Angie Evans, fast-rising nightclub singer, interrupts her career to marry struggling songwriter Ken Conway. When Ken lucks into a career as chart-topping radio crooner, Angie is forced into... See full summary »
Angie Evans, fast-rising nightclub singer, interrupts her career to marry struggling songwriter Ken Conway. When Ken lucks into a career as chart-topping radio crooner, Angie is forced into idle luxury which proves her downfall. Her potential alcoholism burgeons and Ken remains clueless concerning his responsibility for her problems. Written by
Rod Crawford <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Popular nightclub entertainer Angie Evans marries struggling but adoring musician husband Ken Conway, and she retires to raise a family. His career soars, and he dotes on her with his new wealth. Still, she sinks into alcoholism. Despite a weak second half, and a pat, disappointing ending (I can't help but think the current ending was changed from the original script and reshot, as was "Magnificent Ambersons") there is much to recommend "Smash-Up". First is Eddie Albert's flawless work as the Conways' gumchewing family friend and songwriting partner. Secondly, there are three great songs by Harold Adamson and Jimmy McHugh. One of these, "Hushabye Mountain", sung in the Conway nursery, is sheer screen magic. And the "Life Can Be Beautiful" theme will keep you humming for weeks. Another big positive is the exceptional cinematography which jumps in and out of film noir, even in the nursery sequences, and not necessarily during only the "crisis" moments, which is refreshing. Lee Bowman, an underrated and talented actor, gives some depth to the part of the sainted husband, and his work will hold the interest of those who usually avoid this sort of thing. Susan Hayward does circumvent most (but not all) of her chances to chew the scenery as she self-medicates herself in an effort to control her personal demons. Still, this film is hers. It's worth your time.
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