Lillian Russell

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Lillian Russell ★★ 1940

Often draggy biopic of the theatrical legend. In the 1890s, Helen Leonard (Faye) is taking singing lessons when she's heard by impresario Tony Pastor (Carrillo). He changes her name and hires her to sing in his theater, where Lillian becomes the toast of New York and has numerous suitors. She decides to marry musician Edward Solomon (Ameche) and is aided in her continued success by the flattering articles written by old friend Alexander Moore (Fonda). But it wouldn't be showbiz if there wasn't some sorrow to dim the bright lights. 127m/B DVD . Alice Faye, Don Ameche, Henry Fonda, Edward Arnold, Leo Carrillo, Warren William, Lynn Bari, Nigel Bruce, Claud Allister, Helen Westley; D: Irving Cummings Jr.; W: William Anthony McGuire; C: Leon Shamroy; M: Alfred Newman.