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Roscoe Lee Browne
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A sexy starlet resembles Lylah Clare, a flamboyant star of the thirties, who died mysteriously and tragically on her wedding night gets a chance to play her in a biographical film directed by Lylah's real-life husband (Peter Finch) and history repeats itself as he falls for her reincarnation. Written by
Although this was her first film in three years, Kim Novak found that she had little enthusiasm for her character. Director Robert Aldrich found it increasingly difficult to elicit a viable performance from her. See more »
Elsa's (Kim Novak's) voice during her tirade against Molly Luther is clearly not hers. It is the guttural deep voice of an older heavy smoker, something that cannot be imitated. And if you look closely you can see that the words are slightly out of sync with Elsa's mouth. See more »
"Films"? "Films"? What the hell ever happened to movies? What do you think you're in, the art business?
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Kim Novak was a real Movie Star with hits such as "Picnic" "Pal Joey" "Bell Book and Candle" "Man With The Golden Arm" " Middle Of The Night", "Strangers When We Meet" and Alfred Hitchcok's masterpiece "Vertigo". After leaving Columbia Kim was offered and passed on "Breakfast At Tiffany's", "Days Of Wine and Roses", "The Hustler" and one that was created especially for her "The Sandpiper" Kim Novak made a few films in a row: "Boys Night Out" at MGM with James Garner, Billy Wilder's "Kiss Me Stupid" with Dean Martin at UA, the very fine remake of "Of Human Bondage" at MGM and Terence Young's frisky "Moll Flanders" at Paramount and was filming "Day of the Arrow" with David Niven for MGM and Filmways and fell of a horse, was injured, and had to leave that picture. Kim Novak then off the screen for 3 years in the mid-60'searching for a great return project thought she found one in a major MGM production as star and title character in "The Legend of Lylah Clare" directed by Robert Aldrich who had just had a sensational hit in MGM's "The Dirty Dozen". The combination of Robert Adrich, the gloss of an MGM super production, and the box office bonanza known as Kim Novak and a superb cast should have produced a major hit movie which sadly was a major failure.
Kim Novak headlines a great cast of two Oscar winners Peter Finch and Ernest Borgnine and they are given great support by Coral Browne, George Kennedy, Valentina Cortese, etc. The first part of the movie is fine, very fine. "The Legend of Lylah Clare" falls apart at the end and believe Robert Aldrich dubbed Kim Novak in some of the latter scenes-against her knowledge- (how could this happen to a major star?) and the film ends weirdly with a dog commercial to this day mystifies me.
Kim Novak astoundingly beautiful and as one reviewer noted 'was as close to perfection in the looks department' and gowned by a great costumer Renie Conley gave it her all and is very fine in this film. Robert Aldrich who knew the Hollywood scene and had a great hit at WB in"Whatever Happened to Baby Jane" fails here. (Aldrich would go on to make a worse movie than this if possible in "The Choirboys" which one sees wide eyed in astonishment on what Aldrich puts on the screen!)
"Legend of Lylah Clare" was supposed to be a great return project for Kim Novak and ended up being Kim Novak's finale as a superstar of the first rank.
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