Torch Song

  • 1953
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Musical, Romance

This backstage love story marked Crawford's return to MGM after a 10-year hiatus. She is a Broadway musical star who is so compulsive about her work that she becomes a lonely woman shunned by her fellows in the theater. Her regular arranger quits in a huff, and she needs a new man, so blind pianist Wilding is hired to substitute temporarily. He lost his...read more

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This backstage love story marked Crawford's return to MGM after a 10-year hiatus. She is a Broadway musical star who is so compulsive about her work that she becomes a lonely woman shunned by her fellows in the theater. Her regular arranger quits in a huff, and she needs a new man, so

blind pianist Wilding is hired to substitute temporarily. He lost his vision during the war and will not kowtow to Crawford's imperious demands. The two are at odds often and loudly. He won't put up with the way she misinterprets various songs, and he tells her. (Crawford's singing was dubbed by

India Adams in a very husky voice.) Wilding also chastises her for the way she speaks to other people. Crawford is not accustomed to anyone criticizing her, but she sits still for it from Wilding. Crawford would love to have a man of her own, but there doesn't seem to be anyone in her life who is

strong enough to deal with her. She's seeing Young, a drinker who is hanging on as part of her professional coterie, but he is far from satisfying her needs. Crawford goes to see her mother, Rambeau, and begins perusing an old scrapbook of reviews that Rambeau (Oscar nominated for Best Supporting

Actress) has kept over the years. She reads one glowing rave and discovers that it was written by Wilding, before he lost his vision in WW II. He was a substitute critic and wrote a superior notice about her in one of her first appearances. Meanwhile, Patrick, a pal, has begun to fall in love with

the gentle, genial Wilding, thus raising Crawford's ire. Wilding keeps the memory of Crawford's face in his mind and is still in love with her. Crawford finally realizes that Wilding loves her, and they wind up together at the fade out.

The picture includes several songs from various sources, including one of the most inept production numbers ever shot: "Two-Faced Woman" (Howard Dietz, Arthur Schwartz) was originally intended as a piece for Cyd Charisse in THE BANDWAGON, and when it was not used, they kept the orchestral tracks

and put it into this film. "Tenderly" was written by Jack Lawrence and Walter Gross, who also did the piano work for Wilding; "You Won't Forget Me" was written by Fred Spielman and Kermit Goell, and Rodgers and Hart contributed their perennial "Blue Moon." "Follow Me" was written by musical

director Adolph Deutsch and sung by Rudy Render. All of the other tunes were "sung" by Crawford. Director Walters, a former choreographer (DUBARRY WAS A LADY, ZIEGFELD FOLLIES, etc.) dances with Crawford for a brief moment.

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  • Rating: NR
  • Review: This backstage love story marked Crawford's return to MGM after a 10-year hiatus. She is a Broadway musical star who is so compulsive about her work that she becomes a lonely woman shunned by her fellows in the theater. Her regular arranger quits in a huff… (more)

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