Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Forgotten Films: The Bad and the Beautiful

When I was a kid, I liked to go to the movies. It didn't matter what the movie was about. I thought a movie was a movie, and if there was any chance of going, I wanted to go. So I saw not only the westerns that were standard fare for kids in those days, but a lot of other things as well. I think I saw this one because of the title, which I found irresistible for some reason or other. Still do, for that matter.

Kirk Douglas starred. It seems to me now that in every movie I saw him in when I was a kid, he played a heel, someone who thought of himself as being a little bit smarter than everybody else and willing to use them to get what he wants. Here he's a Hollywood producer, down on his luck, whose story is told by three people in separate flashbacks that give the members of a great cast a chance to show their stuff as Douglas uses each of them and tosses them aside.

I thought it was brutal realism when I saw it long ago, but now I can see that it's really all Hollywood glamour and gloss. But I don't care. It's great stuff, anyway, the kind of big honking soap opera they really don't make anymore. Filmed in glorious black and white.


pattinase (abbott) said...

One of my favorites.

Anonymous said...

A definite classic. and one of the few times I liked Lana Turner.

Of course, with Dick Powell and Gloria Grahame you know I'd like it.

Favorite line: "James Lee, you have a very naughty mind... I'm happy to say."


Bud said...

A great big dittto to all the above! One of the good ones.

Todd Mason said...

As you might remember, Douglas's character is based on Val Lewton...Douglas gets to offer a pretty excellent summation of Lewton's approach to horror film at one point.