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Smash Up--The Story of a Woman

Smash Up--The Story of a Woman(1947)


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At White Memorial Hospital, a delirious woman, her face swathed in bandages, thrashes in her bed and recalls snatches of her past: The woman is nightclub singer Angie Evans. Although successful, Angie possesses little self-confidence and drinks to overcome her stage fright. Madly in love with Ken Conway, a struggling young composer and singer, Angie forsakes her own career to marry Ken and raise a family. With the help of Mike Dawson, Angie's agent and friend, Ken and his accompanist, Steve Anderson, get a job performing cowboy tunes on an early morning radio show. Angie encourages Ken to perform his own romantic ballads instead, and on the day that Angie gives birth to their daughter Angelica, Ken, emboldened, croons one of his own compositions over the air. The ballad wins Ken acclaim, and soon he is promoted to his own show in an evening time slot. As Ken's popularity soars, Angie cloisters herself at home with the baby. Angie's confidence is further eroded by her husband's new prominence. When Ken buys an exclusive apartment equipped with servants' quarters, and expects Angie to host glamorous social gatherings, she becomes even more insecure and again turns to drink. Ken's secretary, Martha Gray, gladly supplants Angie as Ken's hostess, causing Angie to seek further solace in a bottle. Ken's busy life leaves no time for a dependent wife, and when he invites Martha to join him and Angie and on a concert tour to Chicago, Angie, insecure, gets drunk and Ken leaves without her. While Ken is away, the baby falls critically ill with pneumonia, and Angie forswears drink and spends sleepless nights caring for the child until the crisis is over. Afterward, when Angie calls Ken at his hotel room, and Martha answers the phone, Angie's self-esteem is totally shattered and she again turns to drink. Ken hurries home to be home with his sick daughter, but when he finds Angie drunk, he becomes disgusted and returns to Chicago. Years pass and Angie, now a chronic alcoholic, sinks into the depths of despair. Urged by Steve to be more understanding of Angie, Ken decides to give a party in his wife's honor. At the party, Martha deliberately arouses Angie's jealousy, causing Angie to assault her in a drunken rage. Although Angie expresses remorse for her behavior, Ken, disgusted, files for divorce and seeks custody of their daughter. Rejecting Ken's offer of the apartment and a generous alimony settlement, Angie moves into a hotel, and with Mike's help, tries to rekindle her singing career. Remaining loyal to Angie, Steve confronts Martha when she begins to date Ken, causing her to break into tears and admit that she harbors an unrequited love for Ken. Refused visitation rights with her daughter, Angie continues to drink and one night passes out in the street. Upon awakening, Angie drives to see Angelica and kidnaps the girl from her nurse, Miss Kirk. After putting Angelica to bed, Angie drunkenly drops a lit cigarette on the floor, then leaves the room. Awakened by Angelica's screams, Angie dashes into the flames of the now burning house to rescue her daughter. Although Angelica is uninjured, Angie is badly burned. At the White Memorial Hospital, as Angie regains consciousness she cries for her child. Ken is at her bedside, and after Dr. Lorenz finally makes him comprehend Angie's desperation, Ken reconciles with his wife who then recovers with renewed self-reliance and strength.