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NewCityNet Film Tip of the Week

See "The Bad and the Beautiful."

By Ray Pride

APRIL 27, 1998: 

Vincente Minnelli's 1952 backstage Hollywood melodrama is tough stuff, not as brackish as "Sunset Boulevard" yet still as unforgiving. As a cruel producer, Kirk Douglas may have his best bastard role. He's got a nasty past, and wants to set up a new project; one-time director Barry Sullivan, writer Dick Powell, and star Lana Turner remember how he screwed them over in the past. I'm fond of the exuberant excesses of Minnelli's later "Two Weeks In Another Town," but the despotism and injustice of Douglas' behavior and stark truth of the ending still make a tainted trifle like "The Player" pale by contrast. As David Thomson notes in his "A Biographical Dictionary of Film," this movie "was a breakthrough: it opened up a potential for sudden insights... a brilliantly regulated melodrama that was one of Minnelli's most fascinating assets.


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