I did see this once, but probably 30 years ago, and the NYPL doesn’t have it anymore. Lana’s famous scene in the car is usually celebrated, although she’s got plenty of detractors in this performance (esp. since she’s always good only by accident, and has no idea why, although it has to be the director). So you liked this one a lot? I recall liking it a good bit too.
Wow, does Kirk ever look sharp in that still you’ve got. Powell looking good too, though. Did you see his Philip Marlowe in ‘Murder My Sweet’ with Claire Trevor (marvelously vulgar B-lister)? He’s remarkably good, and this is the usual song-writer that comes to New York in the old Busby Berkeley musicals, and falls for Ruby Keeler.
Yes, this is very good. The three shots I posted are the moments when each of the main characters — the director, the star, the writer — realizes that he or she has been screwed by Kirk Douglas. It’s a clever premise — three interrelated shorts, each revealing why that particular person swears never to work with Kirk again. The acting is fine throughout, including all the secondary roles. There’s some satirical play on Lena when, during her screen tests, everybody thinks that she’s a terrible actress, but then Kirk brings out the star quality in her. I liked the car scene — way over the top hysteria, but she puts her foot on the brake pedal, so it’s as if she’s demonstrating to herself her own star quality, playing a suicide scene for all it’s worth. It’s a cold sendup of Hollywood’s egotism, but all realize in the end that they’re tougher and better — and richer — from having been played by Kirk. Not bitter, but wiser and more human for having excelled.