Toward the end of his life F. Scott Fitzgerald is writing for Hollywood studios to be able to afford the cost of an asylum for his wife. He is also struggling against alcoholism. Into his life comes the famous gossip columnist.
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In 1936, the witty columnist Sheilah Graham leaves her noble British fiancé and travels in the Queen Mary from Southampton, England, to New York. She seeks out the editor of the North American Newspaper Alliance, John Wheeler, offering her services but he sends her to the Daily Mirror. Sheilah becomes successful and John offers a job in Hollywood to write a gossip column about the stars. When Sheilah meets the decadent writer F. Scott Fitzgerald, they immediately fall in love. Sheilah discovers that Scott accepts any job to financially support his wife Zelda that is in asylum, and his daughter at a boarding school. She opens her heart to him and tells the truth about her origins; but their relationship is affected by his drinking problem. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
This film purports to be about the last years of F. Scott Fitzgerald and his life with his paramour Sheila Graham as seen through the eyes of Ms. Graham. Sorry, wrong number! Obviously, Ms. Graham remembers through rose colored glasses. Granted, she was there and we were not but this is a very sanitized version of life with a hopeless alcoholic, has-been. Fitzgerald was the darling of the jazz age who, with his unstable wife Zelda, ran rampant through life with a joy for living which set a standard for the time. But he dried up artistically, Zelda was committed to an institution and he took to the bottle with a vengeance. The film begins when he is on his last legs, trying to make it in Hollywood as a screen writer and having an affair with Ms. Graham, a Hollywood gossip columnist. Gregory Peck is just not believable as Fitzgerald. He is not gritty enough, not desperate enough and is just.....well, he is just Gregory Peck, not F. Scott Fitzgerald. Deborah Kerr is so wrong for this part that it is ludicrous. It appears that she was chosen for the role because she had an English accent as did Ms. Graham. Sheila Graham was a kick-ass opportunist (which she had to be to make it in the business) and Kerr is much too genteel and ladylike. I'm sure Ms. Graham loved her man and that her memories (at least some of them) were romantic and wonderful but it is just all too good to be true. Fitzgerald's last days are well known enough to make this film a saccharin fairy tale.
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