Deborah Kerr is the reason to see this film; she is Sheilah Graham, the gossip columnist from the 40s and 50s in Hollywood. She was featured on both radio and television, and she had an odd voice and her comments were deeply personal about movie stars, so much so you thought she lived with them all intimately.
Deborah Kerr plays her as a woman who has invented her past to impress everyone, including Gregory Peck, who plays F.Scott Fitzgerald. He exposes her fictions in a scene on a large beach, where noone else goes, and it is one of the most harrowing forced-confession scenes on screen. Further on into the film, we learn about Fitzgerald, and the fictions he wrote and the many fictions he told to Graham and others, and one sees why Sheilah Graham appealed to him..she, a very adept fabricator of fictions, as he was in and out of novels and short stories, and the very occasional screen play.
See this film for Deborah Kerr's incredible gestures and poses and false statements; her complete inability to relate to truth, and her self-righteous fights with Scott, and Gregory peck's violence toward her, as she rejects his drinking as cute, and his teaching her literature as opressive; and then at the end, a huge dramatic scene with Peck, and a great soundtrack, finds her on that unihabited beach again..a kind of return to the strangely bleak place of exposure ; but then Sheilah Graham writes the memoir, Beloved Infidel, with another writer, and it's fiction all over again especially as adapted for the screen. Their affair is awash with questions and speculations..all of which come out in this film. Any kind of story would do, and it works here, just as much as the fiction that Zelda and Scott Fitzgerald were really lovers.
Gregory Peck has, in this, as in many films in the late 50s, an Atticus Finch problem..this film is before To Kill A Mocking Bird, and it is as if Atticus himself were asked to play this alcoholic writer..he could never do it, nor could Gregory Peck. It's stogy and over- worked acting; he's not dissipated enough; but, it adds to the overall fiction of the life of these two people.
See this film, and admire the gloss of cinemascope and DeLuxe color, as it washes over one and all and gives us a disturbing look at lives only hinted at, because that is all they were really, hints of lives.