Dave Hirsch, a writer and army veteran winds up in his small Indiana hometown, to the dismay of his respectable older brother. He meets and befriends various different characters and tries to figure out what to do with his life.
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 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 »
Jonathon coaches Georgia on how to seductively light a cigarette for her movie role but her part is in a historical picture in which she apparently plays a peasant/princess living in an era when women didn't smoke anyway - let alone use a cigarette as part of romantic allure. See more »
Don't worry. Some of the best movies are made by people working together who hate each other's guts.
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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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