IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

‘Hollywoodland’ proves to be super movie

In this edition of the “Critic's Corner,” “Today” movie critic Gene Shalit reviews the new film, starring Ben Affleck.
/ Source: TODAY

A new movie called “Hollywoodland” opens in theatres all over the country tomorrow. It tells the story of the death of George Reeves, the actor who played Superman on television in the fifties. “Today” movie critic Gene Shalit says “look, up on the screen! A super movie!”

It’s the 1950’s in “Hollywoodland,” an underhanded, undercutting and (if you don’t watch out) undertaking town. Adrien Brody, as a two-bit private eye with a black-eye marriage, is flat broke. He needs business bad. Especially bad business. History’s being made as George Reeves (Ben Affleck) stars as Superman. MGM’s big-shot manicured thug, Eddie Mannix (Bob Hoskins), knows his wife (Diane Lane) and Reeves are lovers. But Eddie doesn’t care, he’s got his own mistress. In their circle, “Anything Goes.” Then Pfft! — everything goes . . . haywire: Reeves is found dead by a gun to the head in his house. Suicide? . . . or Murder? Who killed Superman? Brody, the eye-for-hire with a nose for trouble, guiles himself into the case. And trouble he gets in this hardboiled romantic mystery whose edgy players are tangled as noodles, and as slippery. Alan Coulter directs the trenchant Hoskins-Affleck-Brody bunch and Diane Lane, a sweet dream . . . but Stanwyck-tough. If only the French had a word for “Noir,” I’d hang it on this picture.