Starring Kirk Douglas, Edward G. Robinson, Claire Trevor, Cyd Charisse, George Hamilton
Melodramatic. Decadent. Spiraling.
Kirk Douglas plays Jack Andrus, a washed-up movie star and depressed alcoholic. He gets a call from an estranged friend and collaborator, director Maurice Kruger (Robinson), himself struggling, and hoping to make a comeback filming in Italy. Kruger offers Jack a job handling the dubbing of the picture, but Jack soon gets involved with the troubled leading actor and the leading actor’s girlfriend. Very melodramatic, which is a style and a style Minnelli executed very well many times before, but this film often borders on hysteria. Many of its parts are better than the whole which is only mildly engaging. Douglas and Robinson are strong, while Hamilton as a deep, brooding actor seems odd. Minnelli’s films are never boring, and always impeccably staged and composed.
-Walter Tyrone Howard-