The Bad and the Beautiful


1h 58m 1953
The Bad and the Beautiful

Brief Synopsis

An unscrupulous movie producer uses everyone around him in his climb to the top.

Photos & Videos

The Bad and the Beautiful - Behind-the-Scenes Stills
The Bad and the Beautiful - Gloria Grahame Publicity Stills
The Bad and the Beautiful - Elaine Stewart Publicity Stills

Film Details

Also Known As
Memorial to a Bad Man, Tribute to a Bad Man
Genre
Drama
Classic Hollywood
Release Date
Jan 30, 1953
Premiere Information
Los Angeles opening: 25 Dec 1952; New York opening: 15 Jan 1953
Production Company
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
Distribution Company
Loew's Inc.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the short stories "Memorial to a Bad Man" in Ladies Home Journal (Feb 1951) and "Of Good and Evil" in Cosmopolitan (Feb 1948) by George Bradshaw.

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 58m
Sound
Mono (Western Electric Sound System)
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
13ft (10,579 reels)

Synopsis

Actress Georgia Lorrison, writer James Lee Bartlow and director Fred Amiel each receive a trans-Atlantic phone call from producer Jonathan Shields. While Georgia and Fred refuse to speak to him, Jim snarls "Drop dead" before hanging up. Later, the three drive together to Shields Pictures to see their old friend, studio manager Harry Pebbel. When they scoff at Harry's suggestion that Jonathan, whom they have not seen in some time, wants them to make a picture for him, Harry ponders their responses and asks Fred, who has known Jonathan for eighteen years, how they met: At the funeral of Jonathan's hated studio mogul father, aspiring director Fred is a hired mourner. When Fred makes snide comments about the deceased, however, Jonathan refuses to pay him. Remorseful over his behavior, Fred later apologizes and learns from Jonathan that he wants to make movies but his father died broke, and he has no assets. Fred admires Jonathan for the drive he himself lacks, and Jonathan sees talent in Fred. The men become friends, and for the next two years work at every movie job they can find. One night, when Fred, Jonathan, Fred's girl friend Kay and their friend Syd Murphy crash a Hollywood party, Jonathan gets an idea when he sees Harry and several producers playing poker. Pawning everything they can, the friends finance Jonathan's entry in a high stakes poker game. After the game, a bemused Jonathan reveals that he won $6,000 but eventually lost that and $6,351 more to Harry. The next day, Jonathan goes to Harry to say he cannot cover his bet but proposes that Harry, who was started in the movie business by the elder Shields, hire him so that he can work off the loss. Harry says he needs good pictures, not money, and is happy to give the arrogant Jonathan a chance to fail. Jonathan then hires Fred as his director and for several years they make low-budget films together. One day, frustrated over their meager budgets, Jonathan comes up with an idea to turn a routine horror film into something unique. Although audiences are enthusiastic about the picture, Harry only offers a sequel as their next assignment. Fred later tells Jonathan it is time for them to make a "real" picture and shows him the script for The Far Away Mountain . Harry approves the project, but Jonathan takes credit for the idea, disappointing Fred. Wanting to have a big star for the lead, Fred suggests Victor "Gaucho" Ribera, and, with Syd's help, they meet Gaucho at a club. To their surprise, Gaucho agrees to do the film because he likes the script, and Harry allocates $1,000,000 for the picture. Although Jonathan will produce, he tells Fred that studio bosses have insisted on hiring veteran Von Ellstein to direct. Hurt and angry over Jonathan's betrayal, Fred severs their friendship. When he ends his story, Fred looks contemptuously at the Oscar Jonathon won for The Far Away Mountain , but Harry reminds him that Jonathan forced Fred to become independent and thus win two of his own Oscars. He now is one of Hollywood's most sought-after directors and has a happy family with Kay. Harry then asks Georgia about Jonathan: The daughter of alcoholic screen legend George Lorrison, a teenaged Georgia is left penniless and shattered when he dies. She tries to get small acting jobs, but as her career founders, she turns to alcohol and men. One day, Georgia gets a small part in one of Jonathan's pictures. Intrigued by her, Jonathan goes to her one-room apartment that night, then lambastes her for being a drunk and building a shrine to her father rather than emulating his class and talent. She then hits him and sobs hysterically until he gently puts her to bed. The next day, she shows up for the screentest, which impresses no one but Jonathan, who sees inherent star quality in her. Georgia agrees to give up alcohol and men and works hard for Jonathan, with whom she falls in love. The night before her film is to begin, Georgia disappears and Jonathan finds her drunk in her old room. Jonathan takes her to his mansion and, realizing what she needs, passionately kisses her. After weeks of shooting, the film is completed and Georgia is happy, sure that Jonathan loves her. The film is a great success but on the night of the premiere, Jonathan does not attend the party. Thinking he does not want to take the spotlight away from her, Georgia goes to his house to celebrate but finds that he is with a starlet named Lila. The stunned Georgia drives away after Jonathan lashes out at her, screaming that he feels empty at the end of a picture. At the conclusion of Georgia's story, she says she will never work with him again, though Harry reminds her that Jonathan turned her from a drunk and a tramp into a star, one of the most popular in the world. Now Jim recalls his relationship with Jonathan: As a well-respected professor at a Virginia college, Jim gains moderate success with his first novel, The Proud Land , a racy story of old Virginia. When Jonathan, who has bought the screen rights, calls Jim to come to Hollywood for two weeks to discuss the script, Jim turns him down, but his flighty, ambitious wife Rosemary convinces him to accept. Rosemary quickly becomes dazzled by life in Hollywood. Jim is less than enthusiastic but at her urging agrees to stay and work on the script. Jonathan soon realizes that Rosemary is too much of a distraction to Jim and suggests to Gaucho that he romance Rosemary while he and Jim go to Lake Arrowhead for two weeks of uninterrupted work. Despite Jim's initial hatred of Jonathan, they work well together and become friends by the end of the two weeks. As the men drive back from Arrowhead, Jim confesses that he missed Rosemary's distractions, and when they stop for gas, he is stunned by a newspaper headline stating that Gaucho and Rosemary are believed dead in a mountain plane crash. Later, Jonathan and Syd keep the press, who know that the plane was headed for Acapulco, from revealing the truth in the newspapers. Jonathan comforts Jim, who blames himself because he left Rosemary alone, and feigns ignorance of Gaucho and Rosemary's affair. Four days after production begins on The Proud Land , Jonathan's constant second guessing of Von Ellstein causes him to quit, and Jonathan takes over the picture's direction. Although he works hard and is very patient with the crew, when the picture is finished Jonathan realizes that it is terrible and it is his fault. Jim cheers Jonathan up by suggesting that they go to Lake Tahoe, but while Jonathan is getting ready he lets it slip that he knew about Gaucho and Rosemary before the plane crash. Jonathan tells the stunned Jim that he is better off without Rosemary, who was a fool, after which Jim punches him and leaves. When Jim finishes talking, Harry points out that he won a Pulitzer Prize for his book based on Rosemary and is one of the most successful screenwriters in Hollywood. Harry then says that he is proud to have worked with Jonathan, even if Jonathan considered him little more than a penny-pinching bookkeeper. When a call comes through from Jonathan, Georgia, Fred and Jim leave Harry's office, but have a change of heart. Georgia picks up an extension phone in the outer office, and as the three huddle over the receiver, they hear Jonathan describe his idea for the new picture and are intrigued.

Cast

Elaine Stewart

Lila

Sammy White

Gus

Leo G. Carroll

Henry Whitfield

Ivan Triesault

Von Ellstein

Paul Stewart

Syd [Murphy]

Gilbert Roland

[Victor] "Gaucho" [Ribera]

Gloria Grahame

Rosemary [Bartlow]

Barry Sullivan

Fred [Amiel]

Walter Pidgeon

Harry Pebbel

Dick Powell

James Lee [Bartlow]

Kirk Douglas

Jonathan [Shields]

Lana Turner

Georgia [Lorrison]

Vanessa Brown

Kay Amiel

Jonathan Cott

Assistant director

Joe Keane

Assistant director

Ted Jordan

Assistant director

William "bill" Phillips

Assistant director

A. Cameron Grant

Assistant director

Kathleen Freeman

Miss March

Louis Calhern

Voice of George Lorrison

Marietta Canty

Ida

Lucille Knoch

Blonde

Steve Forrest

Leading man in Georgia's screen test

Paul Marion

Leading man

Richard Norris

Leading man

Douglas Yorke

Leading man

Phyllis Graffeo

Leading lady

Perry Sheehan

Secretary

Robert Burton

McDill

Francis X. Bushman

Eulogist at elder Shields' funeral

Ned Glass

Wardrobe man

Sandy Descher

Little girl in "The Cat Man"

George Lewis

Lionel Donovan

Dee Turnell

Linda Ronley

George Sherwood

Cameraman

Steve Dunhill

Cameraman

Ray Walker

Cameraman

Bob Carson

Casting director

Barbara Billingsley

Evelyn, costumer

Alex Davidoff

Priest

Madge Blake

Mrs. Rosser

Lillian Culver

Real estate woman

William Tannen

Reporter

Dabbs Greer

Reporter

Frank Scannell

Reporter

Sara Spencer

Reporter

Stanley Andrews

Sheriff

John Bishop

Ferraday

William E. Green

Hugo Shields in portrait

Phil Dunham

Pawnbroker

Marshall Bradford

Man outside club

Pat O'malley

Man outside club

Harte Wayne

Judge

Paul Power

Theater manager

Chris Olsen

Amiel's boy

Eric Alden

Stuntman

Karen Verne

Rosa

Ben Astar

Joe, man at party

Dorothy Patrick

Arlene

Jay Adler

Mr. Z

Frank Gerstle

Agent

Stuart Holmes

Poker player

Reginald Simpson

Poker player

Larry Williams

Poker player

Roger Moore

Cigar clerk

Eric Wilton

Butler

Patrick J. Molyneaux

Studio electrician

Norma Salina

Bobby soxer

Janet Comeford

Bobby soxer

Kathy Qualen

Bobby soxer

Mabel Smaney

Fat woman

James Farrar

Publicity man

Mildred Bruce

Millie, the Bartlow maid

Bob Davis

Assistant

Hadda Brooks

Singer

Bess Flowers

Woman at party

Peggy King

Singer

Paul Maxey

Jack Halliday

Harold Miller

Wilson Wood

Barbara Thatcher

Sharon Saunders

Erin Selwyn

Pat Walter

Photo Collections

The Bad and the Beautiful - Behind-the-Scenes Stills
Here are some photos taken behind-the-scenes during production of MGM's The Bad and the Beautiful (1952), directed by Vincente Minnelli, and starring Kirk Douglas and Lana Turner.
The Bad and the Beautiful - Gloria Grahame Publicity Stills
Here are several photos of Gloria Grahame taken to help publicize MGM's The Bad and the Beautiful (1953). Publicity stills were specially-posed photos, usually taken off the set, for purposes of publicity or reference for promotional artwork.
The Bad and the Beautiful - Elaine Stewart Publicity Stills
Here are a few photos of Elaine Stewart taken to help publicize MGM's The Bad and the Beautiful (1953). Publicity stills were specially-posed photos, usually taken off the set, for purposes of publicity or reference for promotional artwork.
The Bad and the Beautiful - Makeup Test Stills
Here are a few makeup test stills taken of Kirk Douglas during production of MGM's The Bad and the Beautiful (1953). Such test stills were taken prior to principal photography for approvals.
The Bad and the Beautiful - Complete Shooting Script
Here is a copy of the complete shooting script (141 pages) for MGM's The Bad and the Beautiful (1952), written by Charles Schnee and produced by John Houseman. This a version dated 4-17-52. Note that the original title was to be Tribute To a Bad Man.

Videos

Movie Clip

Bad And The Beautiful, The (1953) - Doom Of The Cat Men Barry Sullivan narrating as young director Fred, about his rise along with producer Jonathan Shields (Kirk Douglas) through the Hollywood ranks, echoes of the career of producer Val Lewton included, in Vincente Minnelli's The Bad And The Beautiful, 1953.
Bad And The Beautiful, The (1953) - That's Star Quality Stories within stories, Vincente Minnelli's flashback covering the rise of Hollywood legacy actress Georgia (Lana Turner), shepherded by producer Jonathan Shields (Kirk Douglas), Leo G. Carroll a droll director, Sammy White her wobbly agent, in The Bad And The Beautiful, 1953.
Bad And The Beautiful, The (1953) - Peppered With Sex Mogul Harry Pebel (Walter Pidgeon) handling the narrative transition, beginning the third extended flashback, the back-story of writer Jim (Dick Powell) and wife Rosemary (Gloria Grahame), Madge Blake their scandalized guest, in Vincente Minnelli's The Bad And The Beautiful, 1953.
Bad And The Beautiful, The (1953) - You Don't Get Paid Mogul Pebbel (Walter Pidgeon) introduces the narrative device and players, Barry Sullivan as Fred, Lana Turner as Georgia, Dick Powell as Jim and Kirk Douglas as absent Jonathan, silent movie superstar Francis X. Bushman the eulogist, in Vincente Minnelli's The Bad And The Beautiful, 1953.
Bad And The Beautiful, The (1953) - I Started To Work From the flashback by screenwriter James Lee Bartlow (Dick Powell), recalling his first visit to Hollywood with wife Rosemary (Gloria Grahame in her Academy Award role), their host the producer Jonathan Shields (Kirk Douglas), in Vincente Minnelli's The Bad And The Beautiful, 1953.

Hosted Intro

Promo

Film Details

Also Known As
Memorial to a Bad Man, Tribute to a Bad Man
Genre
Drama
Classic Hollywood
Release Date
Jan 30, 1953
Premiere Information
Los Angeles opening: 25 Dec 1952; New York opening: 15 Jan 1953
Production Company
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
Distribution Company
Loew's Inc.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the short stories "Memorial to a Bad Man" in Ladies Home Journal (Feb 1951) and "Of Good and Evil" in Cosmopolitan (Feb 1948) by George Bradshaw.

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 58m
Sound
Mono (Western Electric Sound System)
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
13ft (10,579 reels)

Award Wins

Best Art Direction

1953

Best Cinematography

1953

Best Costume Design

1953

Best Screenplay

1953

Best Supporting Actress

1953
Gloria Grahame

Award Nominations

Best Actor

1953
Kirk Douglas

Articles

The Essentials - The Bad and the Beautiful


SYNOPSIS

Jonathan Shields (Kirk Douglas), an unscrupulous producer, takes his colleagues to new heights professionally while using and abusing them on a personal level. His studio on the brink of bankruptcy, Shields tries to lure back the star, director and writer he betrayed most brutally. Will they desert him or give him one last shot at glory -- and another chance to break their hearts? With plot elements lifted from Hollywood gossip and real life incidents, The Bad and the Beautiful has kept audiences guessing for decades about the inspirations for its twisted tale of the dream capital's seamier side.

Director: Vincente Minnelli
Producer: John Houseman
Screenplay: Charles Schnee
Based on a story by George Bradshaw
Cinematography: Robert Surtees
Editing: Conrad A. Nervig
Art Direction: Cedric Gibbons, Edward Carfagno
Music: David Raksin
Cast: Lana Turner (Georgia Lorrison), Kirk Douglas (Jonathan Shields), Walter Pidgeon (Harry Pebbel), Dick Powell (James Lee Bartlow), Barry Sullivan (Fred Amiell), Gloria Grahame (Rosemary Bartlow), Gilbert Roland (Victor "Gaucho" Ribera), Leo G. Carroll (Henry Whitfield), Vanessa Brown (Kay Amiell), Paul Stewart (Syd Murphy), Elaine Stewart (Lila), Ivan Triesault (Von Ellstein), Kathleen Freeman (Miss March), Steve Forrest (Leading Man), Francis X. Bushman (Eulogist), Madge Blake (Mrs. Rosser), Kaaren Verne (Rosa), Bess Flowers (Joe's Friend at Party), Louis Calhern (Voice on the Recording), Barbara Billingsley (Evelyn Lucien), Franklyn Farnum (Assistant on Set), Ned Glass (Wardrobe Man), Dabbs Greer (Studio Lighting Technician), May McAvoy (Pebbel's Secretary).
BW-118m. Closed captioning. Descriptive Video.

Why THE BAD AND THE BEAUTIFUL is Essential

Made just two years after Sunset Boulevard (1950), The Bad and the Beautiful helped spearhead a '50s re-examination of Hollywood on screen. Where earlier films had dealt with filmmaking from a comic or romantic perspective, these two movies pointed the way toward more critical and vitriolic views of the movie capital.

After years of musicals and comedies, The Bad and the Beautiful presented director Vincente Minnelli the first chance to explore one of his central themes, the frustration of dreams, in a serious context.

Although Minnelli had earlier worked on the failed melodrama Undercurrent (1946), The Bad and the Beautiful brought him his first success in a genre that would often eclipse his more famous musicals in terms of critical praise and analysis. With later melodramas such as Some Came Running (1958) and Home from the Hill (1960), he would earn a place as one of the screen's leading auteurs.

The film was also the first in which Minnelli and producer John Houseman explored the Freudian concept that art could be used as a release for repressed psychic energy. They would follow it with The Cobweb (1955), Lust for Life (1956) and Two Weeks in Another Town (1962).

The film's five Oscars® remain a record for a movie not nominated for Best Picture.

The Bad and the Beautiful marked the start of a three-film partnership between Minnelli and actor Kirk Douglas. They would also join forces for Lust for Life, arguably Douglas' best performance, and Two Weeks in Another Town.

by Frank Miller
The Essentials - The Bad And The Beautiful

The Essentials - The Bad and the Beautiful

SYNOPSIS Jonathan Shields (Kirk Douglas), an unscrupulous producer, takes his colleagues to new heights professionally while using and abusing them on a personal level. His studio on the brink of bankruptcy, Shields tries to lure back the star, director and writer he betrayed most brutally. Will they desert him or give him one last shot at glory -- and another chance to break their hearts? With plot elements lifted from Hollywood gossip and real life incidents, The Bad and the Beautiful has kept audiences guessing for decades about the inspirations for its twisted tale of the dream capital's seamier side. Director: Vincente Minnelli Producer: John Houseman Screenplay: Charles Schnee Based on a story by George Bradshaw Cinematography: Robert Surtees Editing: Conrad A. Nervig Art Direction: Cedric Gibbons, Edward Carfagno Music: David Raksin Cast: Lana Turner (Georgia Lorrison), Kirk Douglas (Jonathan Shields), Walter Pidgeon (Harry Pebbel), Dick Powell (James Lee Bartlow), Barry Sullivan (Fred Amiell), Gloria Grahame (Rosemary Bartlow), Gilbert Roland (Victor "Gaucho" Ribera), Leo G. Carroll (Henry Whitfield), Vanessa Brown (Kay Amiell), Paul Stewart (Syd Murphy), Elaine Stewart (Lila), Ivan Triesault (Von Ellstein), Kathleen Freeman (Miss March), Steve Forrest (Leading Man), Francis X. Bushman (Eulogist), Madge Blake (Mrs. Rosser), Kaaren Verne (Rosa), Bess Flowers (Joe's Friend at Party), Louis Calhern (Voice on the Recording), Barbara Billingsley (Evelyn Lucien), Franklyn Farnum (Assistant on Set), Ned Glass (Wardrobe Man), Dabbs Greer (Studio Lighting Technician), May McAvoy (Pebbel's Secretary). BW-118m. Closed captioning. Descriptive Video. Why THE BAD AND THE BEAUTIFUL is Essential Made just two years after Sunset Boulevard (1950), The Bad and the Beautiful helped spearhead a '50s re-examination of Hollywood on screen. Where earlier films had dealt with filmmaking from a comic or romantic perspective, these two movies pointed the way toward more critical and vitriolic views of the movie capital. After years of musicals and comedies, The Bad and the Beautiful presented director Vincente Minnelli the first chance to explore one of his central themes, the frustration of dreams, in a serious context. Although Minnelli had earlier worked on the failed melodrama Undercurrent (1946), The Bad and the Beautiful brought him his first success in a genre that would often eclipse his more famous musicals in terms of critical praise and analysis. With later melodramas such as Some Came Running (1958) and Home from the Hill (1960), he would earn a place as one of the screen's leading auteurs. The film was also the first in which Minnelli and producer John Houseman explored the Freudian concept that art could be used as a release for repressed psychic energy. They would follow it with The Cobweb (1955), Lust for Life (1956) and Two Weeks in Another Town (1962). The film's five Oscars® remain a record for a movie not nominated for Best Picture. The Bad and the Beautiful marked the start of a three-film partnership between Minnelli and actor Kirk Douglas. They would also join forces for Lust for Life, arguably Douglas' best performance, and Two Weeks in Another Town. by Frank Miller

Pop Culture 101 - The Bad and the Beautiful


The success of The Bad and the Beautiful pointed the way to other trenchant views of Hollywood life, including the 1954 re-make of A Star Is Born, The Barefoot Contessa (1954) and The Big Knife (1955).

Contemporary critics have added other names and incidents to the speculation about inspirations for The Bad and the Beautiful. Producer David O. Selznick's arguments with George Cukor during the filming of Gone with the Wind (1939) have been compared to Jonathan Shields' (Kirk Douglas) arguments with his director during the making of The Proud Land. Others have suggested the German director, Von Ellstein, is modeled on Edward Von Stroheim and writer James Lee Bartlow is inspired by William Faulkner.

In 1962, producer John Houseman, director Vincente Minnelli and Douglas reunited in an attempt to do for international filmmaking what The Bad and the Beautiful had done for Hollywood. Two Weeks in Another Town, although poorly reviewed at the time, has become a favorite of Minnelli enthusiasts. Scenes from The Bad and the Beautiful turn up in the film when the characters view a movie in a screening room.

The film's title was spoofed in the 1974 DePatie-Freleng cartoon The Badge and the Beautiful.

by Frank Miller

Pop Culture 101 - The Bad and the Beautiful

The success of The Bad and the Beautiful pointed the way to other trenchant views of Hollywood life, including the 1954 re-make of A Star Is Born, The Barefoot Contessa (1954) and The Big Knife (1955). Contemporary critics have added other names and incidents to the speculation about inspirations for The Bad and the Beautiful. Producer David O. Selznick's arguments with George Cukor during the filming of Gone with the Wind (1939) have been compared to Jonathan Shields' (Kirk Douglas) arguments with his director during the making of The Proud Land. Others have suggested the German director, Von Ellstein, is modeled on Edward Von Stroheim and writer James Lee Bartlow is inspired by William Faulkner. In 1962, producer John Houseman, director Vincente Minnelli and Douglas reunited in an attempt to do for international filmmaking what The Bad and the Beautiful had done for Hollywood. Two Weeks in Another Town, although poorly reviewed at the time, has become a favorite of Minnelli enthusiasts. Scenes from The Bad and the Beautiful turn up in the film when the characters view a movie in a screening room. The film's title was spoofed in the 1974 DePatie-Freleng cartoon The Badge and the Beautiful. by Frank Miller

Trivia - The Bad and the Beautiful - Triva & Fun Facts About THE BAD AND THE BEAUTIFUL


Like her character in The Bad and the Beautiful, Lana Turner began her Hollywood career as an extra.

Although producer John Houseman minimized comparisons to Citizen Kane (1941) in publicity for The Bad and the Beautiful, there are three clear references to the earlier film. Movie mogul Harry Pebbel (Walter Pidgeon) refers to producer Jonathan Shields (Kirk Douglas) as "genius boy," a reference to Welles' "boy wonder" nickname. Actor Paul Stewart, who played the butler in Kane, has a small role. During the filming of Georgia Lorrison's (Lana Turner) screen test, the camera pulls back from the scene she is shooting to show the rest of the sound stage, gradually moving upwards to show a lighting technician clearly admiring her performance. This is a clear reference to the presentation of the opera Salambo in Citizen Kane, in which a similar camera move ends with lighting technicians assessing the performance of Kane's wife below (they give her a big thumbs down).

Because of the lengthy time period covered by the film, Kirk Douglas had an unusually large wardrobe for a male star -- 73 pieces.

The Doom of the Cat Men, the horror film that secures Jonathan Shields' reputation, was modeled on Cat People (1942), the moody horror film that established former David O. Selznick associate Val Lewton as a major producer at RKO. Like Lewton, Shields and his director (Barry Sullivan) used suggestion to turn a lurid concept into an atmospheric hit.

Although Georgia Lorrison's actor-father, George Lorrison, never appears in the film, actor Louis Calhern provided the voice for Lorrison's recordings of Shakespeare. He also posed for photographs of the character.

Turner's own makeup man, Del Armstrong; hairdresser, Helen Young; and stand-in, Allyce May play similar roles in the film.

During the shooting of The Bad and the Beautiful, Turner's boyfriend Fernando Lamas refused to go on location for the MGM film Sombrero (1953) because the jealous actor didn't want to leave the actress alone. The studio put him on suspension and replaced him with Ricardo Montalban.

Gloria Grahame learned the Southern accent required by her role by studying with African-American disc jockey Joe Adams. To keep the dialect consistent, she used it around the clock during filming.

Although The Bad and the Beautiful was one of the most famous films made by both Turner and Grahame, they never appear on screen together. Some Hollywood insiders suggest they were deliberately kept apart for fear of making Turner jealous.

Former silent screen star Francis X. Bushman made his first MGM appearance since Thoroughbreds Don't Cry (1937) as the eulogist in The Bad and the Beautiful. The reason for the long break, he told Douglas, was because of a visit Louis B. Mayer, the head of MGM, paid him backstage after a play. When asked to wait until Bushman had removed his makeup, Mayer stalked off, swearing the actor would never work at MGM again.

The day before filming started director Vincente Minnelli finalized his divorce from Judy Garland. He would later say the picture got him through that emotional time. On the last day of shooting, June 4, 1952, Garland married Sid Luft.

The film's German title was Die Stadt der Illusionen ("The City of the Illusions"), while in France it was called Les Ensorceles ("The Bewitchers").

The film's original title, Tribute to a Bad Man, would resurface in 1956 as the title of an MGM Western starring James Cagney.

The day after the Academy Awards® ceremony, MGM production head Dore Schary sent producer John Houseman a telegram: "My personal congratulations to you for a wonderful job. You many not have got an Oscar[®] of your own but you certainly own a little hunk of all the ones that were handed out" (Schary quoted in Houseman, Front and Center).

Memorable Quotes from THE BAD AND THE BEAUTIFUL

"He wasn't a heel. He was the heel....But he made great pictures! So will I." -- Kirk Douglas, as Jonathan Shields, eulogizing his father.

"I'm gonna ram the name Shields down their throats." -- Douglas, as Jonathan Shields, on reclaiming the family name.

"If you dream, dream big." -- Douglas, as Shields.

"When I work on a picture, it's like romancing a girl. You see her, you want her, you go after her. The big moment. Then, the let-down, every time, every picture, the after-picture blues." -- Douglas.

"I don't want to win awards. I want to make pictures that end with a kiss and black ink on the books." -- Walter Pidgeon, as Harry Pebbel, explaining his production philosophy.

"Oh, who's kidding who at four in the morning?" -- Lana Turner, as Georgia Lorrison, accusing Douglas of ulterior motives.

"You're a Lorrison, all right. Because he was a drunk, you're a drunk. Because he loved women, you're a tramp. But you forgot one thing. He did it with style!" -- Douglas, trying to talk some sense into Turner, as Georgia Lorrison.

"The test was atrocious, but bad as it was, it proved one thing. When you're on the screen, no matter who you're with, what you're doing, the audience is looking at you. That's star quality." -- Douglas, assessing Turner, as Georgia.

"Georgia, love is for the very young."
"For the very young. I like that. Would you marry me, Jonathan?"
"Not even a little bit." -- Douglas, turning down a proposal from Turner.

"Harry, shut your penny-pinching mouth and build him his platform!" -- Douglas, butting heads with Pidgeon, as Harry Pebbel.

"There are no great men, buster! There's only men!" -- Elaine Stewart, as Lila, explaining a starlet's view of life.

"I forgot to tell you, Georgia. I saw the picture -- thought you were swell." -- Stewart, as Lila, after Turner catches her spending the night with Douglas.

"Maybe I like to be cheap once in a while. Maybe everybody does, or don't you remember? Get that look off your face! Who gave you the right to dig into me and turn me inside out and decide what I'm like. How do you know how I feel about you, how deep it goes? Maybe I don't want anybody to own me. You or anybody. Get out! Get out! Get out!" -- Douglas, rejecting Turner.

"I dare say I am getting too big for my britches."
"They're pretty britches."
"James Lee, you have a very dirty mind, I'm happy to say." -- Gloria Grahame, as Rosemary Bartlow, making up after a fight with husband Dick Powell, as James Lee Bartlow.

"And don't you worry, Mr. Shields, I won't be a nuisance." -- Grahame, as Rosemary Bartlow, proving herself no prophet.

"Jonathan is more than a man. He's an experience, and he's habit-forming. If they could ever bottle him, he'd out-sell Ginger Ale." -- Turner, warning Powell, as James Lee Bartlow, about Douglas.

"You know, when they list the ten best pictures ever made, there are always two or three of his on the list. And I was with him when he made them." -- Pidgeon, as Pebbel, assessing Shield's career.

"Don't worry. Some of the best movies are made by people working together who hate each other's guts." -- Douglas.

Compiled by Frank Miller

Trivia - The Bad and the Beautiful - Triva & Fun Facts About THE BAD AND THE BEAUTIFUL

Like her character in The Bad and the Beautiful, Lana Turner began her Hollywood career as an extra. Although producer John Houseman minimized comparisons to Citizen Kane (1941) in publicity for The Bad and the Beautiful, there are three clear references to the earlier film. Movie mogul Harry Pebbel (Walter Pidgeon) refers to producer Jonathan Shields (Kirk Douglas) as "genius boy," a reference to Welles' "boy wonder" nickname. Actor Paul Stewart, who played the butler in Kane, has a small role. During the filming of Georgia Lorrison's (Lana Turner) screen test, the camera pulls back from the scene she is shooting to show the rest of the sound stage, gradually moving upwards to show a lighting technician clearly admiring her performance. This is a clear reference to the presentation of the opera Salambo in Citizen Kane, in which a similar camera move ends with lighting technicians assessing the performance of Kane's wife below (they give her a big thumbs down). Because of the lengthy time period covered by the film, Kirk Douglas had an unusually large wardrobe for a male star -- 73 pieces. The Doom of the Cat Men, the horror film that secures Jonathan Shields' reputation, was modeled on Cat People (1942), the moody horror film that established former David O. Selznick associate Val Lewton as a major producer at RKO. Like Lewton, Shields and his director (Barry Sullivan) used suggestion to turn a lurid concept into an atmospheric hit. Although Georgia Lorrison's actor-father, George Lorrison, never appears in the film, actor Louis Calhern provided the voice for Lorrison's recordings of Shakespeare. He also posed for photographs of the character. Turner's own makeup man, Del Armstrong; hairdresser, Helen Young; and stand-in, Allyce May play similar roles in the film. During the shooting of The Bad and the Beautiful, Turner's boyfriend Fernando Lamas refused to go on location for the MGM film Sombrero (1953) because the jealous actor didn't want to leave the actress alone. The studio put him on suspension and replaced him with Ricardo Montalban. Gloria Grahame learned the Southern accent required by her role by studying with African-American disc jockey Joe Adams. To keep the dialect consistent, she used it around the clock during filming. Although The Bad and the Beautiful was one of the most famous films made by both Turner and Grahame, they never appear on screen together. Some Hollywood insiders suggest they were deliberately kept apart for fear of making Turner jealous. Former silent screen star Francis X. Bushman made his first MGM appearance since Thoroughbreds Don't Cry (1937) as the eulogist in The Bad and the Beautiful. The reason for the long break, he told Douglas, was because of a visit Louis B. Mayer, the head of MGM, paid him backstage after a play. When asked to wait until Bushman had removed his makeup, Mayer stalked off, swearing the actor would never work at MGM again. The day before filming started director Vincente Minnelli finalized his divorce from Judy Garland. He would later say the picture got him through that emotional time. On the last day of shooting, June 4, 1952, Garland married Sid Luft. The film's German title was Die Stadt der Illusionen ("The City of the Illusions"), while in France it was called Les Ensorceles ("The Bewitchers"). The film's original title, Tribute to a Bad Man, would resurface in 1956 as the title of an MGM Western starring James Cagney. The day after the Academy Awards® ceremony, MGM production head Dore Schary sent producer John Houseman a telegram: "My personal congratulations to you for a wonderful job. You many not have got an Oscar[®] of your own but you certainly own a little hunk of all the ones that were handed out" (Schary quoted in Houseman, Front and Center). Memorable Quotes from THE BAD AND THE BEAUTIFUL "He wasn't a heel. He was the heel....But he made great pictures! So will I." -- Kirk Douglas, as Jonathan Shields, eulogizing his father. "I'm gonna ram the name Shields down their throats." -- Douglas, as Jonathan Shields, on reclaiming the family name. "If you dream, dream big." -- Douglas, as Shields. "When I work on a picture, it's like romancing a girl. You see her, you want her, you go after her. The big moment. Then, the let-down, every time, every picture, the after-picture blues." -- Douglas. "I don't want to win awards. I want to make pictures that end with a kiss and black ink on the books." -- Walter Pidgeon, as Harry Pebbel, explaining his production philosophy. "Oh, who's kidding who at four in the morning?" -- Lana Turner, as Georgia Lorrison, accusing Douglas of ulterior motives. "You're a Lorrison, all right. Because he was a drunk, you're a drunk. Because he loved women, you're a tramp. But you forgot one thing. He did it with style!" -- Douglas, trying to talk some sense into Turner, as Georgia Lorrison. "The test was atrocious, but bad as it was, it proved one thing. When you're on the screen, no matter who you're with, what you're doing, the audience is looking at you. That's star quality." -- Douglas, assessing Turner, as Georgia. "Georgia, love is for the very young." "For the very young. I like that. Would you marry me, Jonathan?" "Not even a little bit." -- Douglas, turning down a proposal from Turner. "Harry, shut your penny-pinching mouth and build him his platform!" -- Douglas, butting heads with Pidgeon, as Harry Pebbel. "There are no great men, buster! There's only men!" -- Elaine Stewart, as Lila, explaining a starlet's view of life. "I forgot to tell you, Georgia. I saw the picture -- thought you were swell." -- Stewart, as Lila, after Turner catches her spending the night with Douglas. "Maybe I like to be cheap once in a while. Maybe everybody does, or don't you remember? Get that look off your face! Who gave you the right to dig into me and turn me inside out and decide what I'm like. How do you know how I feel about you, how deep it goes? Maybe I don't want anybody to own me. You or anybody. Get out! Get out! Get out!" -- Douglas, rejecting Turner. "I dare say I am getting too big for my britches." "They're pretty britches." "James Lee, you have a very dirty mind, I'm happy to say." -- Gloria Grahame, as Rosemary Bartlow, making up after a fight with husband Dick Powell, as James Lee Bartlow. "And don't you worry, Mr. Shields, I won't be a nuisance." -- Grahame, as Rosemary Bartlow, proving herself no prophet. "Jonathan is more than a man. He's an experience, and he's habit-forming. If they could ever bottle him, he'd out-sell Ginger Ale." -- Turner, warning Powell, as James Lee Bartlow, about Douglas. "You know, when they list the ten best pictures ever made, there are always two or three of his on the list. And I was with him when he made them." -- Pidgeon, as Pebbel, assessing Shield's career. "Don't worry. Some of the best movies are made by people working together who hate each other's guts." -- Douglas. Compiled by Frank Miller

The Big Idea - The Bad and the Beautiful


The George Bradshaw short story on which The Bad and the Beautiful was based -- "Memorial to a Bad Man" (Ladies Home Journal, February 1951) -- was actually about the theatre, with the producer modeled on Broadway legend Jed Harris. The film's producer, John Houseman, initially rejected the idea because he was tired of theatre stories (All About Eve (1950) was still fresh in people's minds and seemed the definitive backstage drama). Then he realized the story would seem more accessible and contemporary if he changed the setting to Hollywood. With the industry in decline, he thought the time was ripe for a story about a producer from the golden days facing a new era. He also found a parallel between the story's multiple flashbacks and the most famous film on which he had worked, Citizen Kane (1941).

Bradshaw's story already had the film's structure, in which past associates of an unscrupulous producer think back on the ways he brought them to greatness while betraying them.

When he pitched the idea to MGM production head Dore Schary, Houseman suggested having the screenplay done by Charles Schnee, who had worked with them on They Live by Night (1948) and had been involved with Houseman and Orson Welles' Mercury Theatre in New York.

MGM paid $11,500 for the rights to "Memorial to a Bad Man" and a similar Bradshaw story, "Of Good and Evil" (Cosmopolitan, February 1948).

During story conferences, Schnee and Houseman decided to cut the flashbacks to three and spread out the story to mirror changes in the film industry over the past decades. They also departed from the story, which had the flashbacks take place during a reading of the producer's will, in which he asks past associates to collaborate on one last production in his memory. Instead, they had an actress, director and writer reunited by a request that they return to work for the producer who had made their careers.

As the story developed, Houseman was very aware of parallels between the plot and some real Hollywood lives. In particular, the producer fighting to build a career in the shadow of his father was similar to independent producer David O. Selznick. The alcoholic leading lady living in the shadow of her late father, himself an acting legend, was clearly inspired by Diana Barrymore and her relationship to her father John. And the writer married to a fiery Southern belle could easily be linked to F. Scott Fitzgerald and his tempestuous wife, Zelda.

After hits with the comedy Father of the Bride (1950) and the musical An American in Paris (1951), Vincente Minnelli was Houseman's first choice to direct.

The Bad and the Beautiful was originally planned as a small picture with a budget of just over $1 million. When the script and production team proved a draw to bigger names, however, the budget quickly rose and it became a top-of-the-line production.

Although MGM executives suggested contract star Robert Taylor to play producer Jonathan Shields, Houseman had already sent a script to Kirk Douglas, the only actor he thought could capture the character's temperament and charm. According to Douglas, Clark Gable had turned down the role of Shields.

Minnelli and Houseman first offered the role of the film director whose career is launched by Jonathan Shields to Dick Powell. After reading the script, however, Powell asked to play writer James Lee Bartlow, claiming he identified with that role more. The writer's role had already been assigned to studio contract player Barry Sullivan, so he was moved into the director's role.

Minnelli had previously lost out on two chances to work with Lana Turner. He had wanted to cast her in his film version of Madame Bovary (1949), but acceded to executive demands that he use an established dramatic actress like Jennifer Jones. He also was briefly assigned to direct her in A Life of Her Own (1950) before the project went to George Cukor.

Houseman and Minnelli were considering a character actor from the studio's supporting ranks for the role of producer Harry Pebbel when Walter Pidgeon put in a bid for the role. When told he seemed too suave and debonair to play the seedy producer, he showed up in Minnelli's office wearing a crew-cut wig and a poorly fitted suit and won the role.

Dore Schary saw a lot of himself in the characterization of the writer, which led him to suggest Gloria Grahame to play the character's wife, since the actress resembled Schary's wife, Miriam Svet.

Minnelli suggested having Lana Turner play scenes from MGM's 1935 version of Anna Karenina and modeling the directors, eventually played by Leo G. Carroll and Ivan Triesault, on Alfred Hitchcock and Fritz Lang, respectively.

The film's original title was Tribute to a Bad Man.

by Frank Miller

The Big Idea - The Bad and the Beautiful

The George Bradshaw short story on which The Bad and the Beautiful was based -- "Memorial to a Bad Man" (Ladies Home Journal, February 1951) -- was actually about the theatre, with the producer modeled on Broadway legend Jed Harris. The film's producer, John Houseman, initially rejected the idea because he was tired of theatre stories (All About Eve (1950) was still fresh in people's minds and seemed the definitive backstage drama). Then he realized the story would seem more accessible and contemporary if he changed the setting to Hollywood. With the industry in decline, he thought the time was ripe for a story about a producer from the golden days facing a new era. He also found a parallel between the story's multiple flashbacks and the most famous film on which he had worked, Citizen Kane (1941). Bradshaw's story already had the film's structure, in which past associates of an unscrupulous producer think back on the ways he brought them to greatness while betraying them. When he pitched the idea to MGM production head Dore Schary, Houseman suggested having the screenplay done by Charles Schnee, who had worked with them on They Live by Night (1948) and had been involved with Houseman and Orson Welles' Mercury Theatre in New York. MGM paid $11,500 for the rights to "Memorial to a Bad Man" and a similar Bradshaw story, "Of Good and Evil" (Cosmopolitan, February 1948). During story conferences, Schnee and Houseman decided to cut the flashbacks to three and spread out the story to mirror changes in the film industry over the past decades. They also departed from the story, which had the flashbacks take place during a reading of the producer's will, in which he asks past associates to collaborate on one last production in his memory. Instead, they had an actress, director and writer reunited by a request that they return to work for the producer who had made their careers. As the story developed, Houseman was very aware of parallels between the plot and some real Hollywood lives. In particular, the producer fighting to build a career in the shadow of his father was similar to independent producer David O. Selznick. The alcoholic leading lady living in the shadow of her late father, himself an acting legend, was clearly inspired by Diana Barrymore and her relationship to her father John. And the writer married to a fiery Southern belle could easily be linked to F. Scott Fitzgerald and his tempestuous wife, Zelda. After hits with the comedy Father of the Bride (1950) and the musical An American in Paris (1951), Vincente Minnelli was Houseman's first choice to direct. The Bad and the Beautiful was originally planned as a small picture with a budget of just over $1 million. When the script and production team proved a draw to bigger names, however, the budget quickly rose and it became a top-of-the-line production. Although MGM executives suggested contract star Robert Taylor to play producer Jonathan Shields, Houseman had already sent a script to Kirk Douglas, the only actor he thought could capture the character's temperament and charm. According to Douglas, Clark Gable had turned down the role of Shields. Minnelli and Houseman first offered the role of the film director whose career is launched by Jonathan Shields to Dick Powell. After reading the script, however, Powell asked to play writer James Lee Bartlow, claiming he identified with that role more. The writer's role had already been assigned to studio contract player Barry Sullivan, so he was moved into the director's role. Minnelli had previously lost out on two chances to work with Lana Turner. He had wanted to cast her in his film version of Madame Bovary (1949), but acceded to executive demands that he use an established dramatic actress like Jennifer Jones. He also was briefly assigned to direct her in A Life of Her Own (1950) before the project went to George Cukor. Houseman and Minnelli were considering a character actor from the studio's supporting ranks for the role of producer Harry Pebbel when Walter Pidgeon put in a bid for the role. When told he seemed too suave and debonair to play the seedy producer, he showed up in Minnelli's office wearing a crew-cut wig and a poorly fitted suit and won the role. Dore Schary saw a lot of himself in the characterization of the writer, which led him to suggest Gloria Grahame to play the character's wife, since the actress resembled Schary's wife, Miriam Svet. Minnelli suggested having Lana Turner play scenes from MGM's 1935 version of Anna Karenina and modeling the directors, eventually played by Leo G. Carroll and Ivan Triesault, on Alfred Hitchcock and Fritz Lang, respectively. The film's original title was Tribute to a Bad Man. by Frank Miller

Behind the Camera - The Bad and the Beautiful


The filming of The Bad and the Beautiful began on April 9, 1952.

All of the scenes set at Jonathan Shields' studio were shot on the MGM lot, using the studio's actual facilities. In addition to studio sets, The Bad and the Beautiful would also feature location shots of the Beverly Hills Hotel and of Lake Arrowhead.

In conferences with Kirk Douglas, director Vincente Minnelli suggested he downplay his character's explosive side and focus on charm instead. Douglas agreed, but throughout shooting whenever he finished a scene, he would say, "I was very charming in that scene, wasn't I?" After The Bad and the Beautiful was completed, Douglas sent Minnelli a note complimenting him for "[getting] out of me a much more quiet quality than I have ever been able to get in any picture" (Douglas quoted in Minnelli, I Remember It Well).

Concerned about Lana Turner's insecurities and talk of her limited acting abilities, Minnelli got her through her first scene by telling her that every retake was the result of somebody else's problem. Through gentle coaching he got a strong performance out of her while also keeping her confidence intact.

Minnelli was so impressed by Ned Glass' performance as the wardrobe man trying to foist his cat suits on Kirk Douglas and Barry Sullivan for their first film, The Doom of the Cat Men, he kept expanding his role. After two days of shooting, he still needed a close-up of Glass, but the next day the actor did not show up. Having failed to do a thorough background check before shooting started, MGM had hired Glass without realizing he had been blacklisted. The night before his final shot, studio security had called to inform him he would not be allowed on the lot. After a hasty conference with studio executives, MGM decided they would rather ignore the blacklist than pay the $20,000 to $30,000 it would require to re-shoot the key scene.

Minnelli wanted the music for the long, silent scene in which Lana Turner runs from her dressing room through a deserted sound stage, composed before shooting. That way he could match his blocking and camera movements to the score.

Realizing the film's shooting title, Tribute to a Bad Man, could lead audiences to expect a Western, Houseman put out a call for new title suggestions. MGM Vice President in Charge of Publicity Howard Deitz quickly sent back The Bad and the Beautiful, an acknowledged bow to F. Scott Fitzgerald's story "The Beautiful and the Damned." Houseman and Schnee did not like that title which sounded like a cheap paperback novel, but MGM production head Dore Schary overruled them.

The scene in which Turner drives off into the rainy night after discovering that Douglas has been cheating on her was so complicated it took weeks after she had finished the rest of her scenes before she got to film it. Minnelli put the car's interior on a turntable, then choreographed the cameras moves in and out as the turntable shifted position. He then instructed Turner to build her emotions to hysteria throughout the complicated take. It took a day to get all the angles Minnelli wanted, by which time Turner truly was hysterical. The scene was one of the most memorable in The Bad and the Beautiful.

Composer David Raksin had scored a huge hit with the theme song for the film Laura (1944) but resented the fact that the lyricist received an equal share of the profits. As a result, he insisted that the love theme from The Bad and the Beautiful be released strictly as an instrumental. It became a hit, but not at the same high level of his theme for the earlier film.

The filming of The Bad and the Beautiful finished on June 4, 1952, with Houseman bringing the film in on a tight budget of $1,558,263.

To somewhat soften the depiction of Douglas' character, Minnelli cut a scene in which he accepts the Best Picture Oscar® for the film whose idea he had stolen from his best friend. In the scene, Shields devotes most of his speech to his late father, then makes only a brief mention of his friend at the end.

Stories about the film's basis in fact were so strong that independent producer David O. Selznick asked one of his lawyers to view the film and let him know if it contained anything libelous about him. Despite the parallels between Selznick's life and that of the father-obsessed independent producer played by Douglas, the lawyer determined that there were no grounds for a lawsuit.

Although preview audiences were generally positive about The Bad and the Beautiful, many felt it was too long, prompting MGM to cut almost 12 minutes, including shots of Douglas in Paris as he phones to ask his former friends to work on his next film and a scene in which Turner and Powell meet for the first time.

Publicity for The Bad and the Beautiful focused on the romance between Douglas and Turner's characters. Taglines included "I took you out of the gutter...I can fling you back!" and "The story of a blonde who wanted to go places, and a brute who got her there -- the hard way!"

The Bad and the Beautiful had its New York premiere at the Radio City Music Hall on January 15, 1953.

by Frank Miller

Behind the Camera - The Bad and the Beautiful

The filming of The Bad and the Beautiful began on April 9, 1952. All of the scenes set at Jonathan Shields' studio were shot on the MGM lot, using the studio's actual facilities. In addition to studio sets, The Bad and the Beautiful would also feature location shots of the Beverly Hills Hotel and of Lake Arrowhead. In conferences with Kirk Douglas, director Vincente Minnelli suggested he downplay his character's explosive side and focus on charm instead. Douglas agreed, but throughout shooting whenever he finished a scene, he would say, "I was very charming in that scene, wasn't I?" After The Bad and the Beautiful was completed, Douglas sent Minnelli a note complimenting him for "[getting] out of me a much more quiet quality than I have ever been able to get in any picture" (Douglas quoted in Minnelli, I Remember It Well). Concerned about Lana Turner's insecurities and talk of her limited acting abilities, Minnelli got her through her first scene by telling her that every retake was the result of somebody else's problem. Through gentle coaching he got a strong performance out of her while also keeping her confidence intact. Minnelli was so impressed by Ned Glass' performance as the wardrobe man trying to foist his cat suits on Kirk Douglas and Barry Sullivan for their first film, The Doom of the Cat Men, he kept expanding his role. After two days of shooting, he still needed a close-up of Glass, but the next day the actor did not show up. Having failed to do a thorough background check before shooting started, MGM had hired Glass without realizing he had been blacklisted. The night before his final shot, studio security had called to inform him he would not be allowed on the lot. After a hasty conference with studio executives, MGM decided they would rather ignore the blacklist than pay the $20,000 to $30,000 it would require to re-shoot the key scene. Minnelli wanted the music for the long, silent scene in which Lana Turner runs from her dressing room through a deserted sound stage, composed before shooting. That way he could match his blocking and camera movements to the score. Realizing the film's shooting title, Tribute to a Bad Man, could lead audiences to expect a Western, Houseman put out a call for new title suggestions. MGM Vice President in Charge of Publicity Howard Deitz quickly sent back The Bad and the Beautiful, an acknowledged bow to F. Scott Fitzgerald's story "The Beautiful and the Damned." Houseman and Schnee did not like that title which sounded like a cheap paperback novel, but MGM production head Dore Schary overruled them. The scene in which Turner drives off into the rainy night after discovering that Douglas has been cheating on her was so complicated it took weeks after she had finished the rest of her scenes before she got to film it. Minnelli put the car's interior on a turntable, then choreographed the cameras moves in and out as the turntable shifted position. He then instructed Turner to build her emotions to hysteria throughout the complicated take. It took a day to get all the angles Minnelli wanted, by which time Turner truly was hysterical. The scene was one of the most memorable in The Bad and the Beautiful. Composer David Raksin had scored a huge hit with the theme song for the film Laura (1944) but resented the fact that the lyricist received an equal share of the profits. As a result, he insisted that the love theme from The Bad and the Beautiful be released strictly as an instrumental. It became a hit, but not at the same high level of his theme for the earlier film. The filming of The Bad and the Beautiful finished on June 4, 1952, with Houseman bringing the film in on a tight budget of $1,558,263. To somewhat soften the depiction of Douglas' character, Minnelli cut a scene in which he accepts the Best Picture Oscar® for the film whose idea he had stolen from his best friend. In the scene, Shields devotes most of his speech to his late father, then makes only a brief mention of his friend at the end. Stories about the film's basis in fact were so strong that independent producer David O. Selznick asked one of his lawyers to view the film and let him know if it contained anything libelous about him. Despite the parallels between Selznick's life and that of the father-obsessed independent producer played by Douglas, the lawyer determined that there were no grounds for a lawsuit. Although preview audiences were generally positive about The Bad and the Beautiful, many felt it was too long, prompting MGM to cut almost 12 minutes, including shots of Douglas in Paris as he phones to ask his former friends to work on his next film and a scene in which Turner and Powell meet for the first time. Publicity for The Bad and the Beautiful focused on the romance between Douglas and Turner's characters. Taglines included "I took you out of the gutter...I can fling you back!" and "The story of a blonde who wanted to go places, and a brute who got her there -- the hard way!" The Bad and the Beautiful had its New York premiere at the Radio City Music Hall on January 15, 1953. by Frank Miller

The Bad and the Beautiful


The Bad and the Beautiful (1953) is probably the quintessential "Hollywood according to Hollywood" film; so it's appropriate that it stars the quintessential movie star - Lana Turner. Turner plays Georgia Lorrison, the trampy, alcoholic daughter of a legendary actor. She's transformed into a compelling actress by producer Jonathan Shields (Kirk Douglas), himself a scion of tarnished Hollywood royalty. Georgia is one of three friends, including a director (Barry Sullivan) and a screenwriter (Dick Powell), betrayed by Shields in his obsessive and ruthless climb to the top.

The source material for The Bad and the Beautiful was a magazine story about an unscrupulous Broadway director. Producer John Houseman found the characters trite, but saw possibilities if the plot were revised to focus on Hollywood. Screenwriter Charles Schnee invented new characters, and Houseman and Director Vincente Minnelli contributed ideas based on real-life Hollywood personalities. Jonathan Shields is obviously inspired by Gone with the Wind (1939) producer David O. Selznick, with a nod to RKO studio B-movie producer Val Lewton, who made Cat People (1942). The father-obsessed Georgia is partly John Barrymore's star-crossed daughter Diana, and, says Houseman in his memoirs, "fragments of Gardner and Fontaine - not to mention Lana Turner, who came to play her." Latin lover Gilbert Roland was more or less playing himself as Latin lover "Gaucho." The budget-conscious studio manager played by Walter Pidgeon was based on Harry Rapf, the head of the MGM B-movie unit. The German director suggests Fritz Lang, and the British one, Hitchcock.

In casting Jonathan, Minnelli and Houseman rejected aging MGM stars like Robert Taylor and Clark Gable, and chose Kirk Douglas. Minnelli liked his powerful on-screen presence, but directed him not to play too intensely, knowing that would be self-evident. Instead, Minnelli told Douglas to play it for charm. Frequently during filming, Douglas would turn to Minnelli and say, "I was very charming in that scene, wasn't I?"

Houseman and Minnelli both felt that Lana Turner's acting ability had been underrated, and that she would be a natural as an insecure movie star. The first scene Turner had to play was a difficult one, where only her legs are seen dangling from a railing, and she had to act drunk with only her voice. Minnelli kept inventing "technical problems" to coax more takes from her, until he got what he wanted. The ruse clearly worked, because when Turner told the story in her autobiography, she referred to those very technical problems that forced take after take. Minnelli worked with Turner, much as Jonathan Shields worked with Georgia, helping her mold her performance. By the time she was to do the climactic scene of hysteria in the car, Turner was so confident that she kept her concentration throughout the technically complex scene, and her performance was frighteningly real.

Minnelli shot all over the MGM lot, capturing the eeriness and beauty of deserted soundstages and piles of props. Since the script was talky, he compensated with fluid, constantly moving camerawork, one of his trademarks. For Turner's breakdown, he devised a special turntable, which spun the car while the camera remained steady, zooming in and out to capture her reactions. Minnelli later said he choreographed the scene as carefully as if he were photographing a ballet.

The Bad and the Beautiful was a critical and commercial success. It was nominated for six Academy Awards, and won five - for Best Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Art direction-Set Decoration, Best Costume design, and Best Supporting actress (Gloria Grahame). Only Kirk Douglas, nominated for Best Actor, lost to Gary Cooper in High Noon (1952).

Rich in the details of moviemaking, visually inventive, superbly scripted and acted, The Bad and the Beautiful is a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at the end of Hollywood's Golden Era. In his analysis of Minnelli's films, Directed by Vincente Minnelli, Stephen Harvey explains the enduring seductiveness of the film: "The Bad and the Beautiful aspires neither to high art nor newsreel naturalism. By its own example, this black-and-white fantasia celebrates the energy and showmanship that made the studio system flourish."

Director: Vincente Minnelli
Producer: John Houseman
Screenplay: Charles Schnee, based on a story by George Bradshaw
Editor: Conrad A. Nervig
Cinematography: Robert Surtees
Art Direction: Cedric Gibbons, Edward Carfagno; set decorator, Edwin B. Willis, Keogh Gleason
Music: David Raksin
Principal Cast: Lana Turner (Georgia Lorrison), Kirk Douglas (Jonathan Shields), Walter Pidgeon (Harry Pebbel), Dick Powell (James Lee Bartlow), Barry Sullivan (Fred Amiel), Gloria Grahame (Rosemary Bartlow), Gilbert Roland (Victor "Gaucho" Ribera).
BW-118m. Closed captioning. Descriptive video.

by Margarita Landazuri

The Bad and the Beautiful

The Bad and the Beautiful (1953) is probably the quintessential "Hollywood according to Hollywood" film; so it's appropriate that it stars the quintessential movie star - Lana Turner. Turner plays Georgia Lorrison, the trampy, alcoholic daughter of a legendary actor. She's transformed into a compelling actress by producer Jonathan Shields (Kirk Douglas), himself a scion of tarnished Hollywood royalty. Georgia is one of three friends, including a director (Barry Sullivan) and a screenwriter (Dick Powell), betrayed by Shields in his obsessive and ruthless climb to the top. The source material for The Bad and the Beautiful was a magazine story about an unscrupulous Broadway director. Producer John Houseman found the characters trite, but saw possibilities if the plot were revised to focus on Hollywood. Screenwriter Charles Schnee invented new characters, and Houseman and Director Vincente Minnelli contributed ideas based on real-life Hollywood personalities. Jonathan Shields is obviously inspired by Gone with the Wind (1939) producer David O. Selznick, with a nod to RKO studio B-movie producer Val Lewton, who made Cat People (1942). The father-obsessed Georgia is partly John Barrymore's star-crossed daughter Diana, and, says Houseman in his memoirs, "fragments of Gardner and Fontaine - not to mention Lana Turner, who came to play her." Latin lover Gilbert Roland was more or less playing himself as Latin lover "Gaucho." The budget-conscious studio manager played by Walter Pidgeon was based on Harry Rapf, the head of the MGM B-movie unit. The German director suggests Fritz Lang, and the British one, Hitchcock. In casting Jonathan, Minnelli and Houseman rejected aging MGM stars like Robert Taylor and Clark Gable, and chose Kirk Douglas. Minnelli liked his powerful on-screen presence, but directed him not to play too intensely, knowing that would be self-evident. Instead, Minnelli told Douglas to play it for charm. Frequently during filming, Douglas would turn to Minnelli and say, "I was very charming in that scene, wasn't I?" Houseman and Minnelli both felt that Lana Turner's acting ability had been underrated, and that she would be a natural as an insecure movie star. The first scene Turner had to play was a difficult one, where only her legs are seen dangling from a railing, and she had to act drunk with only her voice. Minnelli kept inventing "technical problems" to coax more takes from her, until he got what he wanted. The ruse clearly worked, because when Turner told the story in her autobiography, she referred to those very technical problems that forced take after take. Minnelli worked with Turner, much as Jonathan Shields worked with Georgia, helping her mold her performance. By the time she was to do the climactic scene of hysteria in the car, Turner was so confident that she kept her concentration throughout the technically complex scene, and her performance was frighteningly real. Minnelli shot all over the MGM lot, capturing the eeriness and beauty of deserted soundstages and piles of props. Since the script was talky, he compensated with fluid, constantly moving camerawork, one of his trademarks. For Turner's breakdown, he devised a special turntable, which spun the car while the camera remained steady, zooming in and out to capture her reactions. Minnelli later said he choreographed the scene as carefully as if he were photographing a ballet. The Bad and the Beautiful was a critical and commercial success. It was nominated for six Academy Awards, and won five - for Best Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Art direction-Set Decoration, Best Costume design, and Best Supporting actress (Gloria Grahame). Only Kirk Douglas, nominated for Best Actor, lost to Gary Cooper in High Noon (1952). Rich in the details of moviemaking, visually inventive, superbly scripted and acted, The Bad and the Beautiful is a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at the end of Hollywood's Golden Era. In his analysis of Minnelli's films, Directed by Vincente Minnelli, Stephen Harvey explains the enduring seductiveness of the film: "The Bad and the Beautiful aspires neither to high art nor newsreel naturalism. By its own example, this black-and-white fantasia celebrates the energy and showmanship that made the studio system flourish." Director: Vincente Minnelli Producer: John Houseman Screenplay: Charles Schnee, based on a story by George Bradshaw Editor: Conrad A. Nervig Cinematography: Robert Surtees Art Direction: Cedric Gibbons, Edward Carfagno; set decorator, Edwin B. Willis, Keogh Gleason Music: David Raksin Principal Cast: Lana Turner (Georgia Lorrison), Kirk Douglas (Jonathan Shields), Walter Pidgeon (Harry Pebbel), Dick Powell (James Lee Bartlow), Barry Sullivan (Fred Amiel), Gloria Grahame (Rosemary Bartlow), Gilbert Roland (Victor "Gaucho" Ribera). BW-118m. Closed captioning. Descriptive video. by Margarita Landazuri

The Critics' Corner - The Bad and the Beautiful - The Critics Corner: THE BAD AND THE BEAUTIFUL


AWARDS & HONORS

The National Board of Review voted The Bad and the Beautiful the seventh best film of 1952.

Both Gloria Grahame and Gilbert Roland were nominated for Golden Globes in the supporting categories. She lost to Katy Jurado in High Noon and he lost to Millard Mitchell in My Six Convicts, neither of whom would receive Oscar® nominations.

Although planned for a January 1953 general release, MGM rushed The Bad and the Beautiful into Los Angeles theatres in December 1952 to qualify for the Academy Awards®. The move paid off, as the film won Oscar® nominations for Best Actor (Kirk Douglas), Best Screenplay, Best Supporting Actress (Gloria Grahame), Best Black and White Cinematography, Best Black and White Art Direction-Set Decoration and Best Black and White Costume Design.

The Bad and the Beautiful ended up the big winner on Oscar® night, winning five awards. Douglas was the only nominee not honored.

The film was nominated for the British Academy Award for Best Film From Any Source.

The Bad and the Beautiful was voted a place on the National Film Registry in 2002.

The Critics Corner: THE BAD AND THE BEAUTIFUL

The Bad and the Beautiful brought in international rentals of $3,373,000, posting net profits of $484,000.

"An all-star cast, well-chosen and a strong story with recognizable elements of drama, melodrama and romance, plus a few sardonic touches provide exploitable hinges on which the film can be ballyhooed." -- Brog., Variety

"The widely circulated notion that there are monsters in Hollywood is given unqualified endorsement with no reservations and no holds barred. The hero of this relentless saga is a Hollywood producer who is a heel. And the fine job of drawing and quartering him that is done in the course of two hours by a top staff of MGM dissectors is enough to make the blood run cold...Minnelli's craftsmanship and Houseman's skill as a producer are evident in the slickness of the film. But certainly they and all the others who worked on it know much more about the subject of Hollywood egos and championship chumps than is revealed in this sardonic scan of Hollywood." -- Bosley Crowther, New York Times

"Minnelli has captured the eerie quality of an empty sound stage at night, the sterilized look of a writer's office on the lot, the dull meaninglessness of a noisy cocktail party attended by picture people. As an exhibition of know-how in picture-making The Bad and the Beautiful is first rate, although every now and then Charles Schnee's screenplay goes in for dubious melodrama." -- Hollis Alpert, Saturday Review "It's a piquant example of what it purports to expose -- luxurious exhibitionism -- and the course of what is described as a 'rat race' to success is the softest turf ever. The structure is all too reminiscent of Citizen Kane [1941], and there is the "Rosebud" of Douglas' ill-defined Oedipal confusion, but there are also flashy, entertaining scenes and incidents derived from a number of famous careers. And the director, Vincente Minnelli, has given the material an hysterical stylishness; the black-and-white cinematography (by Robert Surtees) is more than dramatic -- it has a temperament." -- Pauline Kael, 5,001 Nights at the Movies

"The film itself has an elegant glitter which preserves and glorifies the Hollywood myth rather than undermining it."
- The Oxford Companion to Film

"Very much a Hollywood 'in' picture, this rather obvious flashback melodrama offers good acting chances and a couple of intriguing situations; never quite finding the style it seeks, it offers good bitchy entertainment along the way...."
- Halliwell's Film & Video Guide

"For all the cleverness of the apparatus, it lacks a point of view."
- Penelope Houston

"Clever, sharply observed little scenes reflect the Hollywood surface: the egotistic babble at a party, the affectations of European directors, the sneak preview, the trying on of suits for catmen in a B picture."
- MFB

"...The Bad and the Beautiful was a breakthrough: it opened up a potential for sudden insights in brilliantly regulated melodrama that was one of Minnelli's most fascinating assets."
- David Thomson, The New Biographical Dictionary of Film

"Captivating Hollywood story...Solid, insightful, witty, with Lana's best performance ever....David Raksin's wonderful score is another asset."
- Leonard Maltin's Movie Guide

"...Minnelli brings a tougher eye to his story of a young producer's meteoric rise and fall than most directors would have done, and the copious references to actual people/events anchor the melodrama in a spirit not unlike that of Sunset Boulevard [1950]....Fascinating as a companion piece to Two Weeks in Another Town [1962], which resumes the themes and some of the characters a decade late." - Tony Rayns, TimeOut Film Guide

"...all the elements of The Bad and the Beautiful are top-drawer: the punchy dialogue, the noirish voiceover narration, Robert Surtees' chiaroscuro-heavy cinematography, the swoony David Raksin score, and especially the dynamic tone shifts of the triptych story. This is studio-system product at its juiciest and most sophisticated, full of insights into the mess behind the art." - Noel Murray, The Onion A.V. Club

"Some critics have accused Minnelli of accepting the premise at face value, as if he is saying that career achievements are more important than personal relationships. Pauline Kael wrote that the film "is a piquant example of what it purports to expose." But Minnelli is neither that cold nor cynical. While it's true that the film does have a luxuriant façade, it also has enough scenes dealing ambiguously with the art/life dichotomy that Minnelli can't be accused of intentionally espousing such a specious view. And too there is nothing in the movie to suggest that an extreme example of this premise would be acceptable. It's not as if the film is recommending that Leni Riefenstahl should honor Adolf Hitler for financing two of her greatest films. Jonathan Shields is no Hitler, but the uncertainty of giving "the devil his due," as Pebbels points out, is the film's central concept." - Matt Langdon, PopMatters

"Vincente Minnelli directed The Bad and the Beautiful adhering to the highest production values. The result is a slick package that is very satisfying to watch. Minnelli skillfully manages to avoid falling into a boring soap opera tale, despite the tabloid-like "tells all" script. Sets and costuming are brilliant. Black and white photography by Robert Surtees is impeccable and gives maximum impact to each scene, actually quite noirish and at times reminiscent of the innovative camera work in Citizen Kane." - George Chabot, epinions.com

Compiled by Frank Miller

The Critics' Corner - The Bad and the Beautiful - The Critics Corner: THE BAD AND THE BEAUTIFUL

AWARDS & HONORS The National Board of Review voted The Bad and the Beautiful the seventh best film of 1952. Both Gloria Grahame and Gilbert Roland were nominated for Golden Globes in the supporting categories. She lost to Katy Jurado in High Noon and he lost to Millard Mitchell in My Six Convicts, neither of whom would receive Oscar® nominations. Although planned for a January 1953 general release, MGM rushed The Bad and the Beautiful into Los Angeles theatres in December 1952 to qualify for the Academy Awards®. The move paid off, as the film won Oscar® nominations for Best Actor (Kirk Douglas), Best Screenplay, Best Supporting Actress (Gloria Grahame), Best Black and White Cinematography, Best Black and White Art Direction-Set Decoration and Best Black and White Costume Design. The Bad and the Beautiful ended up the big winner on Oscar® night, winning five awards. Douglas was the only nominee not honored. The film was nominated for the British Academy Award for Best Film From Any Source. The Bad and the Beautiful was voted a place on the National Film Registry in 2002. The Critics Corner: THE BAD AND THE BEAUTIFUL The Bad and the Beautiful brought in international rentals of $3,373,000, posting net profits of $484,000. "An all-star cast, well-chosen and a strong story with recognizable elements of drama, melodrama and romance, plus a few sardonic touches provide exploitable hinges on which the film can be ballyhooed." -- Brog., Variety "The widely circulated notion that there are monsters in Hollywood is given unqualified endorsement with no reservations and no holds barred. The hero of this relentless saga is a Hollywood producer who is a heel. And the fine job of drawing and quartering him that is done in the course of two hours by a top staff of MGM dissectors is enough to make the blood run cold...Minnelli's craftsmanship and Houseman's skill as a producer are evident in the slickness of the film. But certainly they and all the others who worked on it know much more about the subject of Hollywood egos and championship chumps than is revealed in this sardonic scan of Hollywood." -- Bosley Crowther, New York Times "Minnelli has captured the eerie quality of an empty sound stage at night, the sterilized look of a writer's office on the lot, the dull meaninglessness of a noisy cocktail party attended by picture people. As an exhibition of know-how in picture-making The Bad and the Beautiful is first rate, although every now and then Charles Schnee's screenplay goes in for dubious melodrama." -- Hollis Alpert, Saturday Review "It's a piquant example of what it purports to expose -- luxurious exhibitionism -- and the course of what is described as a 'rat race' to success is the softest turf ever. The structure is all too reminiscent of Citizen Kane [1941], and there is the "Rosebud" of Douglas' ill-defined Oedipal confusion, but there are also flashy, entertaining scenes and incidents derived from a number of famous careers. And the director, Vincente Minnelli, has given the material an hysterical stylishness; the black-and-white cinematography (by Robert Surtees) is more than dramatic -- it has a temperament." -- Pauline Kael, 5,001 Nights at the Movies "The film itself has an elegant glitter which preserves and glorifies the Hollywood myth rather than undermining it." - The Oxford Companion to Film "Very much a Hollywood 'in' picture, this rather obvious flashback melodrama offers good acting chances and a couple of intriguing situations; never quite finding the style it seeks, it offers good bitchy entertainment along the way...." - Halliwell's Film & Video Guide "For all the cleverness of the apparatus, it lacks a point of view." - Penelope Houston "Clever, sharply observed little scenes reflect the Hollywood surface: the egotistic babble at a party, the affectations of European directors, the sneak preview, the trying on of suits for catmen in a B picture." - MFB "...The Bad and the Beautiful was a breakthrough: it opened up a potential for sudden insights in brilliantly regulated melodrama that was one of Minnelli's most fascinating assets." - David Thomson, The New Biographical Dictionary of Film "Captivating Hollywood story...Solid, insightful, witty, with Lana's best performance ever....David Raksin's wonderful score is another asset." - Leonard Maltin's Movie Guide "...Minnelli brings a tougher eye to his story of a young producer's meteoric rise and fall than most directors would have done, and the copious references to actual people/events anchor the melodrama in a spirit not unlike that of Sunset Boulevard [1950]....Fascinating as a companion piece to Two Weeks in Another Town [1962], which resumes the themes and some of the characters a decade late." - Tony Rayns, TimeOut Film Guide "...all the elements of The Bad and the Beautiful are top-drawer: the punchy dialogue, the noirish voiceover narration, Robert Surtees' chiaroscuro-heavy cinematography, the swoony David Raksin score, and especially the dynamic tone shifts of the triptych story. This is studio-system product at its juiciest and most sophisticated, full of insights into the mess behind the art." - Noel Murray, The Onion A.V. Club "Some critics have accused Minnelli of accepting the premise at face value, as if he is saying that career achievements are more important than personal relationships. Pauline Kael wrote that the film "is a piquant example of what it purports to expose." But Minnelli is neither that cold nor cynical. While it's true that the film does have a luxuriant façade, it also has enough scenes dealing ambiguously with the art/life dichotomy that Minnelli can't be accused of intentionally espousing such a specious view. And too there is nothing in the movie to suggest that an extreme example of this premise would be acceptable. It's not as if the film is recommending that Leni Riefenstahl should honor Adolf Hitler for financing two of her greatest films. Jonathan Shields is no Hitler, but the uncertainty of giving "the devil his due," as Pebbels points out, is the film's central concept." - Matt Langdon, PopMatters "Vincente Minnelli directed The Bad and the Beautiful adhering to the highest production values. The result is a slick package that is very satisfying to watch. Minnelli skillfully manages to avoid falling into a boring soap opera tale, despite the tabloid-like "tells all" script. Sets and costuming are brilliant. Black and white photography by Robert Surtees is impeccable and gives maximum impact to each scene, actually quite noirish and at times reminiscent of the innovative camera work in Citizen Kane." - George Chabot, epinions.com Compiled by Frank Miller

Quotes

Don't worry. Some of the best movies are made by people working together who hate each other's guts.
- Jonathan Shields
Don't talk like that about Georgia - or Jonathan. He's a great man!
- Victor 'Gaucho' Ribera
Hah hah. There are no great men, buster! There's only men!
- Lila
To give truth to a performance, there's nothing like love.
- Victor 'Gaucho' Ribera
Love is for the very young.
- Georgia Lorrison
Love is for the birds!
- Lila
I don't want to win awards. I want a picture that ends with a kiss and puts black in the books.
- Harry Pebbel
If you dream, dream big.
- Jonathan Shields

Trivia

Lana Turner plays an actor whose career started as a movie extra. Turner started her own career as an extra in Star Is Born, A (1937).

Kirk Douglas stands no more than 5'7" and wears super high lifts that almost distort his walking. If you look closely at him in long shots you can spot the lifts (it's really apparent in "Seven Days in May").

The scenes showing the production of the fictional low budget horror film was based on how Val Lewton produced _Cat People (1942)_.

Notes

The film's working titles were Tribute to a Bad Man and Memorial to a Bad Man. After the M-G-M logo, the opening credits begin with a shot of the story's fictional studio logo, Shields Pictures, Inc. Each of the names of the principal cast appear before the title, superimposed over the Shields logo, each on a separate screen, in the following order: Lana Turner, Kirk Douglas, Walter Pidgeon, Dick Powell, Barry Sullivan, Gloria Grahame and Gilbert Roland. Although Vanessa Brown is billed ninth in the opening cast credits, her name does not appear in the end credits.
       At the end of the picture, the Shields Pictures, Inc. logo reappears. The cast and character names are then shown superimposed over scenes in the picture; however, end credits list the cast in an ascending order of importance. The above title cast is presented last, in a slightly different order, with Turner the final person shown. After the end credits the following written acknowledgment appears: "We are grateful to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science for permission to use the Academy Award Statuette."
       As noted in news items and reviews, George Bradshaw's original story, which appeared under the title Memorial to a Bad Man when it was published in The Ladies Home Journal in February 1951 was about a Broadway producer. Although that story provided the principal structure for the film, an earlier short story written by Bradshaw, "Of Good and Evil" (Cosmopolitan, February 1948), was also purchased by M-G-M and provided some additional basis of the film. According to modern sources, it was Vincente Minnelli and John Houseman who convinced M-G-M production chief Dore Schary that Memorial to a Bad Man would be a much stronger picture if the setting was switched to Hollywood. Many of the film's movie studio exteriors were shot on the M-G-M lot in Culver City, CA. Establishing shots and some exteriors of the Beverly Hills Hotel were also in the film.
       Many contemporary and modern sources have speculated that "Jonathan Shields" was loosely based on producer David O. Selznick and the argument between Shields and director "Von Ellstein" was inspired by Selznick's disputes with director George Cukor when Cukor abruptly departed from Selznick's production of Gone With the Wind (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40). Some modern sources have speculated that producer Val Lewton also was a partial inspiration for Shields. In The Bad and the Beautiful the film that is the first successful picture for "Fred Amiel" and "Jonathan Shields" was inspired by Lewton's 1942 RKO production Cat People (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1941-50.)
       Von Ellstein's character is frequently mentioned as having been inspired by director Erich von Stroheim, and "James Lee Bartlow" is thought by some critics to have been inspired by William Faulkner. "Georgia Lorrison" was also partially inspired by Diana Barrymore, just as "George Lorrison" was based on her father, John Barrymore. Unlike Georgia, however, Diana Barrymore had a brief and unsuccessful film career. George Lorrison does not appear in the film but a recording of his voice is heard, provided by M-G-M contract star Louis Calhern. Photographs of George in Georgia's room are also of Calhern.
       A contemporary article in an unnamed source in the AMPAS Library production file on the film noted that preview cards for The Bad and the Beautiful were highly complimentary although many in the audience deemed the picture too long. Following the preview several short scenes, comprising about twelve minutes, were cut for the film's release. As shown in photographs with brief descriptions in the same article, among the deleted scenes were insert shots of Jonathan in a Paris hotel room as he is speaking via phone to the other main characters and a scene in which Georgia first meets James Lee.
       Other contemporary news items include Steve Carruthers in the cast as a cameraman and note that trumpeter Maynard Ferguson was to make his motion picture debut in the film, but their appearance in the released film has not been verified. Singers Hadda Brooks and Peggy King, who both appear briefly in the film, made their motion picture debuts in The Bad and the Beautiful. Items in Hollywood Reporter's "Rambling Reporter" columns indicate that actor Fernando Lamas refused to go on location to Mexico for the film Sombrero (see below) because he did not want to leave Turner, with whom he was having a relationship. He was subsequently suspended by M-G-M, but in her autobiography, Turner indicated that her relationship with Lamas was over by that time.
       A modern sources states that Turner's personal makeup man, Del Armstrong, and her personal hairdresser, Helen Young, appeared as her makeup man and hairdresser in the film. The same source also includes Jeff Richards (Young man at studio) and Alyce May (Movie extra) in the cast. The Bad and the Beautiful was the first of four films Minnelli directed that starred Kirk Douglas. They also worked together on the 1953 compendium film The Story of Three Loves, the 1956 Vincent Van Gogh biography Lust for Life (see below) and the 1962 Italian-set filmmaking drama Two Weeks in Another Town (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1961-70).
       Gloria Grahame earned an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her portrayal of "Rosemary Bartlow." Academy Awards also went to Charles Schnee for Best Adapted Screenplay; Robert Surtees for Best Cinematography (black and white); Best Art Director and Set Decoration (black and white) to Cedric Gibbons and Edward Carfango, Edwin B. Willis and Keogh Gleason; and Best Costumes (black and white) to Helen Rose. An Academy Award nomination also went to Kirk Douglas for Best Actor, but he lost to Gary Cooper for High Noon. Since the film's release, it has frequently been cited by film historians as one of the best films ever made about Hollywood.

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States 1952

Released in United States 1978

Released in United States on Video November 15, 1988

Broadcast in USA over TBS (colorized version) April 3, 1990.

Selected in 2002 for inclusion in the Library of Congress' National Film Registry.

Re-released in Paris February 14, 1990.

Released in United States 1952

Released in United States 1978 (Shown at FILMEX: Los Angeles International Film Exposition (Special Programs - "Salute to Oscar" - Filmex Marathon) April 13 - May 7, 1978.)

Released in United States on Video November 15, 1988