The only time you’ll see a drunk Robert De Niro punched out by Jack Nicholson over a game of ping pong. A unique curio, this: Hollywood giant Elia Kazan’s last film, one of the most astonishing casts ever assembled and an F Scott Fitzgerald novel about Tinseltown itself. If only it were good.
In fact, Fitzgerald died halfway through writing – and Harold Pinter’s stodgy script never makes it home either. But Kazan, the ultimate actor’s director, fashions a sumptuous vehicle for his megastars to take it where they can. As a lavishly recreated Golden Era studio-system portrait by insiders, it’s impossible to cold-shoulder: post-Taxi Driver De Niro as a boy-wonder producer; Jeanne Moreau as a vain starlet; Tony Curtis as a sexually dysfunctional matinee idol; Donald Pleasence as a booze-hound novelist; Robert Mitchum as a grumpy exec; Theresa Russell as his daughter and Nicholson scene-stealing as an investor. Enjoy. No extras.