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Amber St Clair means to get on in life and despite a poor background knows she has the assets to do it. Husbands, lovers, prison and a liaison with King Charles II form a tapestry of apparently calculating ups and downs, although in fact the one love of her life, Bruce Carlton, is never far from Amber's thoughts. Written by
Jeremy Perkins <email@example.com>
King Charles II:
[at a royal ball]
Look at them. My loving subjects. You'd never know that half of them danced in Puritan garb while my father went to the chopping block.
Amber St. Clair:
No wonder you seek solace in amusement, sire.
Amber St. Clair:
Can a common trollop help you to forget?
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With this line, Cornell Wilde's character shows himself a master of understatement. It is delivered coldly, with neither criticism nor respect.
FOREVER AMBER is the portrait of a peasant girl who refused to be destroyed by her poverty and the hopeless prospects awaiting her. She used her sexuality and her brains to become the King's consort.
This film presents a vivid portrait of life in England before the Cromwellian revolution. It was an amoral, extremely cynical, heartlessly cruel society.
Linda Darnell's performance is a tour de force. She manages to play the strumpet, while letting the audience see her strength of character shining through all the while. Her love for the fickle Bruce Carlton/Cornell Wilde is too deep for him to ever understand.
One of the most haunting episodes in classic films is the depiction of London in the grip of the Black Plague. Amber risks her life by staying at Bruce's side through his delirium and personally performing the surgery that saves him.
Amber's tragedy is one that every woman who has ever had to fight for herself in this world can recognize. The movie is far more than a period soap opera. In fact, with David Raksin's incredible orchestral score, the production could have provided the framework for the composition of a real opera.... La Boheme, move over!
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