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your Télérama Film Festival Pass
7 minutes to read
Published on 19/01/23
Which of these characters really existed?
Babylon, from Damien Chazelle resonates with the splendor of 1920s Hollywood. The director, a true cinephile, has drawn on the biographies of the actors, actresses and directors who made the cinema of those years, to create 200 % authentic characters! While we come across the real producer Irving Thalberg, the real actress-producer Marion Davies, and the real press magnate Randolph Hearst, the other characters are the result of a skilful blending of several identities that really existed. Here are a few hints on how to find the main inspirations.
When he enters the inaugural orgiastic evening of Babylon, we immediately understand that Jack Conrad-Brad Pitt is on conquered ground. Hollywood is at his feet, his contracts worth millions of dollars and his mistresses on the fingers of two hands! With his thin moustache, slicked-back hair and addiction to alcohol, this Jack looks a lot like John GilbertMGM's "The Great Lover", who by 1924 had eclipsed other house stars such as Rudolph Valentino (who died in 1926). He worked with some of the greatest directors of his time: Maurice Tourneur, Clarence Brown (The Flesh and the Devil, 1926), John Ford, King Vidor (La Grande Parade, 1925) , Erich von Stroheim (The Merry Widow, 1925)...
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