Vincente Minnelli supposedly drew on the lives of a handful of notorious, iconic Hollywood producers, including Val Lewton and David O. Selznick, to create the caustic figure at the center of The Bad and the Beautiful, one of his richest melodramas. But the film is less an inside-Hollywood exposé than a grim tragedy about a man driven to appalling ends by a mixture of hubris and sheer malice. We learn, across three extended flashbacks, why three prominent Hollywood figures, including an actress (Lana Turner) and a writer (Dick Powell) detest the famous producer Jonathan Shields (Kirk Douglas), who both made their careers and ruined their lives. Grahame won an Oscar for her unforgettable supporting role as Powell’s flighty Southern belle wife.