Having dealt superbly with Hollywood ten years earlier in The Bad and the Beautiful, Minnelli returned to the topic of movie-making, this time changing the location to Rome's Cinecittà, and using Douglas not as a ruthless producer but as a washed-up actor reduced largely to dubbing international movies. While the plot nominally deals cynically and sensationally with corruption and intrigue within the movie world's jet set as it follows Douglas' attempts to persuade producer Robinson to help him make a comeback, it really concerns itself more with failure, compromise, and disillusionment. Superb performances throughout, although it's Minnelli's remarkable direction that really lifts the movie up among the classics. Described by some as gaudy or overheated, it is in fact imbued with a thoroughly appropriate expressionism. (From a novel by Irwin Shaw.