The Bad and the Beautiful (1952)

by guest writer

One of the finest glimpses at the film industry, The Bad and the Beautiful is a pioneer movie together with Sunset Boulevard (1950) and In A Lonely Place (1950), taking a deep look into the life of a film producer. Vincente Minnelli delicately presents on the big screen John Houseman’s experiences in the business. A close partner of David O. Selznick’s, Houseman was among the leading figures in the American theater and film industry, supervising the writing of the script of Citizen Kane (1941) as his first assignment.

Minnelli’s talent regarding the composition of the movie is felt by his subtle treatment of the main character, Jonathan Shields, played by Kirk Douglas. Both genial and tyrant, with ups and downs, Shields is presented to us by means of flashbacks from the perspective of the other characters. The fluid camera-work which uses long shots and close-ups with such an effective extent to the audience is another plus for The Bad and the Beautiful. Lana Turner plays the movie star Georgia, once a love of Mr Shields’. Her style in the film is reminiscent of Hollywood’s past glamour and elegance, not worth missing. Unfolding a drama, Minnelli constantly focuses on offering more to the eye in a superb black and white release.

photo: Lana Turner and Kirk Douglas in ‘The Bad and The Beautiful’: Everett Collection/ Rex Features, via The Telegraph

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