The Bad and the Beautiful

The Bad and the Beautiful

Vincente Minnelli (1952)

PG Certificate


Our Score
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.


An actress, a writer and a director remember how an ambitious film producer ruined their careers and trampled over their lives to further his own success. However, the tables turn when he struggles to salvage his shattered reputation, and is forced to turn to his old enemies for help. Drama, starring Kirk Douglas, Lana Turner, Walter Pidgeon, Dick Powell and Elaine Stewart.

Cast & 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
Gus Sammy White
Lila Elaine Stewart
Director Vincente Minnelli
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Other Information

Language: EnglishBlack and whiteTheatrical distributor: BFI FilmsAvailable on: video and DVDReleased on: 20 Apr 2012