Although there are a number of problems with The Best of Everything, the biggest is that the creators emphasized the "everything" over the "best." Even at 135 minutes, there simply is too much going on in this overblown, over-the-top soap opera look at career gals in 1950s Manhattan. No one expects an exploitive melodrama to really delve into its themes and characters the way a serious drama would, but the viewer does have the right to expect some realistic detail. This doesn't matter so much at first, as the high-gloss sheen of the production (director Jean Negulesco certainly knew the way this kind of movie should look) and the oh-so-1950s corporate atmosphere are a lot of fun -- and it doesn't hurt that the younger members of the cast are so incredibly attractive. But pretty soon the unrelenting unreality and the sappy dialogue start to wear on the viewer. Even Joan Crawford, in high-camp dudgeon and with some choice bitchy asides ("rabbit-faced wife," indeed!), can't keep the film from dragging as it nears the finish line. Contemporary audiences will find some of the goings-on so ridiculous as to be entertaining, which is probably the film's saving grace -- that and its oh-so-chic glamour outfits for these typical working girls.
by Craig Butler review