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
Last screenplay written by Hugo Butler, who had been black-listed by Hollywood and exiled himself to Mexico during the 1950s. 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 »
I think the word to describe it is "unbelievable". Peter Finch is in it, an actor known for being rather picky. He was to win an Oscar for "Network" I wonder what this movie looked on paper. Robert Aldrich won his dues with films like "Attack", "The Big Knife" even "Whatever Happened To Baby Jane" another camp fest but with a brain and a real intention. Here, everything is in top gear without ever really moving. In short, a mystery. Poor Kim Novak. Even her make-up doesn't make any sense. Pale lips. It's pointless for me to go on, you have to see it. I had the chance, thanks to Turner Classic Movies. Kim Novak's character seems to be possessed by the spirit of Lylah Clare, the doomed star she's suppose to to play in a preposterous movie about her life. When she is under the influence of the spirit, she laughs and talks with the grave tones of a hybrid, part Lotte Lenya part Mercedes MacCambridge. Outrageous! Peter Finch playing the director and one of the former Lylah's lovers creates a monster without nuances. His debate with the studio head, played loudly by Ernest Borgnine, about films vs movies seems to be Aldrich's major preoccupation. Valentina Cortese's costume designer is a very brief delight, Rosella Falk's lesbian is in unintentional hoot but the prize goes to Coral Browne, playing a columnist as if she were Catherine The Great and with a wooden leg. I swear I'm not joking. As yo may very well suspect, I think this is one of the worst films I've ever seen and yes, I had a lot of fun. That's why a 5 out of 10 seem fair to me.
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