- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
- Would You Recommend?
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So many questions, so few answers...
- Jene Byrnes
Oh, JoanJoanJoanJoanJoan - WHY did you do this movie? Did you have no one close to you, who cared about you, to prevent you from making such a gross error? "Jesus, Joan, what did you do to your hair?!?!" "Do you understand how offensive the Two Faced Woman number is? Do you really want to participate in this?" Whose idea was this, and how did it get studio approval? Wouldn't it have been faster just to put a bullet in Joan's head? While I find the over-the top lines delightful, why did they make Jenny such a stone cold b*tch? The hate she shovels on that poor blind man and his dog - that poor dog! Whose idea was it to give her a missle bra from the Nurse Ratched lingerie line? Why is Joan so orange? THIS is a sado-masochistic relationship, folks - 50 Shades, my ascot. There is nary a spine between the pianist and the drunken boyfriend - Jenny stomps all over them like a tub full of grapes. And like the grapes, the pianist needs Jennys crushing to free him from his demons, and extract his sweet, sweet talent.
Perhaps TCM should rethink showing this
Not only is this film terrible. Crawford should have retired. Michael Wilding looks and sounds ridiculous. Was there any plot, other than Crawford was an immature ego maniac and to old to be immature. But on top of the bad, was the extremely offensive, and unnecessary Crawford in Black Face. Ordinarily, I get upset at foolish political correctness. Al Jolson's career centered around playing in black face. Black face was accurately portrayed in plays and film which were about the South and during the 19th century. And their are many celebrated films where blacks were portrayed as second class citizens, But in the 1950's, the same decade that equal but separate schools was overturned, Crawford does "black face". The film and the scene should be trashed. I don't believe in censorship, but do believe an industry that prides itself on its role in civil rights should reflect on ever showing this film again.
What was she thinking?
- Don letta
As far as I'm concerned, Michael Wilding did his share of movie ruining...just by being Michael Wilding; pinched, effete, too, too British.(see Under Capricorn) But in the case of Torch Song, Joan Crfawford wins hands down, the trophy for worst performance of that or any other year.Surely a sane person would have seen the rushes, bought the rights and burned the film immediately.Watching Ms. Crawford prancing around in teen-age fashions, a creepy hair-do and grotesque make-up was more than any audience should have been made to endure. I' sure the reason they remained in their seats was disbelief, and embarassment. (I paid to see this?)It's entirely possible that Torch Song was responsible for the death of the musical film. Even the following year's Seven Brides For Seven Brothers couldn't erase the bad taste Torch Song left for musical lovers.What's a shame, is thisfilm doesn't even qualify for good camp, sixty years later.Considering the fact that Crawford's films were loosing money for three years before she was released from her MGM contract, this is a continuation of the trend, ten years later.
I would expect a campy film to be fun and entertaining, but this is mostly boring, predictable and empty.It's mostly a ego-trip for Joan Crawford, who shows a lot of energy and commitment but is also flat and dull. She overacts to the hilt. She was probably 15 years too old for this role.
Tragic Trainwreck Caught On Film
- keith abney
You want to turn your eyes away but cant. Joan singing (yeah right), dancing (she may have been a flapper but it's all lost here) and being a total bitch (she's got that one down). And I couldn't stop watching. If you can approach this film knowing you're in for a freak show then it's great. If you're expecting Mildred Pierce or The Women, then prepare yourself. Favorite moments: All scenes where you want to suffocate Joan, which would be all of them,including her 'stunning' performance in blackface. We've all seen Crawford make her share of misfires but this one takes the prize. Of course it's gone down in history as a camp classic and all you John Waters fans will not be disappointed. At least it's more watchable than her real swansong Trog, which is very sad and not entertaining.
- Mary Sue
Joan, Joan, Joan (sigh). What were you thinking? In fact what was going on in the minds of everyone involved in this production? Multiple stinker awards for BAD: acting, singing, dancing, writing, lyrics and directing. Kudos to the piece of celluoid that stated "The End." Watching this and all her subsequent movies is like subjecting oneself to a barrage of nails to the head from an air hammer. The only time I'll ever want something shoved down my throat it'll be a tracheotomy tube, not Joan Crawford's ego.
I saw this film for the first time two weeks ago. I absolutely loved the premise of the story line.I had never seen one of Michael Wilding's films before. I loved his character as well as his portrayal of same.Although I have seen many Joan Crawford films, I feel she was miscast in this one. Cyd Charisse would have been much better suited to the role since she could have done her own singing. She was also an accomplished actress as well.All in all though I must say this has become one of my favorite movies!
Torch Song Should Have Been Crawford's Swan Song
- Chris B.
This first journey into the world of Technicolor did not serve Joan Crawford well. In the opening scene of this Musical Drama the first thing I noticed were those big downturned lips. Then came the eyebrows. Then came the fact that she was almost 50 years old when she made this film and that she wasn't a very good dancer and couldn't sing. Her numbers were all dubbed by someone who is loud and brash, which I thought was fitting! Crawford is as hard boiled as she ever was and the only saving grace is the soft spoken Michael Wilding as a blind pianist and even his seeing eye dog can't stand her! I don't ever remember seeing this film but it's just as well because I can't stand her either!
Torch Song (1953)
Delightful, although a bit campy, melodrama, with Joan Crawford giving an over the top performance. Of course, she also keeps the film interesting. Excellent production, especially the costumes and art direction. Very entertaining.
- Bruce Reber
This was Joan Crawford's first film for MGM since she left a decade earlier.The studio made a big deal out of it and her return was very much celebrated.But I think that MGM wanted to have a little payback against Joan for walking out on them and that's why she was given this role. This is one of her films that I had never seen, and I watched it on TCM last Sunday night for the first time.I found it very mediocre, mainly because Joan was not known for doing musicals (her singing voice was dubbed and her dancing wasn't very good).This film came at a point where her career had already peaked and her best work was behind her. I think if she had really thought about it she would not have done Torch Song, because after her very powerful performances in films like Mildred Pierce, Humoresque and Possessed this was a major disappointment for all of her fans. I would say Torch Song is a badly done melodrama not a musical of the kind MGM was known for.I would rate this as one of her worst films.
The fil print was bad
It looks like this is a film that has not been restored, it is scratchy thru the whole movie here & there. Joan gave her best to this, i think she deserved much better,it looks like mgm didn't put much effort into this. What happened here? the sets looked somewhat cheap. This movie has to be seen to be believed. I put this right up there with Trog(her last)
Is there such a thing as a 'C' movie?
I just finished watching this rather poor excuse for a movie musical. Joan Crawford's dancing ability was entirely suspect, and the singing voice used bore no resemblence at all to the somewhat elderly Ms. Crawford. The story line, if you can call it that, displays no talent whatsoever on the writers, and the oh so obvious over-acting by the entire cast was noticeable in its presence. One would think this farce was a box office bomb. One of the worst movies I have seen in a long, long time.
This movie is silly and histrionic but that's why I love it. It was supposed to be a lush technicolor 50's romance with music but the outcome was pure silliness. The screenplay wasn't well written and there didn't seem to be a lot of passion put into this project. That's a pity in a way because Joan Crawford gave a good performance as the Diva Jenny Stewart. You will always notice her because she has so much energy and you feel like she put a lot of effort in her part but it got lost because the rest of the movie was a ham. Having the Two Faced Woman number where Joan has makeup t look like an African American is just plain weird. I can give no explanation and neither can the writers. I was kind of sad that Dorothy Patrick's scene was silly and meaningless because she was a starlet that had a lot of potential and I always had a soft spot for her. I'm not sure why Marjorie Rambeau got an Oscar nod for this film because her part was small and insignificant. If you're in a campy mood, you'll love it, but only when you're in a campy mood.
object lesson in what not to do
this is one of the worst stories ever done. it is so gleefully bad you just have to laugh and laugh. joan crawford in black face for a production number. she must whirl in her grave each time it is shown. i, on the other hand need oxygen from laughing. put it on on a sunday afternoon and have a good old time.
So bad its good!
Joan Crawford..what were you thinking?? Joan is at her Campy high drama best in this over the top Melodrama about an actress who has hardened her heart to love but meets a blind piano player and fight as she might the ice starts to thaw ...with alot of over acting and a horrible music number with some of the worst makeup in Hollywood history... its so bad its good!! This is a cult camp film that all Crawford fans would not want to miss...Crawford is at her campy best in this one...the musical number was also done by Cyd Charisse (and much better) but got cut in the movie she was in.....i think the wrong version was cut..Joan was not a singer...