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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
[He is ignored]
I said hello, Lew.
I heard what you said, Jack. I hated you when you were a star. You were arrogant. Irresponsible. The most difficult client I ever had. Now that you're nothing, I still hate you. Only now I can tell you.
[He puts his pipe in his mouth. Jack slaps at the pipe, breaking it and sending most of it flying across the room. Lew angrily tosses the remnants of the pipe at the floor and stalks away]
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Opening credits: We are grateful to the academy of motion pictures arts and sciences, copyright owners, for permission to use the academy award statuette. See more »
Starts with Kirk Douglas in a nut house, isn't that just perfect? He is allowed out to take over an American movie in trouble being shot on location in Rome - well that's beyond perfection - And a total guarantee of 100 or so minutes of decadent splendor. The director and his wife, played at the edge of the abyss, by Edward G Robinson and Claire Trevor deserve a film of their own. Douglas does his thing as if we had never seen it before and thank God for that because it works in the most satisfying way. Minnelli knew what he was doing and those modern Roman parties with the glittering Italian aristocrats is out of a Fellini film. Cyd Charisse, George Hamilton and Vito Scotti are also part of this tabloid tale told by a master. Highly recommended.
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