Rabu, 27 April 2011

Vincente Minnelli - Two Weeks in Another Town (1962)

Plot Synopsis by Mark Deming

One of Hollywood's great directors, Vincente Minnelli, turns a jaundiced eye towards the film industry in this drama about the inner workings of the movie business. Jack Andrus (Kirk Douglas) is an actor whose career has gone into a tailspin along with his personal life; after a severe bout with alcoholism, a messy break-up with his wife, a life-threatening auto accident, and a nervous breakdown, Andrus has spent three years in a private mental hospital in Connecticut. Andrus is approached by Maurice Kruger (Edward G. Robinson), a noted filmmaker who worked many times with Andrus in the past, offering him a small role in his next picture, and with the blessings of his doctors, the actor flies to Rome to return to work. However, once he arrives, Andrus finds the project is in chaos -- his role has been recast, Kruger is constantly battling with producer Tucino (Mino Doro), leading man Davie Drew (George Hamilton) is squabbling with both %Kruger and his girlfriend Veronica (Daliah Lavi), and the female lead (Rosanna Schiaffino) can't recite her dialogue in English. With the shooting in shambles, Kruger asks Andrus to take over the dubbing work in hopes of bringing the film in on schedule, and against his better judgement Andrus agrees. As Andrus tries to rise to this new challenge -- made all the more trying by the arrival of his ex-wife Carlotta (Cyd Charisse) -- the production receives its biggest setback when Kruger suffers a heart attack after a bitter argument with his wife (Claire Trevor). Andrus takes over the direction of the picture, and proves a capable hand for the job, bringing in the project on time and on budget. However, Kruger expresses resentment rather than gratitude, claiming that Andrus is trying to put an end to his career. Two Weeks In Another Town was adapted from a novel by Irwin Shaw.

Having dealt superbly with Hollywood ten years earlier in The Bad and the Beautiful, Minnelli returned to the topic of movie-making, this time changing the location to Rome's Cinecittà, and using Douglas not as a ruthless producer but as a washed-up actor reduced largely to dubbing international movies. While the plot nominally deals cynically and sensationally with corruption and intrigue within the movie world's jet set as it follows Douglas' attempts to persuade producer Robinson to help him make a comeback, it really concerns itself more with failure, compromise, and disillusionment. Superb performances throughout, although it's Minnelli's remarkable direction that really lifts the movie up among the classics. Described by some as gaudy or overheated, it is in fact imbued with a thoroughly appropriate expressionism. (From a novel by Irwin Shaw). Weeks in Another Town.1962.Vincente Minnelli.avi[][3735496921].zip[][3735496921].zip

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