A struggling young actress with a six-year-old daughter sets up housekeeping with a homeless black widow and her light-skinned eight-year-old daughter who rejects her mother by trying to pass for white.
A frustrated former big-city journalist now stuck working for an Albuquerque newspaper exploits a story about a man trapped in a cave to re-jump start his career, but the situation quickly escalates into an out-of-control circus.
In the post-war, the alcoholic and bitter veteran military and former writer Dave Hirsch returns from Chicago to his hometown Parkman, Indiana. He is followed by Ginnie Moorehead, a vulgar ... See full summary »
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
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 »
The sound of the punch that is thrown at Jonathan Shields is noticeably early. See more »
People who knew my father give me the extra work and a line to say every now and then. I drink what I want, I see who I want. Who knows. Someday, I may even get married, to a nice, upright, assistant's assistant.
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One thing that I've always wondered is why no one looks at Hollywood more negatively than Hollywood itself. But whatever the reason, "The Bad and the Beautiful" pulls no punches in looking at its topic. The movie portrays some people explaining how they used to be friends of producer Jonathan Shields (Kirk Douglas) but have since turned against him. There's the director whom Shields promised a directing job but betrayed him, the writer who lost his wife to Shields's actions, and the actress whom Shields drove to madness.
I thought that one of the most effective scenes in the movie was Kirk Douglas holding Lana Turner in his arms. Here he is, this overbearing, hostile character forced to almost coddle his gorgeous female star; it might be showing how he may seemingly have exalted her, but he remains in a higher position and is merely using her and sending her into insanity. And the scene of her driving the car while completely upset elaborates on this idea.
And then, there's the writer. He and his wife move from Virginia hoping to get really big in Hollywood...until tragedy strikes. It all goes to show the disaster inherent in any industry (of course, Douglas's character exacerbates any problem). But anyway, this is a formidable part of cinema history; a precursor to movies like "The Player". Also starring Dick Powell, Walter Pidgeon and Gloria Grahame (who won Best Supporting Actress).
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