Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments

The Bad and the Beautiful (1952)


Written by Tim Dirks

Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

The Bad and the Beautiful (1952)

In director Vincente Minnelli's acerbic show-business related drama:

  • the night of the sneak preview of the B-grade horror film The Doom of the Cat Men, by egotistical film producer Jonathan Shields (Kirk Douglas) for studio executive Harry Pebbel (Walter Pidgeon), and the close-up view of the words on one of the patron's reaction-comment cards: "It Stinks"
  • following the premiere of her debut performance in a film, the scene of movie star Georgia Lorrison's (Lana Turner) entry, still wearing white mink and a white, rhinestone-encrusted dress, into producer Jonathan's mansion with a giant bottle of champagne, to celebrate - and then Georgia's shocking discovery of her betrayal by producer Jonathan's affair with starlet magazine cover-model Lila (Elaine Stewart), who was wearing a strapless gown; as she descended the staircase from the upper bedroom, the young vamp's shadow crossed over Georgia while she was hugging Jonathan, and she added a stinging critique: "The picture's finished, Georgia. You're business. I'm company"
  • Jonathan's hateful diatribe against the very vulnerable Georgia - viciously lashing out and berating her: ("Stop looking like that. Remember, I didn't ask you here. You couldn't stay where you belong, could you? You couldn't enjoy what I made possible for you. No. You'd rather have this. Well, congratulations, you've got it all laid out for you so you can wallow in pity for yourself. The betrayed woman. The wounded doe with all the drivel that goes with it going through your mind right now. Oh, he doesn't love me at all. He was lying. All those lovely moments, those tender words. He's lying. He's cheap and cruel. That low-woman Lila. Well, maybe I like Lilas. Maybe I like to be cheap once in a while. Maybe everybody does, or don't you remember? (She recoiled.) Get that look off your face! Who gave you the right to dig into me and turn me inside out and decide what I'm like. (He grabbed her by the hair.) How do you know how I feel about you, how deep it goes? Maybe I don't want anybody to own me. You or anybody. Get out! Get out! Get out!")
  • the incredible freak-out scene following Georgia's suicidal reaction to Jonathan's insults - she ran from the luxury mansion, entered her car, and recklessly drove off in a raging downpour; the hysterical, screaming out-of-control car sequence occurred as she drove faster and faster while headlights flashed past her from oncoming traffic; in one miraculous take, the camera rocked uncontrollably back and forth, swirling next to her in small concentric arcs as she became disoriented and flailed about; after a truck horn blasted at her car, she spun out of control when she released her grip on the wheel (the steering wheel rotated wildly as she let go); she slammed on the brakes (an inset close-up of her high-heeled shoe) and screamed, as her automobile lurched and hurtled around and finally came to rest on the side of the road; emotionally broken and in agony, she bent her head into the steering wheel where she dissolved into tears - and the car was cleansed by the deluge
  • the final image of director Fred Amiel (Barry Sullivan), actress Georgia and screenwriter James Lee Bartlow (Dick Powell) eavesdropping together on one telephone receiver, listening to the trans-atlantic call between Pebbel and Shields

Reaction Card: "It Stinks"

Georgia's Discovery of Betrayal by Jonathan

Starlet Lila

Jonathan to Georgia: "Get out! Get out!"

Hysterical Georgia's Out-of-Control Car

Eavesdropping on the Phone Line


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