The Last Tycoon

Elia Kazan now admits that he directed this adaptation, his last Hollywood film, for the money. Unfortunately, it looks it. Not that F. Scott Fitzgerald’s overrated fragment about Hollywood in the 30swhich trains its rather indiscriminate hero worship on Monroe Starr, a producer modeled after Irving Thalbergis a gem to begin with. But given the talented castRobert De Niro (especially good as Starr), Tony Curtis, Robert Mitchum, Jeanne Moreau, Jack Nicholson, Donald Pleasence, Ingrid Boulting, Ray Milland, Dana Andrews, Theresa Russell, John Carradine, and Anjelica Hustonit does seem like a bit of a waste. Harold Pinter’s cold and gnomic script seems partly to blame, as well as interfering producer Sam Spiegel; but if you forget that you’re supposed to be seeing something meaningful or important, this is pretty watchable (1976). (JR)

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