THE BEST OF EVERYTHING —– “Now you and your rabbit-faced wife can both go to hell ! Sample fun retort from this catchy 1959 trash, done up in Hollywood’s slickest gloss, adapted from best-selling ripeness by Rona Jaffe, designed as sophistication for the masses.
Three smart, honest, unassuming gals from the hinterlands versus wicked, soul-less, gilted Manhattan, represented by ‘Fabian Publishing’ and its social climbers. Brave Girls 3 are Hope Lange (pretty, level, ground zero for dashing, hard-drinking writer Stephen Boyd); Diane Baker (eyes wide for matrimony, given the muddy boot treatment by callow playboy Robert Evans) ; and Suzy Parker (striking, hopeful actress used and thrown away like Kleenex by playwright Louis Jourdan–as ‘David Savage’).
Always dapper Brian Aherne has fun as the lecherous Big Cheese, and Martha Hyer is there for extra voomph. Most of the acting by those mentioned is good, except for Evans, just horrendously bad. Best role, played with steely relish, is the one put over by Joan Crawford, busting balls like never before as the chief editor. She was broke, wasn’t getting any offers, so she took her first non-starring role, and in just a few scenes, stole the movie out from under the young hopefuls.
Nice color (thanks to William C. Mellor on camera), nifty locations in the Big Apple captured for posterity, and there is yet another pretty music lacing from Alfred Newman. It runs a minute over two hours, and was directed by Jean Negulesco. Oscar nominations went to Best Song and Costume Design and fans shelled out $10,000,000 to see it, putting it at a comfy slot of #23 that year.