The Goddess (1958 film)
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|Directed by||John Cromwell|
|Written by||Paddy Chayefsky|
|Distributed by||Columbia Pictures|
|Running time||104 minutes|
The Goddess is a 1958 Columbia Pictures drama film starring Kim Stanley and Lloyd Bridges. Others in the cast include Steven Hill, Betty Lou Holland, Joan Copeland, Patty Duke, and Elizabeth Wilson. It was directed by John Cromwell.
The film is an in-depth character study about the life of a troubled, lonely girl who becomes a movie star, adored by millions but miserable in her private life. The story is said to be based loosely on Marilyn Monroe.
Emily Ann Faulkner (Patty Duke) is born into poverty in The South, has no father, no friends, and is unloved by her indifferent mother (Betty Lou Holland), who does not want to be tied down by a child. When Emily Ann becomes a teenager (Kim Stanley) she remains a loner but has a sensual sexuality that attracts boys. She marries young but leaves her first husband, a world-weary GI, John Tower (Steven Hill), when she meets a well-meaning boxing promoter, Dutch Seymour (Lloyd Bridges). Ultimately, Seymour's jealousy and possessiveness drive them apart.
She becomes an actress and is soon transformed by Hollywood into the glamorous superstar sex goddess Rita Shawn. Though she has attained fame and wealth, she is still a loner in the depths of despair. When her elderly mother, who has turned from immorality to religion bordering on fanaticism, comes to visit, Rita is thrilled and clings to her. She tries to impress her and has a couple in to visit. As the guests are leaving, Rita's mother thanks them for being such good friends to her daughter. She is told that they do not really know her daughter, having just met her.
Rita wants her mother to stay on, but Mrs. Faulkner insists on going home. When she is leaving the house, Rita becomes enraged and screams from the doorway that she hates her and wishes her dead. When her mother dies, Rita is heavily sedated and miserable at the funeral. She now lives under the constant attention of a stern secretary/nurse (Elizabeth Wilson), who takes control of the self-destructive actress.