Studio: Paramount Pictures
Director: Elia Kazan
Plot synopsis: Studio head Monroe Stahr pursues British babe Kathleen Moore while contending with the demands of running a studio. Among his confidantes is seasoned movie producer Pat Brady.
Verdict: This adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald's unfinished novel is rather ho-hum, despite the stellar gathering of talent from several eras. De Niro so underplays his role that he actually becomes boring, while love interest Ingrid Boulting is deservedly obscure today. Mitchum brings a bit of life to the proceedings as a still-active ladies man. Bringing together such classic stars as Andrews, Milland, and Curtis just makes one wish it had happened when the actors were still in their prime.
What the Critics Said: "At one point in the film, the studio executives are in the screening room examining footage. 'It just lays there and goes to sleep,' complains Mitchum. He could just as well be critiquing The Last Tycoon." Kathleen Carroll, New York Daily News
"The result is so enervated that it's like a vampire movie after the vampires have left." Pauline Kael, The New Yorker
"Both a faithful adaptation and an extraordinary film in its own right," Joy Gould Boyum, The Wall Street Journal
Behind the Scenes: The character of Monroe Stahr is based on wunderkind studio head Irving Thalberg, who died at age 37. De Niro and Mitchum would reteam, after a fashion, in the 1991 remake of Cape Fear.
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