Smash-Up -- The Story of a Woman! was a 1947 film eerily similar to events in the life of Bing Crosby and his first wife, Dixie. "Angie" (played by Susan Hayward) is a popular but shy female nightclub singer who meets and marries an obscure cowboy singer ("Ken Conway" played by Lee Bowman). They marry, she gets pregnant and retires from show business. Meanwhile, his career takes off, beginning with a nightly 15-minute radio show. (In real life Bing's big break was a 15-minute nightly radio show over CBS in 1931.) As his singing career expands into new genres his wife is left home alone. She turns to drink and becomes an alcoholic. She pleads with her husband for more of his time, but the call of show business overwhelms his pledge to be more attentive to his wife. She becomes increasingly suspicious and jealous of other women in his show-biz life. He tries to get medical help for her, but she denies she has a problem. (In real life Bing hired psychiatrists to treat his wife's alcoholism.) Ken finally gives up and leaves her and files for divorce, taking custody of their child. (In real life Bing asked the Catholic Church for permission to divorce his wife. Permission was denied.) Angie abducts the child, but drops a lit cigarette that starts a fire that destroys her home and nearly kills them both. (In real life Bing's Los Angeles home burned to the ground in January 1943 reportedly from a Christmas tree fire that began while Bing golfed and Dixie and the kids were at home.) This incident causes them both to reconsider their relationship and behaviors, and the story ends with "and they lived happily ever after." (In real life Bing remained married to Dixie until her death from cancer in 1952.) Bing Crosby is actually mentioned once in the movie, when the struggling male star is reminded that Bing started as part of a trio.

Smash-Up was produced by Walter Wanger and directed by Stuart Heisler. Heisler had directed Bing in the movie Blue Skies in 1946. Wanger produced the Bing Crosby and Marion Davies film Going Hollywood in 1933. Rumors were that Bing wanted to sue Wanger for Smash-Up but was advised that to do so would merely call more attention to the link between the film and Bing's largely unknown marital strife.


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