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.
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 was the first Hollywood commercial film allowed to be shown at a North American film festival (San Francisco) previously the studio had felt that showing one of their productions in such a venue would lower its box office potential or give the film the wrong image. See more »
This film has all the earmarks of too many cooks spoiling the stew. Based on Shielah Graham's autobiography, it seems like the powers that be couldn't leave well enough alone. They couldn't decide if this was to be Graham's story or Fitzgerald's story, and also how much they should soft-pedal whoever's story it turned out to be. So a film that could have been a story about two fascinating (Fitzgerald) and notorious (Ms. Graham)personalities becomes a dreary disjointed soap opera about that tells us little about either. Added to this there is absolutely no period feel other than for 1959. Clumsy scene follows clumsy scene and we have no idea where we are in the story or how much time is passing. However - and this saved the film for me - Kerr has never looked lovelier, and Peck is as always a very handsome man. They truly make a beautiful, mature couple, and I only wish they had better material to work with. There is one scene that does work - Scott goes after Shielah while in a drunken state, and to see these two normally refined stars knock each other around is very disturbing and gives some fleeting idea of what goes on in a relationship such as theirs. Other than that, the movie is a wasted opportunity and achieves nowhere near the classic stature of other Wald produced soaps of the 1950 (PEYTON PLACE, THE BEST OF EVERYTHING).
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