ICE-Vision: The Bad and the Beautiful (Vincente Minnelli, 1952)
Thursday, April 5 at 8 PM
Lamar Dodd School of Art Room S150
Film Studies major Will Stephenson continues ICE’s informal weekly series, selecting a variety of world cinema classics and subcultural curiosities.
“Vincente Minnelli will always be known and loved for his musicals (Meet Me in St. Louis, The Band Wagon), but the melodramas he made in the 50s are no less accomplished and often more personal. The Bad and the Beautiful (1952) is superficially a typical Hollywood “inside story” chronicling the ruthless rise of an aggressive producer (Kirk Douglas), loosely based on Val Lewton. But under Minnelli’s direction it becomes a fascinating study of a man destroyed by the 50s success ethic, left broke, alone, and slightly insane in the end. Douglas is surprisingly good as Minnelli’s manic everyman and is well supported by (believe it or not) Lana Turner and Dick Powell. Scripted by Charles Schnee; with Walter Pidgeon, Barry Sullivan, Gloria Grahame, Gilbert Roland, and Leo G. Carroll. 118 min.”
-Dave Kehr (Chicago Reader)
“In Vincente Minnelli’s impossibly opulent 1952 melodrama, The Bad and the Beautiful, Kirk Douglas plays Jonathan Shields, an unscrupluous movie producer who is magnetic and destructive, charismatic and duplicitous, utterly amoral yet strangely irresistable. He’s a star maker, backstabber, hero, villain, and antihero all wrapped up in one larger-than-life package. He’s Hollywood personified, the glamour and danger and mystery of madness of show business with cleft chin.”
-Nathan Rabin (AV Club)