Friday, December 13, 2013

A brief post about Beloved Infidel

What's left of the Fox Movie Channel is running the movie Beloved Infidel tomorrow morning at 3:30 AM, and a further two times next week. Amazon suggests you can get it on "Instant Video", but other than that, I don't know if it's in print on DVD, at least here in North America.

Deborah Kerr plays Sheilah Graham. Graham was a London-born journalist who left London in the early 1930s for the United States, eventually becoming a Hollywood gossip columnist. In 1937, she met F. Scott Fitzgerald (Gregory Peck). Fitzgerald is of course best known for novels like The Great Gatsby and several others that have been turned into movies. But by 1937 he was in a difficult marriage with Zelda, who was suffering from mental illness and needed care in a sanatorium. In order to pay the bills, Scott went off to Hollywood to work as a screenwriter, contributing to several films although he only received screen credit for Three Comrades. Scott, for his part, was an alcoholic and not exactly pleasant to be with, and not exactly thrilled about having to do this sort of writing work.

Graham immediately fell for Scott, even though there was no way he was going to be able to get a divorce, and immediately began to have an affair with him. It lasted for three years or so until Scott's death in 1940, his dead body apparently being discovered by Graham. Graham wrote about this in her book Beloved Infidel, and that book was turned into the movie that's showing up in the wee hours of tomorrow morning. Since it's from one of the participants in the relatoinship, I don't know how much of it is fully accurate, and how much of it is what we would nowadays call spin, with Graham presenting her side of the story in what would have been a relatively scandalous thing, I suppose. A difficult relationship, too, what with Scott's alcoholism.

Beloved Infidel is another of those movies that I haven't seen in years, since the previous go-round of FMC airings that would have been four? five? years ago? So it's another one of those movies that I have fuzzier memories of how good or bad it really was. But Gregory Peck is always worth watching, as is Deborah Kerr. So even if it's not the world's greatest movie, it still deserves a viewing.

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