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The Bad and the Beautiful (1952)

Unrated | | Drama, Romance | 9 February 1953 (Brazil)
2:40 | Trailer

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An unscrupulous movie producer uses an actress, a director and a writer to achieve success.



(screenplay), (story)
Won 5 Oscars. Another 2 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »



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Complete credited cast:
Sammy White ...
Ivan Triesault ...


Told in flashback form, the film traces the rise and fall of a tough, ambitious Hollywood producer Jonathan Shields, as seen through the eyes of various acquaintances, including a writer James Lee Bartlow, a star Georgia Lorrison and a director Fred Amiel. He is a hard-driving, ambitious man who ruthlessly uses everyone - including the writer, star and director - on the way to becoming one of Hollywood's top movie makers. Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The story of a blonde who wanted to go places, and a brute who got her there - the hard way! See more »


Drama | Romance


Unrated | See all certifications »




Release Date:

9 February 1953 (Brazil)  »

Also Known As:

Memorial to a Bad Man  »

Box Office


$1,558,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The photograph of Kirk Douglas' detested studio-head father, which Barry Sullivan straightens on the wall in this MGM film, looks exactly like Jack L. Warner, the head of Warner Bros.--MGM's competitor. See more »


The sound of the punch that is thrown at Jonathan Shields is noticeably early. See more »


Jonathan Shields: If you dream, dream big.
See more »


Referenced in Fame (2009) See more »


Don't Blame Me
Music by Jimmy McHugh
Lyrics by Dorothy Fields
Performed by Peggy King
See more »

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User Reviews

Masterful drama and romance in three parallel stories.
28 April 2011 | by (Spain) – See all my reviews

Powerful drama from director Vincente Minnelli, is one of his best work. The screenplay by Charles Schnee ("Red River", Hawks, 1948), adapting the short story "Tribute to Bad Man" by George Bradshaw.

It was filmed between April and June 1952, MGM Studios (Culver City, CA) and natural scenes CA (Beverly Hills Hotel, Lake Arrowhead ...), with a budget of 1.6 million USD. Nominated for 6 Oscars won 5 (script, cast actress, dir. art, photography and clothing).

The film tells three parallel stories and different, about how the director, screenwriter and actress met "Shields" and later helped them to betray them. The parallels in the entire film with David O. Selznick, producer of "Gone With the Wind", "Rebecca" and other hits, are obvious, and I guess a lot clearer at the time Signed Minnelli's wonderful film about the world of cinematic spectacle, in a tale which speaks of the ascent to the heights and fall into oblivion after a producer of great personality, whose questionable actions cost him his life, indifference in difficult times.

The film includes drama and romance. Acid provides an overview and critique of the film industry and the world of film taken from inside. It has been said to be the best Hollywood movie about Hollywood. What "Citizen Kane" was to journalism, "The Bad and the Beautiful" is for cinema. In any case it is a good movie that deals with a subject of great interest oenophile. The original title refers to the producer "Shields" (bad) and the brilliant female lead (the beautiful). It evokes the myth of beauty and the beast. The provisional title "working title ", which matches the short story.

"Tribute to Bad Man" emphasizes malice, malignity, wickedness and perversity of character, which is the focus of the story. Minnelli builds a deep and vigorous drama of sound atmospheres, which is one of the tops of his films.

"The Bad and the Beautiful"is one of the most celebrated melodramas master Minelli, and it is to be able to combine in countless history topics, narrate naturally. It is a film filled with a unique sense of glamour, with an excellent cast, where even the ever hieratic and expressionless Lana Turner, is splendid.

The film has excellent black and white photography, which gives the mythical air of homage to a world that at the time of its realization was beginning to be almost a relic of the past.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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