Great cast, screenplay, and direction. Douglas gives, for him, quite a restrained nuanced performance. Minnelli keeps the pacing flawless, and the episodic nature of the storytelling (with each character telling their own stories of why they hate Douglas) makes it a fantastic early 50s drama. This one a primer for great 50s classics that followed. Douglas screaming "Get out! Get out!" is forever burned into memory.
I love "All About Eve" and "Sunset Blvd.", and honestly I didn't think of either in viewing this, though by comparison the other two are probably superior in their own right. This too, despite the perhaps obvious scenes of recollection and easily thrust-upon indebtedness, is a consummate work, maybe not on the level of the other two pictures, but thanks to Kirk's performance through and through.
Very clever storyline of a corrupt studio executive told in flashback by 3 people who each has good reason to hate him. A stellar cast boasting the talent of Kirk Douglas; Lana Turner; Dick Powell; Gloria Grahame and Walter Pidgeon in addition to fine character actors under the expert direction of Vincente Minnelli ensures that the film never descends into a turgid melodrama.
Although this melodramatic Hollywood exposé may not have the same shock value it had 60 years ago, it still holds up surprisingly well today on its own terms. Lana Turner's star power doesn't quite compensate for her just adequate acting ability, which keeps this film from ranking as an unqualified classic. Otherwise, the cast is uniformly outstanding, including Kirk Douglas in one of his best performances.
This suffers from the same problem as S Ray's Nayak - moving in a zone which is chock-full of our expectations and ideas about Hollywood (just as Nayak is all about what we think of the private life of a superstar). Very rarely does this rise above the expected and the known.