THE BAD AND THE BEAUTIFUL
1952, Warner Bros., 118 min, USA, Dir: Vincente Minnelli

Hugely entertaining - and still on-target - drama of the relentless scramble to succeed in Hollywood, starring Kirk Douglas as producer Jonathan Shields, a born hustler who creates great movies while he alienates everyone who loves him – including Lana Turner as the alcoholic daughter of a Barrymore-like matinee idol, Barry Sullivan as a trusting young director and Dick Powell as a sharp-tongued screenwriter.


SUNSET BOULEVARD
1950, Paramount, 110 min, USA, Dir: Billy Wilder

"I’m ready for my close-up, Mr. DeMille!" Director Billy Wilder created one of his most enduring masterpieces in this dark, glittering, poison-pen letter to all things Hollywood, told in flashback by screenwriter Joe Gillis (William Holden), whose final job is playing paid companion to egocentric, aging silent-film goddess Norma Desmond (Gloria Swanson). With Erich von Stroheim. Academy Award Winner for Best Screenplay (Wilder, Charles Brackett and D.M. Marshman Jr.) and Score (Franz Waxman). The original Schwab’s drugstore figures prominently in the film, as do Paramount Studios and the still-standing Alto Nido apartments.


THE LOVED ONE
1965, Warner Bros., 121 min, USA, Dir: Tony Richardson

Marketed as "the motion picture with something to offend everyone!" this achingly funny, pitch-black comedy could only have been released in the anything-goes era of the 1960s. Judged unfilmable for more than a decade (Luis Buñuel was trying to set it up for years), writer Evelyn Waugh’s spot-on satire of Southern California - specifically the funeral business – finally was brought to the screen in the mid-’60s by director Tony Richardson (TOM JONES) with a screenplay by Terry Southern (CANDY, EASY RIDER) and Christopher Isherwood (!). Robert Morse (Bert Cooper in "Mad Men") plays a British youth visiting his uncle (John Gielgud) in Los Angeles who encounters the weird world of Tinseltown’s mortuary subculture, embodied by twins Henry and Reverend Wilbur Glenworthy (Jonathan Winters in a dual role), embalmer Mr. Joyboy (Rod Steiger) and his beautiful apprentice, Aimee Thanatogenous (Anjanette Comer). With Liberace, Paul Williams, Dana Andrews.


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