The Helen Morgan Story (1957) watch online HD
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This movie was originally planned for Doris Day to star in. This is one of the few planned projects that Day vehemently refused to play. She did not feel she wished to portray the sordid aspects of Helen Morgan and it would be totally different from her screen image.
This was Warner Bros. only feature in black-and-white CinemaScope.
As with many other films made in the 1950's, this movie was preceded by a television episode of an anthology series. The original, live production of _"Playhouse 90: The Helen Morgan Story" (1957)_, starring Polly Bergen, was presented on CBS TV five months before the release of the film version. Miss Bergen won that year's Emmy Award for Best Single Performance, Lead or Support, by an actress.
Others considered for the role of Helen Morgan were Judy Garland (who reportedly said about the part, "No more sad endings for me"), Susan Hayward, Jennifer Jones and Peggy Lee.
Patti Page relates in her new book that she had tested for the title role of Helen Morgan wearing a dark wig before they cast Ann Blyth.
Although Ann Blyth had done her own singing in her other movie musicals, her trained soprano voice was judged too operatic for the role of Helen Morgan, and pop singer Gogi Grant's voice was dubbed in. Ironically, the real Helen Morgan's light soprano voice was actually closer to Blyth's in quality than it was to Grant's. Ann Blyth revealed to writer-producer John Fricke that studio head Jack L. Warner had insisted on an intense, belting, Judy Garland-type sound for the film's Morgan.
The last Warner Bros. release in CinemaScope. Warner largely abandoned 'Scope production over the next few years, the few 2.35:1 films they made being in Technirama (Sayonara, Auntie Mame, John Paul Jones, The Miracle), before Panavision took over from 1960.
Yvonne De Carlo was offered the role of Helen Morgan but chose the female lead in another Warner Bros. production, La esclava libre (1957).
Sammy White, who plays himself, appeared with the real Helen Morgan in three productions of "Show Boat" - the original 1927 Broadway stage production, the first Broadway revival in 1932, and the 1936 film version. White played the comic role of hoofer Frank Schultz in "Show Boat".
LeRoy Prinz, who choreographed the musical numbers in this film, also choreographed the dances in the 1936 film version of "Show Boat", which featured the real Helen Morgan, along with Irene Dunne, Allan Jones, Charles Winninger, and Paul Robeson.
Alan Sues' movie debut.
Leonid Kinskey's final movie.
Warner Brothers released this as a double feature with Johnny Trouble (1957).
|Cast overview, first billed only:|
|Ann Blyth||-||Helen Morgan|
|Paul Newman||-||Larry Maddux|
|Richard Carlson||-||Russell Wade|
|Gene Evans||-||Whitey Krause|
|Alan King||-||Benny Weaver|
|Cara Williams||-||Dolly Evans|
|Walter Woolf King||-||Florenz Ziegfeld|
|Dorothy Green||-||Mrs. Wade|
|Edward Platt||-||Johnny Haggerty|
|Warren Douglas||-||Mark Hellinger|
|Sammy White||-||Sammy White|
|The De Castro Sisters||-||Singers|
|Jimmy McHugh||-||Jimmy McHugh|
|Rudy Vallee||-||Rudy Vallee|