Helen Morgan’s lovely take on Can’t Help Lovin’ Dat Man from Show Boat is used to grand effect in Alfred Sole’s unusually powerful horror effort Alice, Sweet Alice. Introducing the pivotal presence of Mr. Alphonso, a creepy landlord who antagonistically preys upon the title character, Sole uses this number in the background to illustrate the strange emotional landscape of this sometimes pitiful, always unsavory character.
Morgan (above left), who died of alcoholism at an early age, had two biographies filmed of her life and troubled times. In an interesting coincidence, Sole cast Lillian Roth (above right), a singer and actress in the tradition of Morgan, in a small but pivotal role of a pathologist in the film. In reality, Roth’s path echoed Morgan’s on many levels, adding a nice layer of show business coincidence to this well loved film, which was recently given the deluxe Blu-ray treatment from Arrow Video. As with Morgan, Roth’s life was given a cinematic appraisal by Susan Hayward, who was nominated for an Oscar for her work, in I’ll Cry Tomorrow.
Until the next time, SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan!