Saturday, July 31, 2010
The Bad and the Beautiful (1952)
Someone recently asked me when I became addicted to watching classic movies. The answer is pretty amusing.They always assume that it's a long time passion or it's inherited from my parents or something classy as that. Boy, do I love the quizzical expressions on their faces when I mention that it was only a few years ago, thanks to KROQ entertainment correspondent Ralph Garmon.
I love to listen to Kevin and Bean during my morning drive to work. I know the program is stupid and nonsensical but it's nice to start the morning off with as much humor as possible. There is a special entertainment section that Garmon leads and this is where I first heard of a new event at a local movie theater called "Old movies for young people". They showcased a lot of classic movies for free. So I got to see "Mister Roberts" first and that didn't do much for me. It was when I went back again to see "The Bad and the Beautiful" that began my addiction.
It's a behind the scenes movie about hollywood. Kind of like "Singing in the Rain" but with no music, alcohol, and alot of drama. The movie is famous for for not only starring Kirk Douglas and Lana Turner but also being epically dramatic.
There isn't a lot of action. Only a lot of yelling and dialogue. Your thrust into a world full of smiling and successful Hollywood players. Your made to focus on three players. I believe one is an actress, one is a director, and the third is a writer. As the movie progresses, you slowly get a sense that all three barely made it to where they are now. There is a lot of backstabbing involved. All three orbit around one central figure that plays a key point to their success. All are bitter and angry towards this central figure but can only do so much or risk ultimate failure.
All the characters are so strong yet so weak that I was interested in how they became that way. Once the truth is known it was a bit of a surprise. I couldn't help but feel pity for them. To owe everything to a person who uses you as a pawn must majorly suck. That feeling of helplessness and entrapment is sensed throughout to the very climatic end.
Behind the scene movies, especially classics, are always intriguing. Whether or not your familiar with the stories it references hardly matters. Just knowing that there is hint of truth somewhere adds more meaning and makes it more of a puzzle. Who doesn't love to know piece of gossip? That's how TMZ makes it's moola.
It really hurts.