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Charles Castle is a successful Hollywood actor who has opted for screen success over art. He must make critical decisions regarding his career, his marriage, his art & morality. In this screen adaptation of a Clifford Odets play, Castle is pressured by his studio boss and manipulated into a potentially murderous cover-up to protect his career. An indictment of the amoral world of 50's Hollywood and its corrosive effect upon the artist. Written by
This 1955 film was adapted from a play by Clifford Odets and James Poe. It is a dark study of the seedier side of Hollywood of it's time. Making all involved not such pleasant people. It centers around a top movie star, Charlie Castle (played brilliantly by Jack Palance) who wants out of the movie limelight in order to move on to better high grade films. But, the movie studios are not that eager to lose their sexy star. Most of the film is about Charlie and his struggle to come out ahead. With the studio boss (one of Rod Steiger's better roles), his wife (the wonderful Ida Lupino in another terrific performance); the sleezy studio promo man (Wendell Corey in a delicious underplayed role); and the agent (one of Everett Sloane's best performances). Also rounding out this stellar cast are Jean Hagen, as the wife of Charlie's best friend, and a gal out to get Charlie in bed, and Shelly Winters, who does well as a sort of dumb blonde being used by the studio to entertain executives. Thinking this is the way to become a movie star.
Robert Aldrich directed this classic with a deft touch and excellent interplay with his cast. A simple set allows the actors to do their work without the Hollywood tinsel. Made in black and white, this is drama at its best and the stars at their best. See this amazing film if you're an actor. It will teach you much.
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