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.
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 wanted the music for the long, silent scene in which Georgia runs from her dressing room through a deserted sound stage, composed before shooting. That way he could match his blocking and camera movements to the score. See more »
Right after Amiel asks Shields if he intends to change his name, Shields is shown holding a stein with two hands. In the subsequent close shot, he only has one hand on the stein. See more »
[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.
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Glossy MGM soaper has many things to recommend it, not the least of which is a surprisingly grounded, natural Lana Turner (looking great, even in ordinary jammies) playing a successful movie actress who, along with a top screenwriter and director, help producer-on-the-skids Kirk Douglas stage a comeback. Not especially revealing about Hollywood, which at this stage wasn't quite ready to unmask itself, but still engaging and intriguing. Douglas is well-cast (he spits out his lines with a terse jaw--nothing new--but he's right for this part and is commendable). Turner is a revelation and deserved at the very least an Oscar nomination for her work; the picture did go on to win Academy Awards in five categories, including Gloria Grahame as Best Supporting Actress; Charles Schnee, Best Screenplay; Robert Surtees, Best Cinematography, Black-and-White; Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Black-and-White; and Best Costume Design, Black-and-White. Well-directed by Vincente Minnelli, the picture gets less attention than something like "All About Eve", but it's actually more entertaining. *** from ****
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