Thursday, January 13, 2011

A Life of Her Own(1950).

A Life of Her Own(1950). Directed by George Cukor. Cast: Lana Turner, Ray Milland and Ann Dvorak

Aspiring model Lily Brannel James, travels to New York City to apply to the Thomas Caraway Model Agency. After she is hired by Tom Caraway, Lily quickly become friends with former top model, Mary Ashlon, who shares with her the rules of the business. Mary plans a double date for her and Lily with advertising executive Lee Gorrance and lawyer Jim Leversoe.

At the club, Mary drinks a little too much, Lily takes her home and Mary gives her a good-luck porcelain slipper. Later that same night, Mary takes her own life..

The following day, Lee visits Lily, but he shows no feeling over Mary's death. Lily goes on to become successful model continuing her a friendship with Jim, who introduces her to, Steve Harleigh, a Montana copper-mine owner on a business trip to New York. Although, Steve is married they begin seeing each other. When Steve is ready to head back to Montana, both he and Lily realize they have fallen in love, but know nothing can come of it.

Some time later, Steve returns to New York and against Jim's advice contacts Lily. Steve tells Lily he will be working almost full-time in New York, Lily rents a larger apartment where they can spend time together. Before long Steve says that his wife Nora is coming to visit him for his birthday. Lily wants him to tell Nora that he no longer loves her, but Steve confesses that Nora is an invalid because of a car accident for which he is responsible. Lily has to decide if her own happiness is worth destroying the life of another woman...

Lana Turner is excellent in this film and has some wonderful dramatic scenes. Margaret Phillips, as his wife, also gives a wonderful performance.

Fun Fact:

Howard Keel, Cary Grant, George Murphy, and James Mason were among those considered for the role of Steve Harleigh, which eventually went to Wendell Corey, who worked on the production through mid-February 1950 but then allegedly asked to be released from the film because he felt he wasn't right for the role. Other sources claimed he was dismissed at the request of Turner and director George Cukor following an argument between the two stars. He was replaced by Ray Milland.

Ann Dvorak (August 2, 1911 – December 10, 1979), she was raised in the business that would later make her a star. Her father, Edwin McKim worked as a director for the Lubin Studios and her mother, Anna Lehr, was a silent film star. The couple split when Ann was four, and she and her mother moved to Hollywood.

As a child, she appeared in several films. She began working for MGM in the late 1920s as a dance instructor and gradually began to appear on film as a chorus girl. Her friend Joan Crawford introduced her to Howard Hughes. She performed in the pre-Code films: Scarface (1932),  Three on a Match (1932), with Joan Blondell and Bette Davis, Love Is a Racket (1932), and opposite Spencer Tracy in, Sky Devils (1932).

Known for her style and elegance, she was a popular leading lady for Warner Brothers during the 1930s. She appeared with Perry Mason in, The Case of the Stuttering Bishop (1937). She also acted on Broadway. With her then-husband, British actor Leslie Fenton, Dvorak travelled to England where she supported the war effort by working as an ambulance driver and continued to perform in many British films.


  1. Dawn, I have never seen this film, but it sounds like I'd enjoy it. Ray Milland was certainly an upgrade from Wendell Corey! Love your choice of photos.

  2. Classic Film and TV Cafe, I think you would enjoy watching the film, A Life of Her Own, especially if you are a fan of the cast members.


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