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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "Memorial to a Bad Man" or "Tribute to a Badman" or "Cautivos del mal" or "Les ensorcel├ęs" )


directed by Vincente Minnelli
USA 1952


The rise, fall and resurgence of a loutish Hollywood producer, as told through the eyes of three people he made then alienated. This quintessential movie on movies is an engrossing, seductive Minnelli epic, graced with superb performances.

The three separate stories, revolving around Douglas, a ruthless producer whose cunning ways allow him to climb to the top of the Hollywood heap, are told by star Turner, director Sullivan and writer Powell. Some film buffs believe that Douglas's role model was Val Lewton, the extravagant, driven producer of the 1940s, since Lewton made CAT PEOPLE and Douglas produces "The Cat Men" in the film. However, the character is more likely based on mogul David O. Selznick, particularly his beginnings as a B-film producer, his grooming of future wife Jennifer Jones and his making of a colossal Civil War film which, of course, was GONE WITH THE WIND...

Excerpt of review from TV Guide located HERE


Theatrical Release: December 25th, 1952

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DVD Review: Warner Brothers - Region 1 - NTSC

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Warner Brothers

Region 1 - NTSC

Runtime 1:57:40

4:3 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 4.91 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.


Audio English, French (Dolby Digital 1.0)
Subtitles English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, Thai, Korean, None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Warner Brothers

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 4:3

Edition Details:
• Cast & Crew Listings
• Scoring Session Cues
• Lana Turner: A Daughter's Memories (1:26:01)
• Theatrical Trailer
• Theatrical Trailer for
• Awards Listings

DVD Release Date: February 5th, 2002

Chapters 33





Opinions on this film seem very mixed indeed. Some hail it as one of the all time great send ups of Hollywood, while others view it as a staid old Hollywood relic. Although I'm generally a big fan of Minnelli's work, after an initial viewing, I fall somewhere in between the two camps. While the performances and direction were roundly superb, after an initial viewing a part of me couldn't help but feel as though it didn't live up to much of the hype; good, not great. I suppose that my opinion may change upon a future viewing, but as for right now it seems like a middling film in Minnelli's canon.

As for the release itself, Warner did a competent job with the release although it contains two of the packaging elements that fans find most annoying: flippers (dual-sided disc) and snappers (snapper case). While Warner has thankfully abandoned both of these practices, this is currently the only way to get the release in region 1. I'm happy to say that the image quality here is quite good. The film is presented in a way that preserves Minnelli's original palette through strong contrasts between the black and white. The sound is similarly good and leaves no room for complaint. And, while I found most of the extras to be of little interest, the 2001 TCM feature-length documentary, on the feature's opposite disc side, by Lana Turner's daughter is a real standout and should be of interest to anyone interested in classic Hollywood. Although this film may not be for everyone, its certainly worth at least one viewing based on the great direction and performances.

 - Brian Montgomery

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Warner Brothers

Region 1 - NTSC



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