The Bad and the Beautiful (1952)
July 16, 2018 6:02 PM - Subscribe

An unscrupulous movie producer uses an actress, a director and a writer to achieve success.

The Guardian: In the early 1950s, as the big studio system breathed its last, Hollywood produced a succession of classic Tinseltown fables: Sunset Boulevard, In a Lonely Place, Singin' in the Rain, The Barefoot Contessa, A Star Is Born and, right in the middle, The Bad and the Beautiful, made in 1952 and back in the cinemas to accompany a Minnelli retrospective at the NFT. Though directed with Minnelli's characteristic delicacy, this is essentially a producer's film, made by John Houseman, one of the great figures of 20th-century American theatre and cinema. Houseman's first Hollywood job was supervising the script of Citizen Kane, his second was working for David O Selznick. In The Bad and the Beautiful, Houseman applies a similar structure, intelligence and suavity to a ruthless Hollywood genius much like Selznick as he brought to Charles Foster Kane.

Empire: Director Fred Amiel, acclaimed screenwriter James Lee Bartlow and actress Georgia Lorrison explain in flashbacks to Hollywood mogul Harry Pebbel why their so reluctant to work again with producer Jonathan Shields.

In the same year that Singin' in the Rain celebrated the cosy kitsch aspect of Hollywood, this brooding Citizen Kane clone sought to descend into its seedier side to expose Tinseltown in all its vainglory. The Academy was politely impressed, with all but Kirk Douglas converting their nomination into an Oscar. Yet, director Vincente Minnelli was overlooked and the film was omitted from the Best Picture shortlist, which suggests that The Bad and the Beautiful might have struck more raw nerves than it intended.


Original Variety Review

Wrap Shot: The Bad and the Beautiful
posted by MoonOrb (2 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I always thought this would be a great double-feature with Sweet Smell of Success.
posted by Thorzdad at 12:17 PM on July 19, 2018 [1 favorite]

In the early 80's, Gloria Grahame actually came to my VERY podunk midwestern town to perform in a VERY podunk community theatre production of some lame play. I have no idea how this even happened. I guess she had fallen to the level of finding just those kinds of "seize on your celebrity status to make a last hurrah" type of thing, and reclaim, at least at some level, the star status and power that had one been yours on a massive scale.

At the time, I had barely the slightest idea who she was (ashamed to say). I had never seen The Bad and the Beautiful. I knew of her from the movie "Oklahoma" but in that she had not really impressed me, so it didn't have much impact on my appreciation of her. She smoked like a chimney, was absolutely rail-thin, and would die within a year. I have always wondered what prompted her to take that gig- not for money, that's for damn sure.
posted by I_Love_Bananas at 4:47 AM on July 22, 2018 [1 favorite]

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