The Bad and the Beautiful (1953) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Bad and the Beautiful1953

The Bad and the Beautiful (1953)



Critic Consensus: Melodrama at its most confident, The Bad and the Beautiful is an ode to moviemaking that offers unblinking insight into the ugly egos that have shaped Hollywood history.

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Movie Info

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.

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Kirk Douglas
as Jonathan Shields
Lana Turner
as Georgia Lorrison
Walter Pidgeon
as Harry Pebbel
Dick Powell
as James Lee Bartlow
Barry Sullivan
as Fred Amiel
Gloria Grahame
as Rosemary Bartlow
Gilbert Roland
as Victor 'Gaucho' Ribera
Leo G Carroll
as Henry Whitfield
Vanessa Brown
as Kay Amiel
Paul Stewart
as Syd Murphy
Ivan Triesault
as Von Ellstein
Kathleen Freeman
as Miss March
Jonathan Cott
as Assistant Director
Lucy Knoch
as Blonde
Steve Forrest
as Leading Man
Perry Sheehan
as Secretary
George J. Lewis
as Actor in Screen Test
William 'Bill' Phillips
as Assistant Director
Madge Blake
as Mrs. Rosser
Jay Adler
as Mr. Z
Peggy King
as Singer
Bess Flowers
as Joe's Friend at Party
Louis Calhern
as Voice on the Recording
Harold Miller
as Mourner at Shields Funeral
Sandy Descher
as Little Girl
Dabbs Greer
as Studio Lighting Technician
Ned Glass
as Wardrobe Man
William E. Green
as Hugo Shields
Sarah Spencer
as Reporter
Norma Jean Salina
as Bobby-Soxer
Chris Olson
as Amiel's Boy
Kathy Qualen
as Bobby-Soxer
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News & Interviews for The Bad and the Beautiful

Critic Reviews for The Bad and the Beautiful

All Critics (48) | Top Critics (15)

Brilliant as the film undoubtedly is, ingeniously shaped and textured, it remains, with its lack of a developing centre, too insubstantial.

August 31, 2020 | Full Review…

Instead of satire there is false sentiment.

August 31, 2020 | Full Review…

Though some of the characters may be bad and others beautiful, few are either real or believable.

August 31, 2020 | Full Review…

As a study of Hollywood the film is not particularly observant. It has gumption but no imagination. It draws attention to false values but does not put them in their place.

August 31, 2020 | Full Review…

Douglas' teeth-clenched, dimple-thrusting megalomaniac is among his best work, while the gossipy screenplay (another Oscar winner) is served wonderfully by Minnelli's lush melodramatics.

August 31, 2020 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Not quite Sunset Boulevard but almost.

April 20, 2012 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

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
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.
Lewis C.

Super Reviewer

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

Aj V
Aj V

Super Reviewer

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