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The Bad and the Beautiful (1952)
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The Bad and the Beautiful (1952)

Unrated  |   |  Drama, Romance  |  9 February 1953 (Brazil)
7.9
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 9,136 users  
Reviews: 93 user | 60 critic

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

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Won 5 Oscars. Another 2 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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Vanessa Brown ...
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Syd
Sammy White ...
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Ivan Triesault ...
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

9 February 1953 (Brazil)  »

Also Known As:

Memorial to a Bad Man  »

Box Office

Budget:

$1,558,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Kirk Douglas landed the lead role after Clark Gable had turned it down. See more »

Goofs

In the studio, when Rosemary talks to Jonathan about her home in Hollywood, he has his right arm folded, holding the cigarette. In the following shot, just before they leave, he has his right arm by his side. See more »

Quotes

Jonathan Shields: [to Georgia about her screen test] And I know I'm right about you. I gave you no help. The test was atrocious, but bad as it was, it proved one thing: when you're on the screen, no matter who you're with, what you're doing, the audience is looking at YOU. That's star quality... Lorrison quality.
See more »


Soundtracks

Temptation
(uncredited)
Music by Nacio Herb Brown
Lyrics by Arthur Freed
Performed by Hadda Brooks with Milton Raskin at the piano
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Tale of Three Betrayals
9 March 2005 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

Producer Jonathan Shields is in big trouble on a production and reaches out to three people he's befriended and betrayed in the past for help. All three are brought to Harry Pebbel's office where he makes a pitch for the help of each one. And we're told in flashback the dynamics of the relationships between Shields and each one.

One thing about Tinseltown, they've never been afraid to show the seamier side of movie-making. Kirk Douglas's Jonathan Shields is a not too thinly disguised version of David O. Selznick. The same drive, the same ambition, the same overwhelming ego that Selznick was legendary for is a part that was tailor made for Kirk Douglas.

The three betrayed people, director Fred Amiel(Barry Sullivan), star Georgia Lorrison(Lana Turner), and screenwriter James Lee Barlow(Dick Powell)all ring very true. One of the things I like about this film is that all three stories, each in itself, could be expanded into a film all it's own.

Lana Turner's role as the ersatz Diana Barrymore is not to hard to spot either. It's so much better here than the film based on her own book Too Much Too Soon. If that voice of Turner's actor father on those 78 rpms she's playing sounds familiar, it's that of Louis Calhern. Turner's was a life lived out all too well in the tabloids and she brings all of it to bear in playing Gerogia Lorrison.

Dick Powell, who was offered the lead as Jonathan Shields, opted to play tweedy professor turned screenwriter James Lee Barlow. This was Powell's next to last feature picture as an actor, it should have been the one he went out on. Powell was always ahead of the industry's cutting edge and he decided to concentrate more on directing and acting for the small screen.

Powell's segment includes Gloria Grahame as his flirty wife. Post World War II Hollywood, whenever it had a part for a tramp, first call Gloria Grahame. Here she responds with an Academy Award winning performance. She hasn't many scenes, but as was said in another MGM picture around that time, what there is is cherce.

I don't think there's ever been an actor who can go from zero to sixty on the emotional scale as quickly as Kirk Douglas. Check the scene when Lana Turner discovers how Douglas betrayed her. The intensity of his reaction alone is frightening and real. Douglas was also up for an Oscar, but it went that year to laconic Gary Cooper in High Noon.

Vincente Minelli put all the pieces together just right and it comes out great entertainment.


41 of 57 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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