A Life Of Her Own

  • 1950
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Drama

Although uncredited, much of the story owes its derivation to Rebecca West's novel The Abiding Vision. Several top screenwriters attempted to adapt it, including Donald Ogden Stewart, Samson Raphaelson, and others. Eventually, Isobel Lennart's version was used and she received sole credit. It also marked Turner's return to movies after she married millionaire...read more

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Although uncredited, much of the story owes its derivation to Rebecca West's novel The Abiding Vision. Several top screenwriters attempted to adapt it, including Donald Ogden Stewart, Samson Raphaelson, and others. Eventually, Isobel Lennart's version was used and she received sole credit.

It also marked Turner's return to movies after she married millionaire Bob Topping and took on an extended honeymoon around the world. It was not a particularly intriguing story and the studio chiefs thought they could breathe some box-office life into it by casting some heavyweights. They were

mistaken. Turner is a model who goes to New York in search of fame and fortune. She signs with an agency and is soon befriended by an over-the-hill model, Dvorak, who is seen only briefly (and effectively) in the film as she despondently jumps out a window before reel two ends. Turner vows that

she won't go the same way as her pal and takes to modeling with a vengeance. She soon rises to the top of her field and is seen everywhere. She meets Milland, a Montanan, who sets her up in a chic penthouse with the money he's made in his copper business. Now Turner learns that Milland is married

to a crippled woman, Phillips, and that the chances of divorce are slim to none. She sets out to enjoy the high life in New York and plays with Manhattan's elite until that begins to pale and she decides to confront Phillips and tell her of her love for Milland. Upon meeting the disabled woman,

Turner sees that her feelings about Milland don't compare with the need that Phillips has. So she quickly changes her mind and calls a stop to the affair, determined not to wind up the way Dvorak did.

MGM did its best to stack the odds in favor of the film by hiring Cukor, a director well known for his ability to handle "women's pictures," but it didn't help. Both James Mason and Wendell Corey turned down the Milland role. Mason felt he was too British and Corey thought he "wasn't right." There

was no ending, and the picture just fizzled out. The original ending called for Turner to be working as a 45-year-old maid in a New York hotel. They filmed an ending that had Turner follow Dvorak in suicide, but audiences winced at it in previews and retakes were called for, with the new ending

being the one that concludes the picture. Turner and Cukor enjoyed the experience of working together and regretted that the material wasn't better. Some interesting sidelight casting includes choreographer Hermes Pan dancing with Turner, veteran comedienne Kathleen Freeman (before she was a

veteran), tough guy Frankie Darro as a bellhop, and character actors Whit Bissell, Beverly Garland, and Richard Anderson in small bits.

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  • Rating: NR
  • Review: Although uncredited, much of the story owes its derivation to Rebecca West's novel The Abiding Vision. Several top screenwriters attempted to adapt it, including Donald Ogden Stewart, Samson Raphaelson, and others. Eventually, Isobel Lennart's version was… (more)

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