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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 9,081 users  
Reviews: 93 user | 59 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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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:

I took you out of the gutter . . . I can fling you back! 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

Ned Glass, who plays the wardrobe man in the cat costume scene, was an active member of the Living Newspaper unit of the Federal Theater project on Broadway during the Depression, an organization accused of being "leftist" and "pro-communist" by many on the political right. When Glass was blacklisted during the Joseph McCarthy "Red scare" era, he became a carpenter. See more »

Goofs

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 »

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 »

Connections

References Cat People (1942) See more »

Soundtracks

Don't Blame Me
(uncredited)
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.


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