Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Ann Blyth plays famed "torch singer" Helen Morgan, from her humble beginnings as a carnival dancer to the height of her nightclub fame in the 1920s. Helen spends most of her spare time anguishing over the on-and-off affections of her boorish boyfriend (Paul Newman), who had discovered Helen during her carnival days and promoted her to stardom. By 1927, Helen is headlining in her own nightclub, with further fame and fortune greeting her when she is cast as Julie in the blockbusting Broadway hit Show Boat. But when she realizes that her erstwhile boyfriend has been using her as a "meal ticket", Helen turns to drink. Losing her fortune to Revenue agents and the Stock Market crash of 1929, Helen hits rock bottom, ending up in the Bellevue alcoholic ward. Her boyfriend suddenly has a change of heart and declares his love for Helen, arranging for a lavish testimonial in her honor, hosted by Walter Winchell. The film ends at this point, suggesting that Helen Morgan is on the road to lasting success and happiness (tragically not the case in real life). For reasons unknown, Ann Blyth, an excellent singer in her own right, was dubbed in The Helen Morgan Story by songstress Gogi Grant.
alcoholism, boyfriend, mental-institution, nightclub, rise-to-fame, singer