What’s Really Wrong With the Oscars?

I don’t know why I would read an article in Vox magazine entitled “This is the most populist Oscars in a long time.  So why doesn’t it feel like it?   I guess it’s because sometimes I wonder what Hollywood thinks about its own destruction.  I really should stop wondering.  But anyway.

This article is centered around a recent Saturday Night Live skit about how no one can name any movies in the last five years.

“This is an interesting problem for me, a film critic, to think about. I watch more movies in a year than some people watch in a lifetime, and hear about hundreds more. The situation is different for most ordinary folks. In the SNL sketch, Yang asks Pascal to “name three movies from the past five years.” Stunned by the challenge, Pascal ventures, “Oh, wow. Three? Okay.” He contemplates, and comes up with Top Gun. Then he tries another: “The Hangover?”

“That was 20 years ago,” Yang says.

“The Night … Man,” Pascal says.

“Sounds like you’re just saying words. Come on, all you need is one,” Yang coaxes. “Can’t you just name one more movie?”

“Nope,” Pascal says, resigned.

“That’s right!” Yang crows, jubilantly. “Nope! You won the speed round!””

So, this is supposed to be funny but it’s just reality.  Hollywood can no longer make a good movie.  At this point if one happens it’s an accident.  All we’re left with are sequels and superheroes.  When they stray away from those mainstays we end up with a dreary story about tortured people that have some affliction like transgenderism or Tourette’s syndrome who we’re supposed to cheer on as they bravely struggle to force the world to struggle along with them.  Or maybe it’s a genre film; science fiction or film noir where the protagonists are transgender or have Tourette’s syndrome and the people who aren’t transgender or don’t have Tourette’s syndrome are the evil villains.  Or it’s a story about lesbian or gay love.  Or it’s a documentary about a woman who was being kept down by “the man” but now she’s the head of a multi-national non-profit that makes bean bag furniture for everyday people.  Or it’s a documentary about a mostly peaceful riot during the Summer of George Floyd.  Or best of all, maybe it’ll be another story about slavery in the antebellum South.  What a joy that would be!

But, no!  The authoress then reveals the real problem, it’s just poor marketing!  So, get that.  In a world in which you are bombarded with ads on every device you can possibly own, on every site you enter, giant media companies aren’t able to tell you they have a movie coming out.

“The abundance of options and possibilities tend to strip the context and intentionality away from the viewing experience; you didn’t have to talk to your friends about what movie you wanted to see, buy a ticket, and create an experience out of it. Now it all just flows toward you, content in an endless stream.”

This is gibberish.  I suspect this woman was dropped on her head at some point in the past and never recovered her wits.  Or maybe she thinks we were.  Of course, people heard about movies from friends.  The problem is all the movies are now unwatchable so our friends don’t have anything to tell us.  It’s like what happened to broadcast television.  The profit model changed so they stopped making things that were good and filled up the time with reality shows and police procedurals where the police are all young women who have really nice hair and clothes and only arrest straight white men who are keeping the BIPoCs, LGBTQ and women “down.”

There are no good movies to see.  Even the superhero movies have become infested with woke characters and plots.  And that why Top Gun made a bazillion dollars last year.  It was an old-fashioned movie with a plot and likeable characters and it didn’t show you anything weird that you had to make believe you liked.

“It’s okay if you haven’t seen most of the Oscar nominees, or even heard of them. In 2023, that probably means you live a normal, well-balanced life, one full of going outside to toss around a softball and maybe, I don’t know, reading books and whatever normal people do. But if you find yourself wondering why you can’t name three movies that came out in the past five years, remember, it’s not just the movies’ fault — and it’s a fixable problem, with a little effort.”

It’s not a fixable problem because Hollywood cannot be fixed.  It has been in a death spiral and that’s now approaching impact.  When it splats it will leave a lot of stupid emotional people without jobs.  Good.

It can only be replaced by something willing to provide entertainment that people are willing to pay for and willing to watch.  And that is why no one with half a brain will be watching the Oscars this year or any other year.  Pass the popcorn.

 

 

A Hollywood Actor Whose Not An Idiot

Nick Searcy is that rarest of rare birds.  He’s a gifted actor who’s also a normal intelligent individual.

I thought he was one of the best things about in the series “Justified” and he’s almost the only denizen of Hollywood whose comments I can read on Twitter without reflexively swearing.  Well there’s also Adam Baldwin but after those two I don’t have many possibilities left.

And I love the way he deflates Twitter leftists.  It’s masterful.

Could We Make This Permanent?

Could you imagine if Hollywood shut down for four or five years?  Actors and actresses would have to subsist on what they could make using their other skills.  I guess prostitution would about sum it up.  Older actors would be completely unable to earn money and would starve to death.  And some Americans would notice their IQ’s slowly rising into double digits without the stupefying effects of Hollywood making them morons.

I sanction this movement.

 

 

 

Hollywood Scandal!

A “scandal” is rocking the very foundations of the Oscar awards!  “Sources” say that a questionable marketing and influencing effort may have improperly boosted the nomination of a white actress, Andrea Riseborough.  And that might be responsible for two black actresses; Danielle Deadwyler and Viola Davis not being nominated!

Choking down feelings of anger, hatred and outrage I manage to shout:

WHO?

Really, who the hell are any of these people and why would anyone care at all whether they might win the Oscar for best actress?

First of all, I have a zero chance of ever seeing any movie any of them might be in.  That’s a guarantee.

Second of all, even if one of the black actresses is exchanged for the white actress and even wins the Oscar I will still never see any picture she might ever be in.

Third and last of all, even people who pretend to like these movies and go to see them, are bored and dread going to see them.  They have to claim to like them to impress people they think are important or smart.  But these motion pictures are propaganda exercises that mostly allow Hollywood to virtue signal about whatever the cause du jour happens to be.

Now if they were giving out an Oscar for Creepiest Hollywood Denizen and it was a contest between Harvey Weinstein, Woody Allen and Roman Polansky now I’m all ears.

Contractions in the Media World

I saw a couple of articles about companies off-loading media properties.  ABC is trying to sell Nate Silver’s 538 site.  And it’s rumored that Jeff Bezos needs to sell off the Washington Post as part of a deal to buy a football team.

These are smaller parts of a bigger story.  ABC is trying to shed costs because Disney is looking to sell ABC and ESPN and wants to make them look less like money-losing properties than they are.

And this same loss of profitability is a general situation.  CNN is tanking and its competitors; MSNBC and Fox are also suffering ratings slumps.  Even streaming giant Netflix is feeling the pinch.  And Amazon is seeing red ink in various entertainment departments.

And how is any of this surprising?  These media companies don’t provide valuable products either as journalism or entertainment.  They despise their customers and provide content that is poorly done and rarely helpful to its consumers.  Watching what passes for network news is painful and rarely rises to the level of professional journalism or even honest reporting of the facts.

And what Hollywood tries to pass off as entertainment is an outrage.  Except for a very small proportion of the cable shows everything is hopelessly derivative and completely lacking in interest.  The network television shows, the police procedurals and situation comedies have fallen below the level of high school theatrical productions.  The scripts are worse than hack work.  The actors are uninspired and amateurish.  The only thing that keeps the whole thing from completely imploding is the low expectations of the Millennial viewers and the desperation of the sponsors who need some outlet for their commercials.

Back in the 1960s they called television the “great wasteland.”  If those culture critics could have foreseen what passes for television to day they would have begged the forgiveness of the network executives who provided a product that was at least geared to people of average intelligence.  Their modern day successors have crafted a product that even marching morons would run screaming from.

And that’s why I buy DVDs.  If I find a good show I buy it and add it to the Noah’s Ark of entertainment that I maintain.  Re-watching a one or ten or eighty year old movie is infinitely preferable to suffering through some new piece of tripe that will insult my intelligence and my morals.  And that’s why I’m so grateful for conservative critics who can pass along news of that rarest of unicorns, something new that’s worth watching.

So let ABC and the rest of the alphabet soup go out of business.  Let Disney’s next fifty gay rom-com cartoons crash and burn on the runway.  There’s plenty of old entertainment to watch and there will be some good things made by someone, somehow.

The big problem is finding reliable news.  The truth is not something that corporate America allows.  For that you have to go to small venues and the rare big media exception like Tucker Carlson.

But you always have OCF (Orion’s cold Fire).  What could be better than that?

Woke Disney Kids’ Movie with Gay Teen Love Interest Crashes and Burns on the Runway

I think I know why Disney brought Iger back.  They just launched a movie that cost more than $180 million and will be lucky if it makes twenty percent of that back.  Listen:

““Strange World,” is bombing, grossing a disappointing $4.2 million on Wednesday as it eyes a five-day haul of under $24 million. That’s a terrible result for the $180 million-budgeted animated adventure. For comparison sake, “Encanto,” another recent Disney animated offering, earned $40.3 million over the Thanksgiving holiday in 2021 — and that was considered to be a soft result for the family film.”

 

Here’s why.  This is one of the plot lines in this “kid’s movie.”:

“Ethan Clade, Searcher’s 16-year-old gay son longs for adventure beyond his father’s farm while also navigating a school crush.  One year later, Ethan is in a relationship with Diazo.”

What mother or father of eight- to twelve-year-olds doesn’t want to explain to his kids why two boys on the screen are acting like girls and gushing over each other.  Why would that make parents stay away in droves?  Disney warned us this is what they wanted to do.  But most of us assumed they were just talking.  No one thought they could be this stupid.  We were wrong.

 

So, I went over to Rotten Tomatoes to see what people were saying.  The professional reviews said it was the greatest thing since sliced bread.  But the customer reviews were full of things like this:

“jonathon b:  Stop bringing homosexual things into kids movies. Kids these days have it hard enough and do not need that influence in their lives.

firedup33:  We walked out of the movie! Disney is trying to indoctrinate children with this evil movie! Do not spend one penny on anything Disney. Boycott them! It should not be rated PG should be rated as Highway to Hell!

Sana W:  Awful!!! Walked out of it with my kids! I will never watch another Disney movie!

Xander C:  Lets put it this way. My little boys asked me to walk out of the theater. They said the movie was weird, and asked me why the “boy” in the movie was acting kind of girly. I should have learned my lesson after the lightyear movie. Disney, my family is DONE with you.

Anonymous:  Do not take young kids to this. I had no idea how woke this movie was. Unless you want to explain homosexuality to a your young children, avoid at all costs. My child asked me in the movie “why are the boys acting that way?” I am DONE with Disney in all forms.

Gerrixx O:  I want my money back… I’m not sure if it was bad or just boring. I’m tired of being preached at and I’m a minority many times over. JUST MAKE GOOD MOVIES… we don’t need to see a salad, we have imaginations unlike the people at Disney.

Stephanie A:  Absolutely terrible, if I want to teach my children about sex and or sexual preferences at 7 and 8 I would do it in my home. I don’t need a Disney movie to help me out with it. STOP making everything sexual, its unbelievable. Nothing in the trailer would lead you to believe that this is in the movie. I will no longer take my children to a Disney movie without reading reviews. Nothing is safe anymore, school, movies, internet (not that, that was ever safe), etc.. So disappointing!!!!

Anonymous:  I wish I would have read the reviews before wasting mine and my daughters time on this movie. It’s my choice as a parent to decide if I want my children to know about same sex relationships. Even with this world evolving I never expected Disney to shove it at my children during a kids movie. I’m very disappointed that Disney feels like they have to evolve with this world. Stand out use your voice and don’t try to be like all the rest. Stick to the the wholesome family friendly movies….Walt Disney would be ashamed.

Linda:  I went along with my daughter and two young grandchildren to see this movie. After seeing this movie, we will never take them to see another Disney movie again. Disney was trying so hard to be politically correct, they failed miserably to create a good family, classic movie as so many in past years. Don’t waste your money on this one, it is destined to be a Disney flop!!!

Adrian P:  Haven’t seen the movie yet but I’m violently homophobic

Kelly:  Last Disney movie I will waste my money on. As a parent I would like to be the one to talk to my child about same sex relationships. Way out of line for a childrens movie.

Jessie M:  Easily the worst Disney animated movie. I liked 1 character hense the half star. But it’s like Disney went out of their way to make every single scene a cringy woke competition from the last.

Olga:  So disappointed with Disney. I love Disney movies but not this one. The story line and plot was terrible. Lots of messages being sent that are confusing and not good for young children. Half the auditorium left the movie. Poor Disney. They can do better than this.”

This is so great.  There’s nothing like a nine-digit financial loss to really catch a corporate board’s attention.  They booted that dullard Bob Chapek out so fast that he’s probably still bouncing down the road.  Now Bob Iger, who is probably twice as woke, has to figure out a way to reverse the disastrous path he launched the company on without triggering the LGBTQ gestapo to denounce him.

This is so great.  Instead of “We Don’t Talk About Bruno,” it’ll bring new meaning to “Don’t Say Gay.”  Maybe they can persuade Ron DeSantis to give them some pointers on how to effectively say no to the gay mafia.  After this movie debacle Disney is going to have to have a string of successes just to catch up.

I’ve heard that G-rated kids movies have been known to make money.  Hey maybe they could make some of those.  If they need a template there used to be a company that made such hits as Snow White, Dumbo, Old Yeller, Swiss Family Robinson, Mary Poppins, Cinderella and on and on and on.

Oh, I forgot.  Disney isn’t allowed to make movies like those anymore.  They don’t reflect diversity, equity and inclusion.  They’re not who we are.  Too bad.  Well, good luck selling deviant sex to the parents of young children.  While you’re at it you might as well include puberty blockers and genital amputation to the plot lines and cover all the bases.

Well, this is good news.  Disney put their money where their mouth is and most parents have reacted the way they should.  They’ve put their kids’ well-being in front of virtue-signaling.  Even better news is that because traditional societies like China and most of the third world absolutely abhor this kind of stuff the world-wide box office isn’t going to save this turkey.  Disney isn’t even releasing this film in China or other areas of the world.  Europe and North America will have to suffice and we already see how that’s going.  What a great way for Disney to start off a recession, with a catastrophic box-office disaster.

M-I-C- (see ya later)

K-E-Y  (why, because we’re awful)

M-O-U-S-E.

Walt would be so proud!

What Kind of Movies Would You Pay to See?

I was reading an article on how the Juilliard School (and the American theater industry in general) have allowed themselves to be dictated to by the BLM trained students in their midst to such an extent that there is real fear that no one will go to any of the plays currently being produced on Broadway or elsewhere in the country because the effects of equity, inclusion and diversity have made the plays too awful to enjoy.  That got me thinking about Hollywood.

We all know just how terrified Hollywood was of the BLM blackmailers.  Back when the rioters were burning down the big cities during the “Summer of George,” Hollywood wrote up new hiring rules that ensure that no new straight white male will be hired in Hollywood ever again.  That includes actors, directors, writers, editors, carpenters, electricians or anything else.  And now the gay white men are next.  Pretty soon the only white people in Hollywood will be the owners of the studios.  And now with the LGBTQ agenda taking center stage in most movies it’s hard to see how they’ll stay afloat.

And I think it’s great.  Pretty soon this brilliant business strategy will finish off the last ten percent of Hollywood movies that people still watch.  That ten percent is made up of mostly super hero movies and cartoons.  Disney has signaled that they are going to cut their ties with their “Eurocentric” and “hetero-normative” roots and embark on a brave new world of BIPOC and LGBTQ story lines and characters that is sure to frighten away their remaining customers.

I said that I think this turn of events is great because losing their audience is the best thing that can happen to Hollywood for us.  Now that China has rejected Hollywood’s cultural programming, profitability is becoming difficult.  If the industry continues to shed its audience there will come a point where some combination of creative types and venture capitalists will see an opportunity to make movies that people want to see.  Whoever it is will have to defy the gatekeepers that dictate what can and can’t be shown.  But nature abhors a vacuum.  Demand will create the opportunity for a new industry.

Think about it.  Disney and the other studios have made it their mission to take old fairy tales and children’s stories and refashion them into LGBTQ struggle sessions.  Who is the target audience for these movies?  Well, Millennials and Zoomers don’t even go to the movies anymore.  They just stream junk they can get on their phones.  The audience is children and their parents.  But recent events have shown that even the most tolerant parents will draw the line when their children are being groomed for acceptance of unnatural and dangerous lifestyles and points of view.  These Millennial parents are looking for something safe for their kids.  The time is ripe for someone to provide that.  And with the copyrights on the old Disney films ending starting in the next decade or so, even these old chestnuts will find a new life in the hands of people who want to give parents something safe and wholesome.

The Left has no one to blame for all this but themselves.  Non-white actors and entertainers have been popular and welcome in America for many decades.  What isn’t welcome is a quota system on who we get to see and stories that aren’t entertaining.  Look, if someone wants to cast Eddie Murphy as the Nutty Professor, then fine!  If he’s funny, chances are lots of people will go to see it.  But if you provide only movies that pound the audience in the head about what a rotten country this is and how the only good people are either black or queer then maybe, just maybe people will decide to stay home.  Do this for long enough and someone will see an opportunity to fill a need.

Lately there have been start ups trying to make non-Leftist movies.  I think the Daily Wire (of all places!) has gotten some funding to start making movies.  To me that doesn’t sound like the place where it will happen.  If I were going to guess how it will work Netflix will decide to fund a production company that specializes in non-Leftist fare.  What they’ve recently done with their comedy specials by Chapelle and Gervais give a hint that profitability is becoming more important than virtue signaling.  And if they don’t then maybe Elon Musk or Peter Thiel will put together a consortium of billionaires who want to make some cash.  But however, it happens the certainty is that it will happen.  The current output from Hollywood now resembles the films made under Stalin in the heyday of the Soviet Union.  Americans usually don’t like to clap on command.

Alec Baldwin Talks to George Stephanopoulos About His Dream Come True

Serial rage-aholic Alec Baldwin sat down with malignant dwarf George Stephanopoulos to discuss how he was able to shoot two people without any criminal responsibility.  And it was palpable just how in awe of Baldwin’s genius the sniveling dwarf was.  Sure, Stephanopoulos had witnessed Bill Clinton evade serious consequences for any number of felonies.  But none of the Clinton murders were ever captured on video tape.  Here Baldwin went through a second-by-second account of his shooting of the cinematographer and director of his grade z western.  You could hear the pride in his voice at pulling off the trick shot that bagged both targets with only one bullet.  Of course, there is a trace of sadness that the director survived, but he remained upbeat and speculated that in future shootings he might be able to line up three or even four targets as Deadpool did in the famous opening fight scene of his movie.

A second video will be coming out consisting of the portions of the interview that were edited out.  They consist of the times where the conversation got side-tracked while Stephanopoulos reminisced about the good times during the Clinton White House when Vince Foster and Vic Raiser met their fortunate ends.  Unfortunately, Disney will be putting that episode behind a paywall.

At the end of the interview Baldwin was asked what he had lined up in the future.  He said he was in development on a biopic project about President Biden.  It was tentatively titled, “Plugs” and it would star Baldwin as the incontinent commander in chief.  Baldwin spoke in glowing terms of the cooperation he had received from the White House.  He hoped to have it in theaters for Christmas 2022 and hinted that Wesley Snipes was being considered for the part of Corn Pop.

Seriously though, Alec Baldwin is a soulless sociopath.  I wouldn’t be surprised if it turns out that he put the bullet in the gun to collect on some kind of weird codicil in his movie’s insurance policy.  The points in the interview where he breaks down and weeps look completely fake.

I have to assume that at some point in the future Baldwin will up his game and succumb to the urge to cannibalize someone just to check it off his list.  Hopefully it will be Stephanopoulos or possibly Robert DeNiro and Baldwin will die from ingesting that much toxin.

Guest Contributor – Chemist – Hollywood Hates Us

I recently wrote the below to a friend and they are seeing the same thing:

It seems that the mega entertainment corporations hate their customers so much that they are happy to commit suicide just to hurt their customers.

A crazy statement? Hear me out:
The latest Star Wars trilogy featured all female leads (The poor black dude who featured large in the first movie was a tertiary character at best in the second two.)
“OK, fine,” I thought. “The force can be used by male and female. No big deal. On with the story.” And I’m sure lots of people like myself felt the same way.
But Disney went further. It wasn’t enough to have STRONG FEMALE LEADS (TM) they had to destroy the male leads that came before. Luke wasn’t just a Jedi who was past his prime, he was a coward, a loser and a child murderer. It’s like Disney was saying: “Take that! All you losers who loved the original movies and characters. We’ll wreck them for you.”
Yes, the movies made money – lots of it, but only about a third of what they should have made. Did you hear of anyone standing in line to see those movies 4 times? 3? even twice?

OK, that’s a single example. . . .

The latest Marvel movie – Black Widow – has a scene consisting of women discussing their menstruation issues. I am told that Disney put that in the movie “Just to make men uncomfortable”.
Who watches comic book movies starring sexy women wearing tiny tight costumes? Is it pre-teen girls? Is it soccer moms? Is it the local Karen group of wine and whine?
No! Its men! Men and adolescent boys are your target audience. Why would you put in a scene just to make them uncomfortable?
Because Disney / Marvel hates their audience.
Black Widow is going to be the lowest grossing Marvel movie ever and may not even break even.
But it’s worth it, because they hate their audience and want to hurt them.

OK, that’s 2 examples, but they are both from the same company.

Let’s talk about Dr. Who. (Do we have to?) The BBC recently introduced a female Doctor Who. Not a female Gallifreyan – that had been seen before – but a female Dr. Who – the title character. OK, Its Sci-Fi, anything is possible. The fans will still watch as long as the writing is good. . .
But the writing was horrible. Every single plot revolved around social justice and other Woke topics. The fans stopped watching in droves. Remember that this is the longest running series in the history of television – almost 60 years of fans. There are people who grew up watching the show who are now collecting social security who have turned it off. The ratings are so bad that the BBC is considering cancelling the show.
But it’s worth it because they hate their fans.

The thing is that these companies are hurting themselves. The fans will go elsewhere – Japanese Manga is a big winner. They still feature male characters defeating bad guys and saving the day. (For now.) But the dollars the fans of Star Wars, Marvel, and Dr. Who would have spent on the movies, and products won’t be going to those mega corporations.

This is insanity. This is mental illness. And in the case of a publicly traded company, this might well be criminal.

The Bad and the Beautiful (1952) – A Movie Review

“The Bad and the Beautiful” is a film about Hollywood.  Kirk Douglas plays Jonathan Shields, the son of a famous Hollywood producer who has his sights set on following in his father’s footsteps.  Starting out as the producer of B movies for a friend of his father’s, Harry Pebbel (played by Walter Pidgeon), Jonathan finds, befriends and ultimately betrays the best director, actress and author that fate sends his way.  The movie is about this destructive mode of living that Jonathan inhabits.  Along the way we see that Jonathan is both tremendously talented and possessed of enormous personal magnetism.  But these positive traits are set against his staggering disregard for the welfare of the people around him.  Basically, he’s a narcissist.  He also suffers from bouts of clinical depression when he finishes each of his film projects.

The set up for the plot is the actress (Lana Turner playing Georgia Lorrison), the director (Barry Sullivan as Fred Amiel) and the author (Dick Powell as James Lee Bartlow) arriving at the office of Harry Pebbel who is trying to get the three of them to agree to star, direct and write Jonathan’s next project.  His last film was a financial disaster and the only way he can get funding is to have a team of celebrated professionals like them involved.

Harry is the narrator introducing the three vignettes that chronicle Jonathan’s disastrous relationships with Georgia, Fred and James Lee.  Each of the stories features Jonathan catalyzing the creative success that each is capable of but also betraying each of them in a way that is unforgivable.

Fred hands Jonathan the script of a great movie with the understanding that Fred will direct it.  Jonathan manages successfully to get the studio to provide a lavish million-dollar budget for the project but then decides to hand the direction to a more experienced man.  This ends Fred’s friendship and partnership with Jonathan but allows Fred to pursue his own career which ends in him becoming a highly successful director for other studios.

Georgia’s story features Jonathan saving this fragile young daughter of a famous actor who has fallen into a self-destructive cycle of drunkenness and loveless affairs.  He realizes that in order to give Georgia the confidence she needs to succeed he will have to pretend to be her great love.  With Jonathan’s help she finds her acting skills and makes the part and the movie a great success.  But after the film wrap Jonathan goes into his typical depression and when Jonathan isn’t at the opening party Georgia returns to Jonathan’s home to cheer him up.  Instead, she finds him entertaining a starlet in a negligee.  But instead of being embarrassed he becomes enraged that she thinks she can own his affections.  She flees into the night in a torrential rainstorm and we see her driving wildly and almost crashing into the oncoming traffic.  This is the weakest scene in the movie.  Her hysterical screaming while braking the car into a spin strikes me as absurdly comical.  The next day she quits her job and even though she was bound by contract Jonathan lets her out of it.  She goes on to become the most acclaimed, in demand and highest paid actress of her time.

James Lee’s story finds him recruited by Jonathan to write the script for a movie being made from his own best-selling book.  It’s actually James Lee’s wife Rosemary (played by Gloria Grahame with an awful Southern accent) who wants him to stay in Hollywood for the movie work.  But at the same time Rosemary is the greatest impediment to James Lee accomplishing much writing.  She interrupted him at every turn and distracts him with chaperoning her to Hollywood parties.

Jonathan is frustrated by this lack of progress so he arranges for James Lee to accompany him to a cabin in the woods where they can work undisturbed.  But to make sure that Rosemary doesn’t intrude Jonathan arranges for his handsome friend “Gaucho” to keep Rosemary company.  Of course, Jonathan knows Gaucho will make a pass at Rosemary and he also believes she will welcome it.

Sure enough, James Lee and Jonathan make enormous progress and finish the script.  But in the meantime, Gaucho and Rosemary take the opportunity to fly to Acapulco for a love tryst.  They are both killed in a plane crash and James Lee is devastated by his wife’s death and by the knowledge of her infidelity.  Jonathan convinces him to stay on in Hollywood to assist in the production of the movie and this lifts James Lee out of his despair.  But Jonathan inadvertently says something that reveals that he knew about Gaucho’s affair with Rosemary.  But instead of apologizing Jonathan goes on the attack and tells James Lee that Rosemary’s death was her own fault and that she was a hindrance to James Lee’s career.  And the outraged widower punches Jonathan in the face and walks out.  Afterward James Lee writes a book about a woman like Rosemary and the book wins the Pulitzer Prize.  We are led to understand by Harry’s remarks that James Lee’s new understanding of his wife’s hidden desires was what made the book the success it became.

After finishing the reminiscences Harry is going to call Jonathan in Paris and tell him whether Fred, Georgia and James Lee will be willing to work with him on his new project.  As the call is connected the three of them tell Harry they refuse and begin to leave the office.  As they walk into the anteroom, we hear Harry talking on his phone to Jonathan as he begins to hear the details of the new movie.

In the last scene Georgia carefully picks up the receiver of an extension phone in the anteroom and starts listening very interestedly in what Jonathan is saying.  Quickly Fred and James Lee huddle around her eavesdropping with her.  Obviously as much as they despise Jonathan for his selfishness they are fascinated by his talent.

This movie is a narcissist’s love letter to itself.  Hollywood almost prided itself on destroying the people it used up to make its products.  Vincent Minelli was the director and his wife Judy Garland could have been the model for the character Georgia.  And any number of other Hollywood actors, producers, directors and writers could probably have been templates for the characters in this movie.  The only difference would be that the betrayals were worse in real life and the talent of the producer would have been much less impressive.

I’m of two minds about this movie.  It is very well made.  It captures the spirit of the industry it portrays.  But the shabbiness of the people on display revolts me.  Jonathan is never apologetic.  He always attacks his victims.  He always justifies his betrayal.  He is a sociopath.  I guess taken as a cautionary tale it would have value.  Maybe it speaks to the selfishness in all of us.