The Bad and the Beautiful (1952)

Unrated  |   |  Drama, Romance  |  9 February 1953 (Brazil)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.9/10 from 9,284 users  
Reviews: 94 user | 61 critic

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



(screenplay), (story)
Watch Trailer
0Check in

Watch Now

From $9.99 on Amazon Video

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



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A letter is addressed to three wives from their "best friend" Addie Ross, announcing that she is running away with one of their husbands: but she does not say which one.

Director: Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Stars: Jeanne Crain, Linda Darnell, Ann Sothern
Quartet (1981)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Marya finds herself penniless after her art dealer husband, Stephan, is convicted of theft. Marya accepts the hospitality of a strange couple, H.J. and Lois Heidler, who lets her live in their house.

Director: James Ivory
Stars: Alan Bates, Maggie Smith, Isabelle Adjani
Drama | Fantasy | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

An anthology film consisting of three very different stories about love set in Europe and told in flashback.

Directors: Vincente Minnelli, Gottfried Reinhardt
Stars: Kirk Douglas, James Mason, Leslie Caron
The Ghost & Mrs. Muir (1968–1970)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Lovely young widow Carolyn Muir, her two young children, and the maid discover that the New England seaside house they've moved into is haunted by the former owner -- an old salt named ... See full summary »

Stars: Hope Lange, Edward Mulhare, Reta Shaw
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

After another cardiac arrest, Armand knows he doesn't have long to live. But after more than 70 years in the same house, he doesn't want to die anywhere else. His wife, Rose, has secretly ... See full summary »

Director: Jean Pierre Lefebvre
Stars: Marthe Nadeau, J. Léo Gagnon, Marcel Sabourin
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

The wife of photographer J.A. Martin decides to go with him in his tour of the hard Canadian countryside at the turn of the century. She hopes the intimacy will revive their marriage.

Director: Jean Beaudin
Stars: Marcel Sabourin, Monique Mercure, Marthe Thierry
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A woman imbued with naturalistic and libertarian theories leaves her city home to live in the countryside with her young son. There she meets a litigious farmer who fights against the banks... See full summary »

Director: Gilles Carle
Stars: Micheline Lanctôt, Donald Pilon, Reynald Bouchard
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Marcel, recently released from prison, attempt to rebuild his relationship with his girlfriend Julie (now a prostitute) and especially his father Albert (who thinks he's been away on a long... See full summary »

Director: Jean-Claude Lauzon
Stars: Gilles Maheu, Roger Lebel, Corrado Mastropasqua
The Novena (2005)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
Director: Bernard Émond
Stars: Elise Guilbault, Patrick Drolet, Marie-Josée Bastien
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Social worker tries to befriend local slum gang.

Director: Don Siegel
Stars: John Cassavetes, Sal Mineo, James Whitmore
Mon amie Max (1994)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Catherine, a concert pianist, is surprised one night by the arrival of her best friend from childhood, Marie-Alexandrine (Max), whom she hasn't seen for 25 years. Catherine and Max were ... See full summary »

Director: Michel Brault
Stars: Geneviève Bujold, Marthe Keller, Johanne McKay
Trotta (1971)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
Director: Johannes Schaaf
Stars: András Bálint, Rosemarie Fendel, Doris Kunstmann


Complete credited cast:
Vanessa Brown ...
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


I took you out of the gutter . . . I can fling you back! 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 character of Shields is regarded as a mixture of producer David O. Selznick, Orson Welles and producer Val Lewton. Georgia, the alcoholic daughter of an iconic actor, is very clearly based on Diana Barrymore. Bartlow, the college professor turned best-selling author turned screenwriter, is thought to be based on Paul Green, a UNC professor who followed a similar career track. Gilbert Roland's appearance as "Gaucho" is seen as a self-parody; the Mexican-born actor, once a star in silent dramas, had just appeared as "The Cisco Kid" in a string of "B" westerns. See more »


In Lorrison's house, Shields directs the beam from a flashlight at a picture drawn on the wall. He then moves the flashlight, but the beam does not move with it. See more »


Jonathan Shields: Don't worry. Some of the best movies are made by people working together who hate each other's guts.
See more »


Featured in Scorsese on Scorsese (2004) See more »


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

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

that bad, bad producer
18 May 2004 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

A story of betrayals and misunderstandings in the festering underbelly of Hollywood; this is Vincente Minnelli's cool expose of the workings of a producer (Kirk Douglas, as one of the movies' great detestable characters) and the effect he has on those who come into contact with him: a director who feels abandoned yet goes on to produce his greatest work (Barry Sullivan); an actress who is rescued from semi-alcoholism and turned into a star (Lana Turner, in one of her trademark parts); and a prize-winning novelist who is uprooted to shape his book for the screen (Dick Powell, in one of his last film roles before moving into television and film directing).

We see their stories in a series of flashbacks, linked by the three enemies of Douglas coming together in the office of studio biggie Walter Pidgeon – who coolly reminds them of the good things the producer brought to their lives along with the bad. There are other good performers in smaller roles – Gloria Grahame as Powell's twittery wife, Gilbert Roland as the Latin temptation, and so on. ‘The Bad and the Beautiful', filmed in good old black and white, has plenty of meat to keep you watching. Only the slightly twee ending lets it down, but you can't have everything.

33 of 51 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Barbara Billingsly Mkeydude
What about Novak? fourvin-2
Lana Turners Driving rchristiananderson
The Ending....? meredity13
Gloria's Character Napoleon799
Ending of 'The Bad + The Beautiful Woodie
Discuss The Bad and the Beautiful (1952) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: