Lost, Lonely and Vicious


1h 13m 1958

Film Details

Also Known As
Lost and Lonely
Release Date
Jan 1958
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Bon Aire Productions, Inc.; Howco International
Distribution Company
State Rights
Country
United States
Location
Tuscaloosa, Alabama, United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 13m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Film Length
6,565ft (8 reels)

Synopsis

In Hollywood, a reporter interviews the young acting associates and drama coach of budding movie star Johnnie Dennis, but none of his acquaintances seem able to pin down Johnnie's character. Meanwhile, concerned by Johnnie's constant state of melancholy, his acting coach Tanya asks a psychiatrist to help her protégé, but the doctor replies that he can only help Johnnie if the actor seeks his counsel. On the outskirts of town, Helen Preacher is crossing the street when she is nearly struck by a convertible driven by Johnnie, who then races against an acquaintance Walt on back lane highways. Later at a Hollywood coffee shop frequented by acting hopefuls, Walt tells his girl friend Pinkie and friend Buddy about his unsuccessful meeting with a casting director. Wearying of Walt's monologue, Pinkie and Buddy moves to another booth and introduce themselves to new customer Darlene, a former television bit player determined to break into movies. That afternoon, Helen is surprised to find Johnnie reading at the library. Later, Johnnie joins Tanya for their weekly meeting at the coffee shop. When Tanya inquires why Johnnie appears unconcerned that his first starring movie is about to premiere, Johnnie off-handedly replies he has been reading a book about death, which alarms Tanya. As Johnnie complains about Tanya's insistence he pay more attention to his career, Walt interrupts to taunt Johnnie about becoming arrogant since completing his movie and soon the boys are brawling. After Johnnie overpowers Walt, Tanya hurries him away to her apartment, in which hangs a morbid self-portrait of Johnnie as Death. Tanya offers to treat Johnnie's bruises from the fight, but he grows irritated when Tanya points out that Walt is jealous of Johnnie's coming fame. Johnnie balks at attending the premiere of his film, declaring that he is uncomfortable with the public's attentions and demands to know why he deserves any recognition. When Tanya cannot give him an adequate answer, he departs filled with gloom. The night of the premiere, Johnnie watches despondently from half a block away, then spots Helen talking with her brother, a theater page. Johnnie speaks to Helen, who recognizes him from the library. After Helen realizes that Johnny is a movie star, she is puzzled by his refusal to attend his own premiere. After chatting with him for a while, Helen reluctantly accepts Johnnie's offer to drive her to the local public swimming pool, where she plans to meet a friend. Helen panics when Johnnie races out of town, then plunges his car into a small lake. Angered by Johnnie's foolish behavior, Helen nevertheless agrees to swim with him in the lake. On a floating pier, Johnnie and Helen exchange family histories. Johnnie speaks wistfully of his home back in Pennsylvania, then dubs Helen "Preach." After Johnnie drives Helen home, she invites him for a soda at the apartment she shares with her father. When Johnnie reveals his overwhelming loneliness and confusion over his career, Helen scolds him for clinging to moody despair and suggests that despite his film contract, he should return home to seek out personal happiness. Mr. Preacher then returns home from work and tells Johnnie of his daughter's unflagging devotion and support. Later, Johnnie informs Helen that she is lucky and kisses her goodnight. The following day, Walt is bitter over the positive reviews of Johnnie's film and furious when Pinkie goads him about Johnnie's success. Frustrated, Walt makes plans with his friend Pig to start a public fight with Johnnie that might get them some publicity. As Walt repairs his car outside of the coffee shop, Johnnie pulls up, and in moments the young men exchange words and another fistfight breaks out. Pig prevents Walt from using a hammer in the brutal fight, which is finally broken up by Tanya. Johnnie rejects Tanya's offer to help, but presses a letter on her, requesting that she deliver it to Helen. Despite Tanya's questions, Johnnie flees, driving to her apartment to retrieve his self-portrait. Tanya takes the letter to Helen, puzzled by her acquaintance with Johnnie, but encouraged when she realizes that Helen has no connections to the film business. After Tanya's departure, Helen reads Johnnie's letter in which he thanks her for her honesty and brief friendship, which allowed him to see himself realistically. Johnnie laments that they did not meet in Pennsylvania where they might have been happy. Meanwhile, Johnny drives to the lake in the darkness where he throws the portrait into the lake, then vows to change his life for the better.

Film Details

Also Known As
Lost and Lonely
Release Date
Jan 1958
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Bon Aire Productions, Inc.; Howco International
Distribution Company
State Rights
Country
United States
Location
Tuscaloosa, Alabama, United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 13m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Film Length
6,565ft (8 reels)

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

The working title of the film was Lost and Lonely. The following acknowledgment appears in the opening credits: "Our deepest appreciation to the Chamber of Commerce of Tuscaloosa, Ala." The film opens with a voice-over narration that states, in part: "In this town of make believe, the truth behind the scenes is also filled with drama. This is a realistic documentary of how one young actor struggles with life." The opening of the film begins with a reporter interviewing would-be actors, but the film is not, as indicated, "a documentary." Although actress Carol Nugent's first name is spelled "Carole" in reviews and ads for the film, it is listed as "Carol" in the onscreen credits.