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Roscoe Lee Browne
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
To date, this is Kim Novak's last starring role in an American-made feature film. 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. This is consistent with the plot, which eventually reveals she really is possessed...but why doesn't anyone else notice the impossibility? See more »
I'm sure that when Robert Aldrich thought of doing The Legend Of Lylah Clare he would be doing another one of those acid exposes of Hollywood like The Bad And The Beautiful or his own The Big Knife. I don't think Aldrich set out with the idea of making a bad movie.
But I guess if you're going to do a bad one, make it so stupefyingly bad that it acquires a reputation, a legend if you will. Borrowing in no small measure on the alleged symbiotic relationship of Marlene Dietrich and Josef Von Sternberg, The Legend Of Lylah Clare was so bad that neither Dietrich or Von Sternberg would bother to sue.
The arrogant and dictatorial Peter Finch years earlier had plucked the woman who became Lylah Clare whom he married and then who died on their wedding night most mysteriously. Now agent Milton Selzer who was Lylah Clare's agent comes to Finch with the idea of making a biographical film of the late star. As he purportedly knew her best, he's just the guy. And Selzer who wants to produce this film has a young starlet in Kim Novak who is the spitting image of the late movie legend.
After this work on the project starts with studio boss Ernest Borgnine overseeing the film. Novak starts becoming more and more like the late Lylah Clare as she immerses herself in the character. Pretty soon everyone treats her just like Lylah including Finch.
When he was making his film about Andy Kauffman, Jim Carrey told the press he felt the late comedian taking over his persona, but no one laughed at that because Carrey turned out a good film. The Legend Of Lylah Clare is a treatise of overacting. Everyone here knew this one was going to be a Thanksgiving special with all the trimmings and acted accordingly. They all must have had a really good time on the set, knowing how bad this was. And director Aldrich gave his cast free reign.
This one should be seen to see that even with a top director and a really good cast one can still turn out a stinker.
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