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The Legend of Lylah Clare (1968)

R  |   |  Drama  |  15 November 1968 (West Germany)
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Reviews: 22 user | 15 critic

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.



(teleplay), (teleplay), 2 more credits »
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Title: The Legend of Lylah Clare (1968)

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


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






R | See all certifications »




Release Date:

15 November 1968 (West Germany)  »

Also Known As:

La leyenda de Lylah Clare  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


When Kim Novak walks along Hollywood Blvd, a theater she passes by is playing The Dirty Dozen (1967), a film Robert Aldrich made a year earlier, and whose commercial success made it possible for the director to start his own production company and make movies like this. See more »


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 »


Lewis Zarken: [Talking about choosing a stage name for Elsa] Elsa Brinkmann. "John Foster Brinksmanship." It's horrible. We'll have to change your name.
Lylah Clare: Thank you, but I'm happy with the name I have.
Lewis Zarken: Well, I'm not! And neither will the public be! Anyway, what's in a name? Why are you so sensitive? If it's any consolation to you, I rejoiced in the name of "Flack." Louie Flack, F-L-A-C-K, Flack. How does *that* grab you? Then one day I saw this magician: "Zarkan the Magnificent." He was a terrible act. I think ...
See more »


References Rebecca (1940) See more »


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

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User Reviews

Puts the Hollywood Studio System to Rest (not) In Peace
28 September 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

If you stumble onto this Movie without the knowledge of its Cult/Camp/Bad Movie Reputation, it may be a rather Mind-Boggling Experience. A Jaw-Dropping display of Badness that defies any Rational Analysis or Explanation.

Director Robert Aldrich had ventured into Greatness with Gloriously Grotesque Films like Kiss Me Deadly (1955) and Whatever Happened to Baby Jane (1962), a Bizarre Bent and close to Over the Top takes on well worn Genre Stuff like Film-Noir and Psychological Horror.

If the inner workings of a Maverick Director's Mind is made possible, one might find that it was all done as Think Kink. Everyone On Screen seemed to be in on the Joke except its Female Star, Kim Novak as She Underplays as the whole Production is Overplayed to the Nth Degree.

There is so much in this Crazy Movie to Relish that choosing any one thing would do a Disservice to the rest. A lot of it is Indescribable and Indecipherable and so Underhandedly Charming that it really has to be seen to be Believed or Appreciated. It has an energy of already Dated (in 1968) Decadence that cannot be denied.

A One of a Kind, Cartoonish, Daytime-Soap-Nightmare that is Fanatically Fascinating. One only needs to see the Post Script Ending to Realize the Director's Original Intent. Nothing more than a Great Grand Guignol Movie about a Hollywood System that at precisely its Time of Release was being Embalmed and Laid to Rest. This was an Excellent Eulogy.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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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
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