Beloved Infidel is a 1959 DeLuxe Color biographical drama film made by 20th Century Fox CinemaScope and based on the relationship of F. Scott Fitzgerald and Sheilah Graham. The film was directed by Henry King and produced by Jerry Wald from a screenplay by Sy Bartlett, based on the memoir by Sheilah Graham and Gerold Frank. The music score was by Franz Waxman, the cinematography by Leon Shamroy and the art direction by Lyle R. Wheeler and Maurice Ransford.
Original film poster
|Directed by||Henry King|
|Produced by||Jerry Wald|
|Screenplay by||Sy Bartlett|
|Based on||Beloved Infidel (1957 novel)|
by Sheilah Graham
|Music by||Franz Waxman|
|Edited by||William H. Reynolds|
|Distributed by||20th Century Fox|
Sheilah Graham sails from England to the U.S. and meets with a newspaper editor John Wheeler, telling him of her royal lineage and many connections. He hires her to write a column, and when its blunt and gossipy nature increases its popularity, Sheilah also is offered her own radio program.
She meets acclaimed author F. Scott Fitzgerald at a party at the home of humorist Bob Carter, her friend. An immediate attraction is formed, although Scott is still married to wife Zelda, who has been institutionalized. To meet financial obligations, Scott has accepted a position in Hollywood writing film scripts, expressing the belief that his novels are no longer of interest.
His excessive drinking affects his mood and his work. Scott is haunted by the memories of Zelda and the success and fun they had together. He learns that a play is being produced in Pasadena based on one of his stories and takes Sheilah to see it, only to discover that it is a production by high school students, some of whom are unaware that the writer is even still alive.
Sheilah copes with his growing alcoholism and tries to leave him until Scott sends a goodbye note, sounding suicidal. She confesses to him that her own past haunts her, everything she claimed to be being a lie: Sheilah actually is a girl from the London slums. She appeals to Scott to write another book, but after he sends in the first four chapters, Scott receives a publisher's letter of rejection.
Sheilah's radio show is based in Chicago, and as she travels there, Scott becomes abusive, first aboard an airplane and then to one of her colleagues. What she doesn't know is that Scott has been fired by the studio, which finds his script work unacceptable. Sheilah continues to stand by him, but eventually Scott's health gives out. He collapses and dies, a forlorn figure of the past.