Cinema: Babylon Revisited

THE LAST TYCOON

Directed by ELIA KAZAN

Screenplay by HAROLD PINTER

In the thick, solitary splendor of the movie studio, Monroe Stahr weaves dreams. He watches images flicker by in the screening room, demands improvement. Amendments, modifications, excisions—all flow in the sharp, regular rhythm of a master musician keeping time by snapping his fingers. "The last scene was too gory—cut out one roll of the table," or, "Reshoot the whole scene." His taste is peerless, but it would have to be. The production chief of a major studio like MGM in the early '30s, Stahr holds absolute authority.

Stahr cannot credit, either, the...

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