A dictatorial film director (Finch) hires an unknown actress (Novak) to play the lead role in a planned movie biography of a late, great Hollywood star.

Director:

Writers:

(teleplay), (teleplay) | 2 more credits »
Reviews

WAYS TO
WATCH:

See all

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Picnic (1955)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Emotions are ignited amongst the complacent townsfolk when a handsome drifter arrives in a small Kansas community on the morning of the Labour Day picnic.

Director: Joshua Logan
Stars: William Holden, Kim Novak, Betty Field
Comedy | Romance | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A modern-day witch likes her neighbor but despises his fiancée, so she enchants him to love her instead, only to fall in love with him for real.

Director: Richard Quine
Stars: James Stewart, Kim Novak, Jack Lemmon
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A widowed businessman becomes obsessed with one of his employees, the divorcée Betty Preisser.

Director: Delbert Mann
Stars: Fredric March, Kim Novak, Glenda Farrell
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

George lives with her lover, Childie and plays a cheerful district nurse in a BBC soap opera. However, her character is to be killed off, and George realises that the only other job she can... See full summary »

Director: Robert Aldrich
Stars: Beryl Reid, Susannah York, Coral Browne
Crime | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Miss Jane Marple comes to solves the mystery when a local woman is poisoned and a visiting movie star seems to have been the intended victim.

Director: Guy Hamilton
Stars: Angela Lansbury, Tony Curtis, Rock Hudson
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Set in the Depression, a gang of half-witted small-time hoods led by Slim Grissom kidnap heiress Barbara Blandish and Slim proceeds to fall in love with her. Remake of the 1948 British film... See full summary »

Director: Robert Aldrich
Stars: Kim Darby, Scott Wilson, Tony Musante
Drama | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A film star helps a young singer and actress find fame, even as age and alcoholism send his own career on a downward spiral.

Director: George Cukor
Stars: Judy Garland, James Mason, Jack Carson
Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

An aging, reclusive southern belle, plagued by a horrifying family secret, descends into madness after the arrival of a lost relative.

Director: Robert Aldrich
Stars: Bette Davis, Olivia de Havilland, Joseph Cotten
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Humble Abraham Lincoln gains the respect of his Illinois neighbors, growing in stature and respect until he is elected President in 1860 and departs for Washington.

Director: John Cromwell
Stars: Raymond Massey, Gene Lockhart, Ruth Gordon
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

A bawdy story of how a poor damsel surrenders her virtue again and again to get to the top of society.

Director: Terence Young
Stars: Kim Novak, Richard Johnson, Claire Ufland
Black Widow (1987)
Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A federal investigator tracks down a gold digging woman who moves from husband to husband, kills them and collects the inheritance.

Director: Bob Rafelson
Stars: Debra Winger, Theresa Russell, Sami Frey
Jeanne Eagels (1957)
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

The life of 1920s actress Jeanne Eagels.

Director: George Sidney
Stars: Kim Novak, Jeff Chandler, Agnes Moorehead
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Lylah Clare / Elsa Brinkmann / Elsa Campbell
...
Lewis Zarken / Louie Flack
...
Barney Sheean
Milton Selzer ...
Bart Langner
Rossella Falk ...
Rossella
Gabriele Tinti ...
Paolo
...
Countess Bozo Bedoni
Jean Carroll ...
Becky Langner
...
Mark Peter Sheean
Coral Browne ...
Molly Luther
...
Young Girl
James Lanphier ...
1st Legman
...
Mike
Nick Dennis ...
Nick
Dave Willock ...
Cameraman
Edit

Storyline

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 alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Overnight, she became a star...Over many nights, she became a legend. See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

15 November 1968 (West Germany)  »

Also Known As:

La leyenda de Lylah Clare  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

When Elsa is speaking in Lylah's voice, if you look closely you can see that the words are slightly out of sync with Elsa's mouth. See more »

Quotes

Barney Sheean: I make movies, not films!
See more »

Connections

References Lola Montès (1955) See more »

Soundtracks

Lylah
Music by Frank De Vol
Lyrics and Vocal by Sibylle Siegfried
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Fascinating
23 January 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

It's flawed, yes. It's too long, too slow, and some of the lines and situations are just incomprehensible. On the other hand, its daring in a way most films are not. It dares you to think, imagine, and just relish in the glory if this fictionally great old star. The character of Lylah Clare is based on what seems to be an amalgamation of 1930s icons, not the least of which may include Crawford, Bankhead, Dietrich, Garbo, and Harlow. Then again, she is her own creation. A great subplot concerns the battle of the studio for money-making films and the battle of the director for art. As Ernest Borgnine as the studio head says in one scene, "I don't want to make films. I want to make movies. What do you think we're making here, art?" Kim Novak is well cast and turns in a surprising star turn in a double role, as Lylah Clare and the actress who plays her in a biopic helmed by her late director and husband. The story behind Lylah's death is mysterious and the stuff of legend. Only the director, eager to make a comeback after a 20 year absence from films, seems to know the truth about what happened to Lylah, and he is silent. There are two other superb subplots to the film: one concerns the actress and her possession by the spirit of the late Lylah Clare, and the other subplot concerns the romance between the actress and the director.

The end is shocking. You might not see the eventual conclusion coming. There is terrific symbolism in the dog food advertisement at the end of the film, and the score by DeVol is appropriately lush and atmospheric.

Some of the performances are a bit stilted, as is some of the camera work. The costumes are not always historically correct, but are fetching just the same. The direction is hit-or-miss. The film is way too slow. What holds the film together is the fascinating story and Aldrich's ambition in telling it. He doesn't stop with Lylah's death, but goes on to make a broad and cynical statement about the whole movie industry as a whole. Notice how, when the Lylah's director finally has something deep and heartfelt to say to the reporter, he is cut off. And for what? A dog food commercial. Get it?

Aldrich excelled at dark Hollywood portraits, and this is one of the most intriguing and controversial. No wonder it's so hard to find.


24 of 29 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Valentina Cortese Pamela-5
Lylah Clare: Garbo or Dietrich? TheMysteriousLady
Glamorous photos that should be published spotted-owl
Why did Aldrich make this...... Lonixcap
Rossella Falk stole the show.... TheMysteriousLady
Elsa's lavender dressing room spotted-owl
Discuss The Legend of Lylah Clare (1968) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?