“Don’t Worry Baby” isn’t the first movie she’s swallowed up herself

Editor’s note: Ranger’s senior writer Jonathan Tjarkes passed away on Saturday. You can find information on how to support Jonathan’s family here.


You may not have seen it yet do not worry my love, the second film directed by Olivia Wilde, but you’ve surely heard of it. The movie became a topic Rumors fueled by TikTok The tension between Wilde and star Florence Pugh dates back to 2021. Since then, he’s become Stories of behind-the-scenes problems multiplied, picking up subplots involving infidelities, told tales of cast changes, and a video of Harry Styles that might – but certainly – not spit on as intensely studied Chris Pine as Robert Langdon. At this point, the film itself seems like an afterthought, a nucleus still surrounded by noisy electrons that leads to one unstable reaction after another.

Yet the movie remains that way: a movie, as hard as it is to watch it now without thinking about all the trouble and uproar that caused it to be made. This is always true in some respects. It’s impossible to completely rule out what we know about the people who make the movies as they disappear into the worlds they make, but it’s usually easy to put one side to the side. We can think of Ben Affleck as the man in love with Duncan who married Jennifer Lopez And the Bruce Wayne without shortening our brains. But sometimes, the story behind the movie can overshadow the movie itself, especially what he loves do not worry my lovewhose It seems likely that the story will continue to unfold until the moment the film is released. Will the cloud rise around the movie Wilde? History is full of films overshadowed by scandal and tragedies, but it is difficult to derive a definitive answer from the past. However, some of the most turbulent films, taken together, offer some suggestions for what to come for do not worry my love.

One of the biggest scandals of Hollywood’s golden age doubles as a sort of best-case scenario for turbulent films. In 1949, Ingrid Bergman was one of the biggest and most beloved movie stars in the world after emigrating from Sweden to Hollywood a decade earlier. In 1950, it was denounced in the US Senate by Edwin C. Johnson of Colorado, who described it as “strong evil effectHe proposed a licensing system under which those who had committed immoral acts would not be allowed to work in the film industry. Bergman’s crime: She fell in love with a man who was not her husband and became pregnant with his child. Specifically, she fell in love with Roberto Rossellini, her film director Stromboli. Rossellini became a leading light of the Italian neorealist movement thanks to films such as Rome, the open city And the besan. A fan of his work, Bergman wrote Rossellini a letter proposing that they work together. They began an affair while making the film which became a public scandal and Bergman gave birth to her first child with Rosellini, a boy named Robin, shortly before. Strombolirelease.

In the press, the movie itself has become, at best, an afterthought. One page from the February 16, 1950 issue of c Los Angeles Times Tells the story in the headlines stuffing four Stromboli The items are next to each other. One relates to Rossellini’s assertion that the film has been adapted for an American audience (the liner: “The director denies lineage in the American version of Bergman’s film”); Another quotes a Cleveland cleric discussing this issue as an example of “a parade of sex that is a symptom of the moral decadence of the West”; the third covers the Vatican judge who defined the case as adultery; Finally, a story about her box-office performance, “Tickets Buying on the Thin Side at Bergman Film Show”, was noted.

Elsewhere, protests erupted and calls were made for their suppression Stromboliincluding a mysterious threatening letter to Birmingham theater owner written by future civil rights archvelin Eugene “Paul” Connor, urgently requests[ing]It’s not shown within city limits. Critics were also generally unpleasant, from The The New York TimesBosley Crowther (“weak, disjointed, uninspiring and painfully vulgar”) diverse (“All it lacks is a good story”…”The star portrays a wild body through 95 percent of the shots.”) The film was doomed to fail.

Except it wasn’t, at least in the long run. Stromboli Now seen as a major film in both Bergman and Rossellini’s careers, it’s an imperfect but ultimately stunning fusion of its star-studded Hollywood charm and director’s fondness for real locations, unprofessional actors, and street-level human drama. (It also features some really dramatic scenes of tuna fishing.) It is instructive that Bergmann—seemingly out of place in this environment—plays a freak, a Lithuanian refugee who escapes infamy and seeks a new life by marrying a sympathetic Italian fisherman (Mario) Vitale. ) who brings her back to a life of hardship on the island of the same name. right on time , StromboliBergman’s reputation, who returned to Hollywood at the end of the decade and in 1972, would be restored, Apology from the US Senate. The movie is now looming over the scandal that limited its release.

This is the best screenplay, helped by the quality and importance of the film at the center of the turmoil. However, other films were not so lucky or successfully rehab. Films that go over budget or produce stories about the arrogance of directing are especially vulnerable to damage from bad press. Among many others, Joseph L. Mankevich CleopatraAnd the William Friedkin WizardAnd the Michael Cimino Heaven’s GateAnd the Eileen May IstarAnd the Kevin Reynolds water world It hit theaters all after talking about bloated budgets and production overruns. Some were floundering. It ended up making some money. Fans have all recovered to one degree or another in the years since their release without completely shattering their reputations as failures, undeserved or not. History suggests that the only sure way to silence this type of journalism is with resounding success. In 1979, Francis Ford Coppola End of the world now To a distraught scientist after years of production disruptions that put his personal finances at risk. Almost three years later he wasn’t so lucky one of the heart.

By contrast, there is no sure way to escape the tragedy of a movie. When it was released in the summer of 1983, it was reviewed The Twilight Zone: The Movie Talk of the on-set incident that killed Vic Moro and child actors Mika Dinh Lu and Renee Shen Yi Chen during production the previous year was mostly limited to passing mentions. But it wasn’t hard to find references elsewhere. References to their deaths – the result of a series of reckless choices that included violating child labor laws by filming scenes with minors in the middle of the night – surrounded discussion of the film for years after its release as director John Landis appeared on trial for manslaughter. (He was finally and controversially acquitted in 1987.)

The accident appears to have had little direct impact on Landis’ career. Before us is Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” video, commercial placesAnd the Three Amigo!, and more. One year after his acquittal, Landis invited the jury at his trial to a free screening of his new movie, Coming to America. But the controversy has almost certainly subsided Twilight Zoneticket window. Producer and co-director Steven Spielberg distanced himself from the project and Landis and the film received a silent release for a major Hollywood production. Today it is mostly a dark footnote. (What is true for one movie is not necessarily true for another, but: the crow It became a hit after star Brandon Lee died in a shooting accident.)

Sometimes a movie is simply too big to overshadow its reputation, whatever the tabloids. Steven Spielberg filled out his 2005 adaptation of H.G. Wells war of the worlds With visuals inspired by the events of 9/11 and its aftermath, bringing the full power of his directing skills into a powerful and disturbing sci-fi movie (with a very poor ending). However, at the start of its release, it all seemed about to be overshadowed by its co-star, Tom Cruise, who chose the press tour to declare a passionate love for Katie Holmes. On Oprah Winfrey’s sofa And enter into a tense interview with today’s showMatt Lauer. The film was met with critical acclaim and a financial success. He also set a model for the turbulent press tours that would follow, from Joaquin Phoenix’s apparent collapse in Late Show with David Letterman during promotion two lovers (It was later revealed that it was shown as part of the fake documentary I’m still here) to Lars von Trier’s comments on “Understanding Hitler” during the discussion Sadnes Cannes to Liam Neeson’s confession of racial revenge fantasies in interviews about her cold pursuit. In the end, the reputation of those films settled where they belong: Sadnes considered a masterpiece, two lovers It was remembered as another great New York drama directed by James Gray, and cold pursuit Not remember at all.

Over time – often long Time – smoke fades around the most turbulent film, allowing only its virtues to be assessed. How long it takes depends on the film and its problems. So where does that leave do not worry my love? It’s a bit difficult to tell, in part because new stories about the behind-the-scenes conflict are emerging every day. It doesn’t have to go over any tragic deaths or reports of budget overruns, but in many ways, the scandals surrounding it couldn’t have been more of a moment: sparked by social media, bundling-friendly news items with highly clickable headlines, and stories featuring famous people. With armies of fans eager to defend their heroes. In other ways, fuss about do not worry my love looks like it Stromboli, particularly the novels that made Wilde a villain of the piece. There’s a hardcore slant to some anti-Wild sentiment – how dare she date a young pop star after her split from her beloved comedian husband! It is worth considering the role that sexism has played in some coverage. It’s not like a turbulent production stop bohemian rhapsody From becoming an Oscar-winning success, and wild stories From the existing conflict did not overshadow 2019 Hellboy (Even if the movie fails in the end.)

On the other hand, the film itself is difficult to defend very Strongly. Written by Katie Silberman from the story of Silberman, Carrie Van Dyck, and Shane Van Dyke, her central concept was finally revealed to be a clever and designed descendant for 2020. Twilight Zone. The production design looks stunning and Wilde comes out with great visual style, but his execution is lifeless in ways that weaken his point of view. His positive qualities may eventually win a champion, but get rid of the scandal and there is not much left.

So far, do not worry my loveHis press tour will go down as the most disastrous of all – until the next. (Coming in 2023: Sparkle.The players may be new, but the story is not. Against the backdrop of the Bergman case and its aftermath, Kate Alcott’s 2017 novel hollywood daughter The film concludes with chapters set in the late 1950s, after years of Bergman’s tabloid headlines, when the protagonist, Jesse, returns to a Hollywood transitioned to new horrors. As she watched a tour bus lined up outside the house where Lana Turner’s daughter had killed her mother’s gangster friend, her friend turned to her and said, “Old people are dying. …they have to do it, Jesse. There must be room for all the new exciting things.”

Keith Phipps is a writer and editor specializing in film and television. previously: IbroxAnd the solubilityAnd the AV . Club.

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