Wiki excerpt: Vincente Minnelli and John Houseman‘s The Bad and the Beautiful (’52) “was shot as Tribute to a Bad Man, but the studio (Dore Schary‘s MGM) began to worry it would be mistaken for a western.
“The title was changed to The Bad and the Beautiful at the suggestion of MGM’s head of publicity Howard Dietz, who took it from F. Scott Fitzgerald.
“Houseman called it a ‘dreadful title…a loathsome, cheap, vulgar title.’ But when the film became successful “it seemed like one of the greatest titles anyone had ever thought of,” he admitted. “It’s certainly been imitated enough: anytime anybody’s hard up for a title, they just take two adjectives and string them together with an ‘and’ in between.”
More wiki: “At the time of the film’s release, stories about its basis caused David O. Selznick — whose real life paralleled in some respects that of the ‘father-obsessed independent producer’ Jonathan Shields — to have his lawyer view the film and determine whether it contained any libelous material.
“Shields is thought to be a blend of Selznick, Orson Welles and Val Lewton. Schary said Shields was a combination of “David O. Selznick and as yet unknown David Merrick.”
“Lewton’s Cat People is clearly the inspiration behind the early Shields-Amiel film Doom of the Cat Men.
“[Lana Turner‘s] Georgia Lorrison character is the daughter of a ‘great profile’ actor like John Barrymore (Diana Barrymore’s career was in fact launched the same year as her father’s death), but it can also be argued that Lorrison includes elements of Minnelli’s ex-wife Judy Garland.
“Gilbert Roland‘s Gaucho may almost be seen as self-parody, as he had recently starred in a series of Cisco Kid pictures. The character’s name, Ribera, would also seem to give a nod also to famed Hollywood seducer Porfirio Rubirosa.
“The director Henry Whitfield (Leo G. Carroll) is a ‘difficult’ director modeled on Alfred Hitchcock, and his assistant Miss March (Kathleen Freeman) is modeled on Hitchcock’s wife Alma Reville.
“The other director, the monacled ‘Von Elstein’, may be modeled after Erich von Stroheim and Josef von Sternberg.
“[Dick Powell‘s] James Lee Bartlow character may have been inspired by Paul Eliot Green, the University of North Carolina academic-turned-screenwriter of The Cabin in the Cotton.”