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Former film star Jack Andreus is released from a sanitarium where he has lived for the previous three years, suffering from alcoholism, a traumatic automobile accident, and a severe mental breakdown. He's been offered two weeks of dubbing work in Rome by Maurice Kruger, his old director, who himself is near the end of his fading career and under pressure from his parsimonious Italain producer to finish his picture on time and under budget. Jack is also pressed from a manipulative ex-wife, a rising but self-destructive young star, the director's shrewish wife, and a temperamental Italian diva who requires handling with kid gloves. When the Kruger suffers a heart attack, Andrus views the opportunity as a last chance at the redemption of his personal life and professional career. Written by
Jo Van Fleet was originally considered as Kruger's wife but the casting of Claire Trevor was hoped would rekindle the chemistry she showed opposite Robinson in the earlier "Key Largo," for which she won an Oscar. See more »
Trying to repeat their success in The Bad and the Beautiful with the same studio MGM, director Vincent Minnelli and actor Kirk Douglas give another go at the fabulous world of film making. This time though MGM sprung for color and a location shooting in Rome, the other town the title is referring to.
If Tyrone Power were alive he might have sued MGM because I believe Kirk Douglas's character of Jack Andrus is based on him and the relationship he had with producer Darryl Zanuck and second wife Linda Christian. In her days Linda was quite the party animal, as much as Cyd Charisse portrays here.
The Zanuck character is a director named Maurice Krueger played by Edward G. Robinson. Changing him from a producer to a director probably saved a whole lot of legal fees.
Very simply the plot is that washed up film actor Douglas who is in a high priced alcoholic asylum as the film opens receives an offer from his former director Robinson to come to Rome to help him with a film that threatens to run behind schedule. Douglas comes to Rome and becomes quite indispensible to Robinson, especially after Robinson suffers a heart attack and Douglas has to finish the film.
His hedonistic ex-wife Charisse is also in Rome among many other temptations. It all works out for Douglas, but not quite in the way he would have thought.
Best performance in the film in my opinion is that of Claire Trevor who is Robinson's shrewish wife, based very much on Darryl Zanuck's wife Virginia.
According to the Films of Kirk Douglas, both Minnelli and Douglas were disappointed in how the film turned out. It certainly doesn't measure up to The Bad and the Beautiful. Douglas blamed it on a botched editing job. That maybe so, but my own opinion is that the Code was still in place in 1962 and maybe had this been done ten years later, certain things could have been made far more explicit to the audiences.
Two Weeks in Another Town is still quite a curiosity, catch it if you can.
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