Tonight let’s watch the excellent 1952 film The Bad and The Beautiful. Directed by Vincente Minnelli, it stars Kirk Douglas as an utterly unscrupulous movie mogul and three of the people he screws over to get what he wants–an actress (Lana Turner), a director (Walter Pidgeon) and a writer (Dick Powell). Hollywood has always loved movies about Hollywood and that can be tiring, but along with All About Eve, this is one of the very best. All the performances are first rate except for the horrible attempt at a southern accent by Gloria Grahame.
I actually think Douglas might be underrated as an actor, as opposed to a masculine star. He has many famous roles, we all know this. But playing a suave if dickish movie mogul doesn’t seem like the kind of role that would be great for him. But he’s outstanding.
Bonus points if you can spot the early uncredited Barbara Billingsley role.
Here’s a 4 minute clip: