|Genre: Classics, Drama, Romance|
Directed By: Vincente Minnelli
Written By: Charles Schnee
In Theaters: 25 Dec. 1952
On Disc/Streaming: 5 Febr. 2002
Runtime: 118 minutes
Studio: MGM Home Entertainment
Box office: $3,373,000
Lana Turner as Georgia Lorrison
Kirk Douglas as Jonathan Shields
Dick Powell as James Lee Bartlow
Walter Pidgeon as Harry Pebbel
Barry Sullivan as Fred Amiel
Gloria Grahame as Rosemary Bartlow
Gilbert Roland as Victor “Gaucho” Ribera
Paul Stewart as Syd
Ivan Triesault as Von Ellstein
Leo G. Carroll as Henry Whitfield
Sammy White as Gus
Elaine Stewart as Lila
“The Bad and the Beautiful” is a 1952 MGM melodrama that tells the story of a film producer who alienates all around him.
It stars Lana Turner, Kirk Douglas, Walter Pidgeon, Dick Powell, Barry Sullivan, Gloria Grahame and Gilbert Roland.
This film shows via flashback the stories of three famous movie people whose lives were forever changed by their association with a manipulative, ruthless movie producer. The three come together at the producer’s request; he wants them to work together on mutually hated Jonathon Shields’ newest big-budget production.
Lana Turner plays Georgia Lorrison.
In Film Quarterly Magazine, writer Albert Johnson called “The Bad And The Beautiful” Minnelli’s most brilliant piece of drama-direction. “Here is his precise account of one of the film’s truly memorable moments: Robert Surtees, the cameraman for “The Bad And The beautiful”, created one of the most exciting sequences of the decade for the picture: the car hysteria episode. It is the section where Georgia Lorrison, the neurotic moviestar (Lana Turner), yields to a fit of anguish while driving her automobile away from her lover’s mansion. … Turner emerges from the mansion, dazed in white ermine, and drives away. Her sobs soon build to hysteria and lights of cars send flashes across the windows as she reaches a moment of unbearable frenzy, releases the steering wheel entirely and screams in emotional agony. Her foot presses the brake. One hears only her screams, the honking of passing auto-horns and suddenly it is raining. The car bumps along uncrontrollably for a second, then comes to standstill. Turner falls over the wheel, still sobbing uncontrollably as the sequence fades. It is superb theater, one of the great moments of human despair shown in cinematic terms and a prime example of the coordination of actress, director and cameraman which can create a perfect visual moment of dramatic poetry upon the screen.”
Vincente Minnelli commented on Miss Turner’s work in this scene: “I found she had great imagination. She could do things I had no idea she could. She had great depth and color and rose to the part. That famous hysterical scene in the car was shot in one take. I had a special apparatus so the car revolved and the cameras moved in and out. I explained the whole routine to her and she went in and did it in one take. She was a marvelous person as well as actress, because if you were appreciative and responded to her doing a good job, she responded as well.”
This film provided Lana with one of the most challenging roles of her acting career. Georgia Lorrison was a multifaceted character who goes from a drunk to an A-list actress and experiences all of the peaks and valleys in between.
The car scene is indeed one of the best sequences ever shot, but I didn’t like the film very much. It just didn’t grab me.
You can watch the film here.
Lana Turner did a lot of movies. She really loved being a moviestar.
Here are the most important films in which she starred. Just click the links for more info, photos and videos.
20 April 1937: A Star Is Born
9 Oct. 1937: They Won’t Forget
24 Oct. 1937: The Great Garrick
1 Jan. 1938: The Adventures of Marco Polo
22 July 1938: Love Finds Andy Hardy
12 Aug. 1938: Rich Man, Poor Girl
9 Dec. 1938: Dramatic School
28 April 1939: Calling Dr. Kildare
18 Aug. 1939: These Glamour Girls
29 Sept. 1939: Dancing Co-Ed
19 April 1940: Two Girls on Broadway
19 July 1940: We Who Are Young
25 April 1941: Ziegfeld Girl
12 Aug. 1941: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
2 Oct. 1941: Honky Tonk
18 Febr. 1942: Johnny Eager
27 Aug. 1942: Somewhere I’ll Find You
1 April 1943: Slightly Dangerous
19 Aug. 1943: Du Barry Was A Lady
13 Nov. 1943: The Youngest Profession
23 Aug. 1944: Marriage Is a Private Affair
8 March 1945: Keep Your Powder Dry
1 Oct. 1945: Week-End At The Waldorf
2 May 1946: The Postman Always Rings Twice
5 Nov. 1947 : Green Dolphin Street
1 Nov. 1947: Cass Timberlane
29 April 1948: Homecoming
20 Oct. 1948: The Three Musketeers
1 Sept. 1950: A Life Of Her Own
2 March 1951: Mr. Imperium
5 Sept. 1952: The Merry Widow
25 Dec. 1952: The Bad And The Beautiful
25 Aug. 1953: Latin Lovers
1 May 1954: Flame And The Flesh
7 Sept. 1954: Betrayed
13 May 1955: The Prodigal
4 June 1955: Sea Chase
14 Dec. 1955: The Rains Of Ranchipur
12 Jan. 1956: Diane
13 Dec. 1957: Peyton Place
30 Jan. 1958: The Lady Takes A Flyer
2 May 1958: Another Time, Another Place
30 April 1959: Imitation Of Life
23 June 1960: Portrait In Black
19 July 1961: By Love Possessed
2 Nov. 1961: Bachelor In Paradise
25 Dec. 1962: Who’s Got The Action?
24 Febr. 1965: Love Has Many Faces
27 April 1966: Madame X
30 April 1969: The Big Cube
7 Nov. 1974: Persecution
27 Oct. 1976: Bittersweet Love
31 Oct. 1980: Witches Brew
21 May 1982: Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid
Sources: Wikipedia, IMDB, Rotten Tomatoes, Lana’s biography “Lana, the Lady, The Legend, The Truth“, “The Films Of Lana Turner” by Lou Valentino and “Lana Turner, The Memories, The Myths and The Movies” by Cheryl Crane.