11 August 2006 | blanche-2
Love that title!
You gotta love the title "Two Weeks in Another Town." It's fabulous. As for the movie...it's a big budget, sprawling color extravaganza that's either a sequel or a prequel to "The Bad and the Beautiful" depending upon whom you speak to. Kirk Douglas stars as Jack, a has-been, alcoholic actor who, fresh from the asylum, is summoned to Rome by his guru, the director Maurice Kruger (Edward G. Robinson). Also in Rome is the wife that drove Jack into an alcoholic stupor, the seductive Carlotta (Cyd Charisse). Initially all Jack is to do is direct the dubbing of Kruger's film so he can finish on time and satisfy the Italian producer - but things become more involved.
I can't agree with one comment that this is the veiled story of Tyrone Power, Linda Christian, and Darryl F. Zanuck, with circumstances changed to protect the guilty. Certainly the promiscuity aspects are similar; Ty took up with Anita Ekberg, magazine editor Mary Roblee, etc., and Linda, well-known for her exploits like the Cyd Charisse character, had an affair with Edmund Purdom. And Power was certainly tied to Zanuck. However, the story is pretty Hollywood generic; one could probably make the case for other actors' marriages and connection to directors and/or producers.
"Two Weeks" is also way over the top, which is what Minnelli intended: old Roman gluttony. It's a feast of scenery, big acting, and a wild, dramatic story, which peaks with Douglas and Charisse in a fast car careening through Rome.
Kirk Douglas is great as an actor returning to his past, only to find there's nothing there of use. Robinson turns in a excellent performance as a tough yet insecure director who cheats on his emotionally abusive and abused wife yet depends on her like a child its mother. Trevor as the wife is appropriately hurt, angry, and downright vicious. George Hamilton plays an up and coming actor - as one comment noted, this is a stretch; he doesn't really register. Charisse gets costar billing but doesn't have much to do but laugh evilly, wear glamorous clothes, and look seductive. She succeeds.
"Two Weeks in Another Town" is certainly worth a look, though it was hard for this viewer to connect with any of the characters. I think it stands alone as neither a prequel or sequel to "The Bad and the Beautiful" as a story of what it's like to make films in another time - and in another town.