades lighter than her chest. That's not really a big deal, since that happens in real life more often that not, but it's still jarring to see it on screen.
I've totally trashed this movie, and that isn't entirely fair. You'll notice, perhaps, that I've given it a four. Those four stars come from two scenes in the movie in which Joan actually rises above the material and does a good job. The first of the two scenes comes when Jenny attempts some everyday tasks as a blind person--she tries to set the clock, as I mentioned earlier, and she also tries to make a phone call. She fails miserably at both tasks, and realizes she's taken sight for granted. I think she does very well with the scene mainly because of how she reacts to her failure--she's appalled. I get the feeling that Joan herself would have been appalled at such a failure as well. (Incidentally, I thought she was quite convincing in her "Night Gallery" segment.) The second scene is when she goes to see her mother, the only friend she's got. "Friend" is a word to be used loosely there--her mother's a leech just like Gig Young was. However, I think Marjorie Rambeau, a well-known stage actress in the 'teens, is quite likable and even sympathetic. In this scene Jenny comes to her mother asking for romantic advice about Tye. She's bothered because she's in love with a man who doesn't know what she looks like, but her mother recalls a connection that Jenny and Tye had before the injury that left him blind. That leads to the cranking up of the old Victrola for a listen to one of Jenny's records. Jenny listens and sings along. I love that scene because it's strange. As everyone mentioned, Joan's singing is dubbed by India Adams. (I actually think Joan mentioned that in "Conversations with Joan Crawford." Wherever it was mentioned, Joan was quite peeved about not getting to sing her songs.) What's strange is this--the record is India Adams singing in a higher-to-be-interpreted-as-younger voice, but Joan Crawford is singing along in her own voice. They're obviously two different people. Did MGM think no one would notice? I did.
At any rate, those two scenes don't redeem the movie, so I'm afraid I can't heartily recommend it. Better stay away unless you're inebriated and need a good laugh.