Two Weeks in Another Town (1962)

Directed by Vincente Minnelli

Love that title!

11 August 2006 | by blanche-2 (United States) – See all my reviews

You gotta love the title “Two Weeks in Another Town.” It’s fabulous. As for the movie…it’s a big budget, sprawling color extravaganza that’s either a sequel or a prequel to “The Bad and the Beautiful” depending upon whom you speak to. Kirk Douglas stars as Jack, a has-been, alcoholic actor who, fresh from the asylum, is summoned to Rome by his guru, the director Maurice Kruger (Edward G. Robinson). Also in Rome is the wife that drove Jack into an alcoholic stupor, the seductive Carlotta (Cyd Charisse). Initially all Jack is to do is direct the dubbing of Kruger’s film so he can finish on time and satisfy the Italian producer – but things become more involved.

I can’t agree with one comment that this is the veiled story of Tyrone Power, Linda Christian, and Darryl F. Zanuck, with circumstances changed to protect the guilty. Certainly the promiscuity aspects are similar; Ty took up with Anita Ekberg, magazine editor Mary Roblee, etc., and Linda, well-known for her exploits like the Cyd Charisse character, had an affair with Edmund Purdom. And Power was certainly tied to Zanuck. However, the story is pretty Hollywood generic; one could probably make the case for other actors’ marriages and connection to directors and/or producers.

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“Two Weeks” is also way over the top, which is what Minnelli intended: old Roman gluttony. It’s a feast of scenery, big acting, and a wild, dramatic story, which peaks with Douglas and Charisse in a fast car careening through Rome.

Kirk Douglas is great as an actor returning to his past, only to find there’s nothing there of use. Robinson turns in a excellent performance as a tough yet insecure director who cheats on his emotionally abusive and abused wife yet depends on her like a child its mother. Trevor as the wife is appropriately hurt, angry, and downright vicious. George Hamilton plays an up and coming actor – as one comment noted, this is a stretch; he doesn’t really register. Charisse gets costar billing but doesn’t have much to do but laugh evilly, wear glamorous clothes, and look seductive. She succeeds.

“Two Weeks in Another Town” is certainly worth a look, though it was hard for this viewer to connect with any of the characters. I think it stands alone as neither a prequel or sequel to “The Bad and the Beautiful” as a story of what it’s like to make films in another time – and in another town.

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Production

George Hamilton was cast as “a troubled, funky James Dean-type actor, for which I couldn’t have been less appropriate” as he later admitted.

Two Weeks in Another Town was created by the same team that earlier worked on another film about the movie business, The Bad and the Beautiful: director (Vincente Minnelli), producer (John Houseman), screenwriter (Charles Schnee), composer (David Raksin), male star (Kirk Douglas), and studio (MGM). Both movies also feature performances of the song “Don’t Blame Me” — by Leslie Uggams in Two Weeks and by Peggy King in The Bad and the Beautiful. In one scene of Two Weeks, the cast watches clips from The Bad and the Beautiful in a screening room, presented as a movie that Douglas’s character in Two Weeks, Jack Andrus, had starred in. Two Weeks in Another Town is not a sequel to The Bad and the Beautiful, however; the characters in the two stories are unrelated.

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Edward G Robinson

Bad and Beautiful in Rome

10/10
Author: helenkmessler from United States
29 May 2006

Starts with Kirk Douglas in a nut house, isn’t that just perfect? He is allowed out to take over an American movie in trouble being shot on location in Rome – well that’s beyond perfection – And a total guarantee of 100 or so minutes of decadent splendor. The director and his wife, played at the edge of the abyss, by Edward G Robinson and Claire Trevor deserve a film of their own. Douglas does his thing as if we had never seen it before and thank God for that because it works in the most satisfying way. Minnelli knew what he was doing and those modern Roman parties with the glittering Italian aristocrats is out of a Fellini film. Cyd Charisse, George Hamilton and Vito Scotti are also part of this tabloid tale told by a master. Highly recommended.

Plot

Once an established movie star, Jack Andrus has hit rock bottom. An alcoholic, he has been divorced by wife Carlotta, has barely survived a car crash and has spent three years in a sanitarium recovering from a nervous breakdown.

Maurice Kruger, a film director who once was something of a mentor to Andrus, is also a has-been now. However, he has landed a job in Italy, directing a movie that stars a handsome, up-and-coming young actor, Davie Drew.

Andrus is offered a chance to come to Rome and play a role in Kruger’s new film. He is crestfallen upon arriving when told that the part is no longer available to him. Kruger’s mean-spirited wife, Clara, doesn’t pity him a bit, but Andrus is invited to take a lesser job assisting at Cinecitta Studio with the dubbing of the actors’ lines.

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While working, he socializes with the beautiful Veronica, but she actually is in love with Drew. The actor is having a great deal of difficulty with his part and the movie is already over budget and behind schedule. Kruger’s stress also is increased by the constant harping of Clara, resulting in a heart attack that sends the director to the hospital.

Andrus is asked to take over the director’s chair and complete the film. Glad to do this favor for Kruger, he takes charge and gets the film back on schedule. The actors respond to him so much that Drew’s representatives tell Andrus the actor will insist on his directing Drew’s next film.

Proud of what he has done, Andrus goes to Kruger in the hospital, delighted to report the progress he’s made, only to be attacked by Clara for trying to undermine Kruger and steal his movie from him. Andrus is shocked when Kruger sides with her.

An all-night descent into an alcohol-fueled rage follows. Carlotta goes along as a drunken Andrus gets behind the wheel of a car and races through the streets of Rome, nearly killing both of them.

At the last minute, Andrus comes to his senses. He vows to return home, continue his sobriety and get his life back on track.

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If you liked the “Bad & The Beautiful” with Kirk Douglas,( Jack Andrus) this picture is pretty close to the same story line, however, there is plenty of color, drama and romance. Great actors appear in this film, Edward G. Robinson,(Maurice Kruger), “The Red House” puts his heart and soul into the role and yells and screams his head off as a big shot movie director. Kirk Douglas still plays the role as an abusive drinker who is reformed and is placed in some rather difficult situations from actor to assistant director. Cyd Charisse, (Charlotta) adds plenty of sexy charm to the various scenes and George Hamilton, (Davie Drew) gives a great supporting role. For some reason over the years, I seemed to have missed viewing this film and found it quite enjoyable and also seeing how very young all the actors appeared in 1962. Enjoy..

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