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Torch Song


Fedya
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I think I've finally recovered from the two hours I spent on the floor laughing after the movie finally ended. Oh boy what a hilariously awful mess. Where to begin?

 

Joan Crawford starts off with a dance number that shows off her legs. This is silly, but at least naturally shows her legs as the dress moves around them. It's not as "****" inducing as the oversized poster that shows off one leg, and has the other wrapped in the 1950s substitute for spandex.

 

The plot hinges on one of the hoariest of tropes, that of the blind guy who can see what everybody else can't. Still, Joan Crawford gets to zing him with such memorable lines as suggesting he get a seeing-eye girl. Of course, he's already got one of those.

 

Joan Crawford's bedroom, in all its sea green push-button glory. But for some reason, the layers and layers of drapes aren't operated by push button.

 

Harry Morgan with a moustache. Or at least, it sure looked like a moustache.

 

Was the music deliberately supposed to be bad to try to make a plot point about the Joan Crawford character's true abilities? Or did it just seem like dreadfully subpar music to me?

 

Joan Crawford in blackface. Yowza. Especially when she pulls off the wig in anger at the end of the scene. Double yowza.

 

Feel free to add your laugh-inducing moments to the list. I'm just amazed the movie wasn't directed by Douglas Sirk.

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The music and storyline for TORCH SONG seems on par with that of most backstage musicals. MGM had originally purchased it as a vehicle for Lana Turner, to have been called "Why Should I Cry". In the wake of Joan's big hit and Oscar nomination for SUDDEN FEAR, and with her now free from her WB contract, the studio offered the role to Joan. It was a sort of homecoming, not only to MGM after 10 years, where Joan had been under contract for some 18 years, and had been one of its biggest stars, but also to the type of role that had made her famous initially, as a sexy hoofer. For this reason, she was eager to return, to show she still had great legs and figure, and still handle this type of role.

 

The Carol Burnett show did a spoof of this movie, called.Torchy's Song, in which Carol played Joan, and posing a la that poster throughout.

 

Edited by: Arturo on Jan 24, 2014 5:59 PM

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I love this film. I think it's one of her best roles. She has a more dynamic character study on her hands with this script. I loved her melodramas at Warners, but this production suits her better in my opinion. It is more leisurely and less plot-driven, and you really get to enjoy the character and her evolution.

 

Also, some scenes rely exclusively on her, without the presence of the supporting cast, and it's a rather intimate way to glimpse Joan Crawford the actress at work on screen. Her rapport with Marjorie Rambeau, who plays the mother, is excellent.

 

Enthusiastic thumbs up. I watched this film twice today!

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>I think I've finally recovered from the two hours I spent on the floor laughing after the movie finally ended. Oh boy what a hilariously awful mess. Where to begin?

 

It was movies like this, and others with Joan, Bette, and Stanwyck, showing OLDER WOMEN in love stories, that turned me off to the concept of "newer movies", and that's when I began to watch a lot of old 1930s and 40s movies on TV, starting in the early 1950s.

 

These dames were too old for me and looked silly kissing old men. I was about 10 years old when I first began to notice this.

 

It's ok for old people to kiss, and I hope they do, but not in close-ups on a 30 foot by 40 foot movie screen.

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This the the 4th or 5th time I tried to watch the film over the years. Can't do it. The dubbing of Joan's voice is so unbearly awful, It's so obviously fake. and can't stand that singers voice anyway.Just that alone is such a turn-off. I love Joan Crawford in so many of her films, but I agree Fedya, *Torch Song* is a mess. But I don't agree about Sirk. ( I like his films, there are good soaps and lousey ones, Sirk's are the good ones, imo). I agree about the music and songs as sub-par. Yes, the jazz in the apartment is good, but other than that... Thumbs down on this film

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> But I don't agree about Sirk. ( I like his films, there are good soaps and lousey ones, Sirk's are the good ones, imo)

 

I laugh when Susan Kohner shows up at the funeral in *Imitation of Life*. By the same token, I also enjoy *Written on the Wind*, but more as comedy.

 

I can't take much more than the first half hour of *Magnificent Obsession*, which makes *Guess Who's Coming to Dinner* look subtle by comparison. There's not much subtlety to Jenny Stewart in *Torch Song* either.

 

That's more or less why I compared this to the work of Douglas Sirk.

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> These dames were too old for me and looked silly kissing old men. I was about 10 years old when I first began to notice this.

 

 

Of course NOW you realize Fred, that at the time, there were probably some even OLDER coots watching those movies and saying, "Look at those KIDS going at it!" ;)

 

I can't say I recall ever seeing the flick in question, but this thread does remind me of times when I was SUPPOSED to be watching some deep, dark drama, but it was so poorly executed I wound up taking it for a COMEDY. AND vice-versa.

 

Sepiatone

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