The Bad and the Beautiful

  • PG
  • Vincente Minnelli (1952)
  • US
  • 113 min
The Bad and the Beautiful
Film Review
Reviewed By
4 out of 5

Riven by political investigation, competition from TV and the realisation that the Golden Age had passed, Hollywood produced a series of withering self-portraits in the early 1950s that revealed, beneath the tinsel, a sordidness worthy of Dorian Gray. Full of insider gags, this fizzing melodrama from Vincente Minnelli touches more than a few raw nerves as it charts the decline and fall of movie mogul Jonathan Shields (Kirk Douglas) through the eyes of a writer (Dick Powell), a director (Barry Sullivan) and an actress (Lana Turner). Allegedly an amalgam of David O Selznick and Val Lewton, the character of Shields is made truly detestable by Douglas (in an Oscar-nominated role), who obviously relishes a part rejected by Clark Gable.

Plot Summary

Oscar-winning drama starring Kirk Douglas and Lana Turner. A Hollywood producer calls together a writer, a director and a star and reveals that ruthless movie mogul Jonathan Shields needs their help. But all three have vowed never to work with Shields again, and each remembers why.

Cast and crew


Jonathan Shields
Kirk Douglas
Georgia Lorrison
Lana Turner
Harry Pebbel
Walter Pidgeon
James Lee Bartlow
Dick Powell
Fred Amiel
Barry Sullivan
Rosemary Bartlow
Gloria Grahame
Victor "Gaucho" Ribera
Gilbert Roland
Henry Whitfield
Leo G Carroll
Kay Amiel
Vanessa Brown
Syd Murphy
Paul Stewart
Sammy White
Elaine Stewart


Vincente Minnelli

Other Information

Black and White
Theatrical distributor: 
BFI Films
Available on video and DVD
Released 20 Apr 2012
Certificate PG
BFI Films