The Bad and the Beautiful (1952)

Unrated  |   |  Drama, Romance  |  9 February 1953 (Brazil)
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 9,195 users  
Reviews: 94 user | 60 critic

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



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



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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


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?


Vincente Minnelli was so impressed by Ned Glass' performance as the wardrobe man, he kept expanding his role. After two days of shooting, he still needed a close-up of Glass, but the next day the actor did not show up. Having failed to do a thorough background check before shooting started, MGM had hired Glass without realizing he had been blacklisted. The night before his final shot, studio security had called to inform him he would not be allowed on the lot. After a hasty conference with studio executives, MGM decided they would rather ignore the blacklist than pay the $20,000 to $30,000 it would require to re-shoot the key scene. See more »


When the director Von Ellstein and Shields are having their big spat on how a just-concluded scene should have been directed and the overall directorial style and vision for the picture, the cuts between the perspective views of their arguing show Shields alternately with tensed outstretched arms and then casually folded hands on the top step of the short ladder or whatever that was he was leaning on. See more »


Jonathan Shields: [to Georgia] Well, congratulations, you've got it all laid out for you so you can wallow in pity for yourself. The betrayed woman. The wounded doe with all the drivel that goes with it going through your mind right now. Oh, he doesn't love me at all. He was lying. All those lovely moments, those tender words. He's lying. He's cheap and cruel. Well, maybe I like Lilas. Maybe I like to be cheap once in a while! Maybe everyone does, or don't you remember?
See more »


References Cat People (1942) 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

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?

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