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Film / Torch Song (1953)

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Torch Song is a 1953 American musical romantic drama film directed by Charles Walters, starring Joan Crawford, Michael Wilding, and Gig Young.

Jenny Stewart (Crawford) is a Broadway musical star who alienates her colleagues with her demands for absolute perfection. Her new rehearsal pianist Tye Graham (Wilding) criticizes her ruthless ways, for which Jenny takes offense. Graham, who was blinded in World War II, actually fell in love with Jenny when he was a young reporter. Meanwhile, Jenny yearns for a real and lasting love.


This film features examples of:

  • Blind Musician: Tye Graham, Jenny's blind pianist.
  • Blackface: Jenny dons blackface for the "Two-Faced Woman" musical number.
  • Camp: The film's numbers are laden with it, in particular the musical number "Two-Faced Woman", in which Jenny, in blackface, lip-syncs the song while writhing with male dancers.
  • The Perfectionist: Jenny demands for absolute perfection to the point of alienating her colleagues.
  • She's Got Legs: Jenny's costume has a skirt that shows off her legs.
  • Sitting Sexy on a Piano: Jenny at one act does this.
  • Torch Song: As one can guess from the title, the film features several of theses.