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The Bad and the Beautiful

Posted by martinteller on January 21, 2010

Vincente Minnelli’s Hollywood exposé doesn’t live up to his dazzling musicals, but it’s not bad.  It chronicles the rise and fall of an ambitious Selznick-like producer, as told via flashback by a director, actress and writer… all people he’s screwed over while clawing his way to the top, but each benefited from his attentions nonetheless.  The film isn’t nearly as scathing as it could be, but the script is pretty well-written and it’s pretty entertaining.  Largely because of Kirk Douglas’ charismatic performance, and the rest of the cast is good too.  These characters obviously have real-life analogues, and the prestige director “Von Ellstein” is even a dead ringer for von Sternberg.  Some excellent cinematography seals the deal, making it a fine picture, although one that falls short of greatness.  Rating: 7


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