The Bad and the Beautiful (1953)


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Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

A manipulative, ruthless movie producer claws and squashes people on his way to the top. One of the finest looks at Hollywood behind-the-scenes, Bad & the Beautiful shows via flashback the stories of three famous movie people whose lives were forever changed by their association with the producer. They are popular actress Georgia Lorrison (Lana Turner), distinguished filmmaker Fred Amiel (Barry Sullivan) and screenwriter James Lee Bartlow (Dick Powell). The three have come together in an empty … More

Rating: G
Genre: Drama, Romance, Classics
Directed By:
Written By: George Bradshaw, Charles Schnee
In Theaters:
On DVD: Feb 5, 2002
MGM Home Entertainment


as Jonathan Shields

as Georgia Lorrison

as Harry Pebbel

as James Lee Bartlow

as Fred Amiel

as Rosemary Bartlow

as Victor 'Gaucho' Ribe...

as Henry Whitfield

as Kay Amiel

as Syd Murphy

as Von Ellstein

as Miss March

as Assistant Director

as Blonde

as Leading Man

as Secretary

as McDill

as Actor in Screen Test

as Mrs. Rosser

as Mr. Z

as Singer

as Voice on the Recordi...

as Joe's Friend at Part...

as Mourner at Shields F...

as Little Girl

as Studio Lighting Tech...

as Wardrobe Man

as Reporter

as Hugo Shields

as Reporter

as Amiel's Boy

as Bobby-Soxer

as Bobby-Soxer

as Assistant Director

as Casting Director
Show More Cast

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Critic Reviews for The Bad and the Beautiful

All Critics (28) | Top Critics (4)

Douglas gives a terrific study of male ego, all relaxed charm and going places.

Full Review… | April 17, 2012
Time Out
Top Critic

Under Minnelli's direction it becomes a fascinating study of a man destroyed by the 50s success ethic, left broke, alone, and slightly insane in the end.

Full Review… | February 5, 2010
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Full Review… | January 26, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

The master class in piquant flash tends to Hollywood's warts like sumptuous flowers

Full Review… | March 2, 2015

Charles Schnee's whip-smart script, packed with sharp one-liners and passionate dialogue is a pitch-perfect accompaniment to the noir-ish look of Robert Surtees's cinematography.

Full Review… | May 24, 2012
Electric Sheep

The Bad and the Beautiful took home a quintet of Oscars from 1953's ceremony and in its title alone we have possibly the greatest ever description of Hollywood.

Full Review… | April 23, 2012
The List

Audience Reviews for The Bad and the Beautiful

A Kirk Douglas film, has to be based or meant to base a director that played a part in his career, just to factual to be a made up story. Its about a director that is pretty much ruthless, shows the story of three people who basically were made famous thru his ruthless actions. A good ole Black & White. 4 stars.

Bruce Bruce

Super Reviewer

"Will you help him get started again? Will you work with him just this once?"

Three people: a Pulitzer Prize winning writer (Dick Powell), a beloved actress (Lana Turner), and an Oscar winning director (Bernard Sullivan) ; all connected by one man (Kirk Douglas). A charismatic, volatile, unknowable movie producer (with some serious daddy issues) who in the past brought all three of them great success in their careers, before selfishly taking actions that caused them all to vow to never work with him again. But now, it's years later and he needs all their help to make a movie (and a comeback). Will they help him, or are the scars of the past to painful to forgive?

The Bad and the Beautiful grew on me as it went along, and I found myself really enjoying it. The three self-obtained stories that make up the movie were very interesting, and Kirk Douglas and the rest displayed some fantastic acting (especially in the second story, which was my favorite). This was my first exposure to Douglas and Turner, and they were both absolutely great. As were the rest of the cast.

The Bad and the Beautiful is a must-see for those who like films about the movie industry. It's dramatic, captivating, and just very satisfying in that ageless, old school kind of way. Recommended.

Lewis C.

Super Reviewer

A good movie about the movie industry, and with a good cast. I liked it.

Aj V

Super Reviewer

The Bad and the Beautiful Quotes

– Submitted by Chris P (4 years ago)

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