Former film star Jack Andrus 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 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 Italian 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
The film cost over four million dollars and had an 81-day shooting schedule. See more »
While shooting the film, after Jack kicks Barzelli to stop her temper tantrum, he directs her to "reach for the ring" and she immediately does so before the translator has given her the instruction in Italian. See more »
The following acknowledgment appears on screen in the opening credits: "We are grateful to the Academy of Motion Picture 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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