The Last Tycoon Movie Review
A shockingly lithe Robert De Niro stars as Monroe Stahr, a 1930s studio executive based on Irving Thalberg (a prolific producer who died at the age of 37, presumably from overwork). Stahr has lost loves in the past and a crushing chip on his shoulder in the present. He's a workhorse, but he wants something more out of life.
One day he finds it, or so he thinks, in Kathleen Moore (Ingrid Boulting, who's made but one other movie in her career), a girl who resembles his dead wife exactly. Tycoon then turns away from its start as a gripping tale of studio insider goings-on and cruel backbiting and into a love story that dwindles away until the film has run its course.
Much like Fitzgerald's half-baked novel, Tycoon the movie tends to flit away, coming out strong as many novels do and then dropping off as the story starts to tank. The strength of a half-dozen Hollywood A-listers (Tony Curtis, Robert Mitchum, Jack Nicholson, Donald Pleasence, Ray Milland, and many more) only serve to cast light on how weak the story ultimately gets. The dialogue gets all wistful and teary-eyed, and it isn't long before we stop caring whether Stahr's going to find love, lose his job, keel over dead, or what.