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Smash-Up: The Story of a Woman


A successful singer Angelica Evans (Susan Hayward) gives up her career and marries unsuccessful singer Ken Conway (Lee Bowman). She happily sacrifices for him and his partner (Eddie Albert). Eventually he DOES hit it big, she has a baby...but he never has time for her--his rising career comes first. She slowly drifts into alcoholism.

Smash-Up, the Story of a Woman (1947 in film), also called A Woman Destroyed,<></> is a drama film which tells the story of a rising nightclub singer who marries another singer, whose career takes off, then falls into alcoholism after giving up her career for him. The film stars Susan Hayward, Lee Bowman, and Eddie Albert, and was written by Frank Cavett, John Howard Lawson, Dorothy Parker, and Lionel Wiggam, and was directed by Stuart Heisler. Ethel Wales appears in an uncredited part.
The film was nominated for Academy Awards for Academy Award for Best Actress (Susan Hayward) and Academy Award for Best Story.
The story is loosely based on the life of Dixie Lee, the first wife of actor-singer Bing Crosby.


In a hospital, Angie Evans, her face bandaged, recounts the events that brought her here.
A nightclub singer, Angie becomes involved with another singer, Ken Conway, whose career has yet to take off. Her agent Mike Dawson helps get Ken and piano accompanist Steve Anderson a spot on a radio show singing cowboy songs. Ken sings a ballad on the day Angie, now his wife, gives birth to their daughter. The attention he gets leads to a new career opportunity.
Ken soon is a big success, gaining popularity and wealth, while Angie stays home, her career at a standstill. She begins to drink. Ken counts on her to present a sophisticated image for his new high-society friends and contacts, but her alcoholism worsens, so secretary Martha Gray comes to Ken's aid.
It isn't long before Angie is certain an affair has begun with Martha and her husband. Steve tries to intervene on Angie's behalf, but he can see Martha has fallen in love with Ken.
Angie neglects the child, continues to drink, then creates a scene at a party. Ken asks for a divorce and custody. A fire starts from a lit cigarette of hers, shortly after she kidnaps their daughter from a nurse, results in Angie's suffering serious facial burns while saving the child.
There may be no hope, but Ken tries to stand by his wife as her life hits rock bottom.


  • Susan Hayward as Angie Evans (singing dubbed by Peg LaCentra)
  • Lee Bowman as Ken Conway (singing dubbed by Hal Derwin)
  • Eddie Albert as Steve Anderson
  • Marsha Hunt (actress) as Martha Gray
  • Carl Esmond as Dr. Lorenz
  • Carleton Young as Fred Elliott
  • Charles D. Brown as Michael Dawson
  • Janet Murdoch as Miss Kirk, baby Angelica's nanny
  • Sharyn Payne as Angelica "Angel" Conway
  • Robert Shayne as Mr. Gordon


The film lost $111,664 in its initial release.< name="wagner"/>

Category:1947 films
Category:Films directed by Stuart Heisler
Category:American films
Category:1940s drama films
Category:Screenplays by Dorothy Parker

Walter Wanger, Martin Gabel

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