The Bad and the Beautiful (1952)

Unrated  |   |  Drama, Romance  |  9 February 1953 (Brazil)
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 9,285 users  
Reviews: 94 user | 61 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?


Lana Turner plays an actress whose career started as a movie extra. Turner started her own career as an extra in A Star Is Born (1937). See more »


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 »


Georgia Lorrison: Jonathan, will you marry me?
Jonathan Shields: Not even a little bit.
See more »


Referenced in The Oscar (1966) 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

show biz can't satisfy anyone
12 March 2007 | by (Portland, Oregon, USA) – See all my reviews

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).

7 of 9 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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