Wednesday, August 21, 2013

HIT ME WITH YOUR BEST SHOT: The Bad And The Beautiful


This week's selection for Hit me with your best shot is Vincente Minnelli's 1952 drama "The Bad and the Beautiful". This fascinating story gives a nice inside look into the film industry, centered around an ambitious producer Jonathan Shields (played by Kirk Douglas) and his dealings with an actress, director and writer in particular. The behind the scenes details of this movie must have been quite fresh for the time, compared to nowadays where it's daily chatter. A day doesn't go by where we don't get some article about an actor's alcoholism/drug abuse, insensitive debates over an actor's worth or the tug of war between making financially successful films vs "awards films". As a result, the film has probably lost some of it's revelatory power, but it's still interesting to see how things haven't changed all that much. Furthermore, the film has some great performances in it, so it's certainly worthwhile. Indeed, Lana Turner and Kirk Douglas were strong, but there's someone else who was the bigger takeaway for me...

Click below for my favourite shot...


My favourite shot is that of the sultry Elaine Stewart. Her character is cast as a bit player in one of Jonathan Shields' films and Stewart herself is a bit player in this film but she's so effective. I had my eye on her since an earlier part of the film and then this scene just further captivated me. With her slinky walk down the stairs, she steals the scene as she says to Turner...

"The picture's finished Georgia. You're business, I'm company."

You see, Georgia (Lana Turner) has just declared her undying love for Jonathan before Lila delivered that delicious verbal smackdown. To make it worse, she looks stunning and statuesque while doing so. Kudos to her and the Oscar-winning costume designer Helen Rose. She's literally "the bad and the beautiful".

3 comments: