Lizzie (1957 film)

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Directed byHugo Haas
Screenplay byMel Dinelli
Based onThe Bird's Nest
1954 novel
by Shirley Jackson
Produced byJerry Bresler
StarringEleanor Parker
Richard Boone
Joan Blondell
CinematographyPaul Ivano
Edited byLeon Barsha
Music byLeith Stevens
Color processBlack and white
Distributed byMetro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release date
  • April 4, 1957 (1957-04-04)
Running time
81 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$555,000

Lizzie is a 1957 American film noir drama film directed by Hugo Haas. The film is based on the 1954 novel The Bird's Nest by Shirley Jackson and stars Eleanor Parker, Richard Boone and Joan Blondell. The popular songs "It's Not for Me to Say" and "Warm and Tender" were written for this film, and performed by Johnny Mathis, who played a piano player/singer in the film. The film was produced by MGM Studios.


Elizabeth (Eleanor Parker) has recurring headaches and is plagued with insomnia. She is receiving letters from a woman called Lizzie, but Elizabeth can't remember knowing anyone named Lizzie. When Elizabeth is under hypnosis, her psychiatrist, Dr. Wright (Richard Boone), discovers Elizabeth has three personalities: The shy Elizabeth, the Mr. Hyde-like Lizzie, and the kind, well-adjusted Beth, the woman she always should have been. It is up to Dr. Wright to help Elizabeth to become Beth completely.



The film was produced by Bryna Productions, which was Kirk Douglas' company. He was reportedly unimpressed with the project, which is why he didn't star in it or even take a credit as executive producer.

Johnny Mathis made his film debut in Lizzie. "It's Not for Me to Say" became one of his big hits during his career. Both this song and "Warm and Tender", which appear in the film, were subsequently included in Mathis' fifth album, Johnny's Greatest Hits. reports that Lizzie's producers sued Fox to postpone the release of the film The Three Faces of Eve, starring Joanne Woodward, because of the similarity of their plots. Fox did delay until early in 1957 after the publication of the biography on which The Three Faces of Eve was based.


According to MGM records, the film earned $280,000 in the U.S. and Canada and $275,000 in other markets, resulting in a loss of $154,000.

Shirley Jackson, the author of the novel on which Lizzie was based, was reportedly unimpressed with the screenplay, writing "I have read the screen play and it sounds a little like Ma and Pa Kettle, or Abbott and Costello meet a multiple personality." but when she saw the movie, she "thought it was extremely good, and enormously improved over the first script I saw."

See also

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