The Movie Waffler Mike's Strange Cinema Cavalcade - THE BAD AND THE BEAUTIFUL | The Movie Waffler

Mike's Strange Cinema Cavalcade - THE BAD AND THE BEAUTIFUL

the bad and the beautiful review
The rise of a ruthless Hollywood producer.

Review by Mike Vaughn

Directed by: Vincente Minnelli

Starring: Kirk Douglas, Lana Turner, Walter Pidgeon, Dick Powell, Barry Sullivan, Gloria Grahame, Leo G Carroll

the bad and the beautiful bluray

In 1953 The Bad and the Beautiful earned an impressive five Oscar wins including Best Supporting Actress for Lana Turner, whose screen time is just under 10 minutes long (Turner held the record for shortest screen time for a Supporting Actress winner until Beatrice Straight's 1976 win for Network).

I love films about and filmed during the Golden Age of Hollywood and this one is among my absolute favourites. Told mostly in flashbacks, The Bad and the Beautiful centres around the decisive Hollywood mogul Jonathan Shields (Kirk Douglas) and his career, as told by a small group of his colleagues.

the bad and the beautiful review

When I think of movies about classic Hollywood, masterpieces like In a Lonely Place (1950), Sunset Blvd. (1950) The Big Knife (1955) and of course The Bad and the Beautiful spring to mind. While not nearly as bleak or nihilistic as the previously mentioned films, it offers up a slice of the unsavoury side of the glitz and glamour of Hollywood, but because it's made by a major studio it retains humour and optimism.

[ READ MORE: Blu-Ray Review - Pickup Alley (1957) ]

The calibre of acting on display here is staggering. Douglas proves he was - and is - a Hollywood icon. He carries the film effortlessly and gives a layered performance as the cocky scheming but ultimately big-hearted producer. Shields really is a heel at times but Douglas gives him a likeable and even redeemable quality that makes it hard not to like his character. Turner, once dubbed "the sweater girl", proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that not only is she incredibly talented but can hold her own with her leading man. She had beauty, grace and talent, and all of those qualities are on full display here. The film also features excellent supporting actors like Leo G Carroll, Walter Pidgeon and Gloria Grahame, among others.

the bad and the beautiful review

The movie has a Noir-ish look to it, thanks to three-time Oscar winning cinematographer Robert Surtees, and is expertly paced by two time Oscar winning editor Conrad Nervig.

Bottom Line: This film is a wonderful slice of classic Hollywood, populated by incredible talent in front of and behind the camera.

[ READ MORE: Mike's Strange Cinema Cavalcade - The Thing (2011) ]

Recently Warner Archive has been doing some amazing work with their 4K releases and WOW, they have really turned it OUT with this stunning release. This new restoration really showcases Surtees’s Oscar-winning cinematography. The soundtrack is also well done and sports a nice crisp and clean 2.0 Mono track.

the bad and the beautiful review

The extras are slim but impressive. The TCM produced documentary Lana Turner….A Daughters Memoir (2001) is a real treat for fans of the star and at nearly 90 minutes has lots of wonderful insights and stories from not only Turner's daughter but her peers. Rounding out the features is Scoring Sessions: Music Cues and the theatrical trailer. All the features, including the TCM produced documentary, have been ported over from the out of print DVD. If you own the DVD you should upgrade as the new 4K is stunning. For those of you who do not own it already, it’s a great film that has been treated like Hollywood royalty by Warner Archive. This makes my short list of best release of 2019.

The Bad and the Beautiful is on blu-ray November 19th from Warner Archive.

Michael Vaughn is a rabid horror and cult fan who turned that love into a career. He is a writer, blogger and film historian and now author of 'The Ultimate Guide to Strange Cinema' which Shock Wave Podcast named their pick of the month, and Chris Alexander of Fangoria called “recommended reading.”

His other credits include Scream Magazine, Fangoria and websites like Films in Review and Bloody Flicks(UK). Please follow his Twitter @StrangeCinema65 and Instagram @gorehound_mike.