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Monday, August 23, 2010

Beloved Infidel (1959)

A glossy, romanticized view of the romance between author F. Scott Fitzgerald (Gregory Peck) and the Hollywood gossip columnist Sheilah Graham (Deborah Kerr) in 1930s Hollywood that fudges on the facts in order to bring us something more along the lines of LOVE IS A MANY SPLENDORED THING. There's even a lush theme song. Directed by Henry King and based on a true story but it rings false on almost every level. Peck and Kerr do well enough (and Kerr sometimes more than that) but Peck's drunk scenes are uneven, often opting for the cliche of a movie drunk rather than the reality of it. Peck and Kerr do have one great scene where he's physically abusive and threatening her with a gun. The film could have used more scenes with that kind of dramatic intensity. Outside of Kerr and Peck, there aren't any performances to speak of and both Eddie Albert (playing Robert Benchley) and John Sutton (reduced to a walk on) seem to have been victims of the cutting room floor. The plush score is by Franz Waxman. With Karin Booth.

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