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
The Robert Carter character, who makes short, humorous films, represents Robert Benchley, whose 1935 film, How to Sleep, won Best Short Subject in 1935. Fitzgerald met Sheilah Graham at a party at Robert Benchley's apartment near Fitzgerald's in the Garden of Allah apartment building. Benchley was an American humorist who began working on films in 1925, and made a number of short films for MGM and Paramount during the 1930s similar to the one in character Robert Carter's scene in Beloved Infidel. During the 1920s, he was a member of the Algonquin Round Table in New York, and an editor and columnist for The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, and New York World. See more »
After Graham arrives in New York, a shot of her standing on the street shows 1940s and 50s cars reflected in a store window next to her, even though the scene is set in 1936. See more »
Beloved Infidel is the story of the real life romance between Hollywood gossip columnist Sheilah Graham (Deborah Kerr) and legendary writer F. Scott Fitzgerald (Gregory Peck). It is based on Graham's autobiography and the story is definitely told through her eyes. Plain and simple, the story is a soap opera and the quality of writing fits it. For a story about two professional writers, the script fails to properly develop the characters. Graham has one scene about 40 minutes in when she opens up a reveals the truth about herself, but it is not built on and scarcely mentioned again as the story transitions to a focus on Fitzgerald's drinking, which comes out a left field.
Kerr gives a good performance given how little she has to work with, and Peck tries his best to match her. However, Peck is a little miscast in this role as the emotionally troubled Fitzgerald. In between well done emotional outbursts, Peck reverts to his traditional stoicism, which works well in many of his other roles, but feels slightly out of place here. There is also a surprising no appearance by or hardly a mention of Fitzgerald's wife, Zelda. A fascinating person who at this point in her life was in a sanitarium. That is just one example of Graham's influence on the script, keeping the focus off of her lover's wife.
Ultimately, Beloved Infidel is probably not worth your time unless you are a big fan of F. Scott Fitzgerald or Deborah Kerr.
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