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Darling Lili (1970)

 -  Comedy | Drama | Musical  -  24 June 1970 (USA)
6.2
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Ratings: 6.2/10 from 1,292 users  
Reviews: 46 user | 22 critic

Set during WWI, this movie is a cute spin on the Mata Hari legend.

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Title: Darling Lili (1970)

Darling Lili (1970) on IMDb 6.2/10

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Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 1 win & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Lili Smith (Schmidt)
...
Major William Larrabee
...
Colonel Kurt Von Ruger
Lance Percival ...
T.C. Carstairs
Michael Witney ...
Lt. George 'Youngblood' Carson
Gloria Paul ...
Crepe Suzette
Jacques Marin ...
Major Duvalle
André Maranne ...
Lt. Liggett
...
Bedford
Doreen Keogh ...
Emma
Carl Duering ...
General Kessler
...
Otto Kraus
Laurie Main ...
French General
Louis Mercier ...
French General
Arthur Gould-Porter ...
Sergeant Wells
Edit

Storyline

Set in Paris during World War I. Lili Smith/Schmidt is a German spy being requested to go under cover to help Germany during the war, to try and find out their plans. Her "uncle" wishes her to fulfill the operation, whereas one of his colleagues believed she is not capable of performing such an operation as she is British. She soon finds herself following Major William Larrabee's every move and spending all her time either with him or thinking of him. Her "uncle" realises she's in love with him but Lili is not facing that she is. Things & people are coming between her true fate. But what is it... Written by OneSpecialJulie <julu3@hotmail.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

For a spy, love is the deadliest enemy. See more »


Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

24 June 1970 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Darling Lili: Or Where Were You the Night You Said You Shot Down Baron von Richtofen  »

Box Office

Budget:

$25,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$5,000,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(director's cut) | (with overture and exit music)

Sound Mix:

(70 mm prints)| (35 mm prints)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The 'French' train which shot up by the German aircraft is Irish: the broader Irish rail-gauge of 5ft 3in (instead of 4ft 8 1/2in) is briefly visible. See more »

Quotes

Lili Smith: But then, why DOES he drink?
Maj. William Larrabee: Because he's afraid to fly.
Lili Smith: Then why does he fly?
Maj. William Larrabee: Because he likes to drink!
See more »

Connections

Featured in Rock Hudson's Home Movies (1992) See more »

Soundtracks

Smile Away Each Rainy Day
(uncredited)
Music by Henry Mancini
Lyrics by Johnny Mercer
Performed by Julie Andrews
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Surprised this isn't on tape or DVD
29 May 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

After 35 years, I've seen this film again; the 136 minute version at the Anthology Film Archives in New York City's East Village. They also showed the 114 minute version which, according to their production notes, is darker in tone, since it's missing some of the comedy of the piece. Certainly some of the cutesy comedy, which Blake Edwards, the director/producer/writer, also seems to be enamored of in his Pink Panther movies, could be cut.

The film is an attempt to make a mature, romantic musical and was a big flop at the time. Edwards was married to Julie Andrews, the female star of the movie. Andrews had a great success with "Mary Poppins" a few years earlier, and a phenomenal success with "The Sound of Music." She tried repeating the success with the awful (but, perhaps, commercially successful) "Thoroughly Modern Millie," and had a stinker with "Star!", the Gertrude Lawrence story. "Star!" was an adult musical, but it didn't take, so "Darling Lili" was another try at breaking Andrews' goody-two-shoes image. She says "ass" in the movie twice and "bastard" once! The scenes I remember most from the first screening in 1970 are the striptease by Suzette (Gloria Paul) and the aerial sequences, which are pretty dazzling (except for the obvious process shots). In fact, the whole movie is quite lavish and Andrews is gowned and bejeweled beautifully. Edwards seems to have studied the films of Vincente Minnelli and is better at creating some of the Minnellian tone than George Cukor was with the dull "My Fair Lady." In fact, Minnelli was making a movie - "On A Clear Day..." - at Paramount the same time "Darling Lili" was being produced. "...Lili" went into major cost overruns, which could account for "...Clear Day..." being so lackluster in its modern scenes, since major money was being pumped into the Andrews/Edwards film.

The movie isn't terrible. In fact, it's quite charming, if a little long. But the movie-going public is fickle, and Julie Andrews musicals fell quickly out of favor. Rock Hudson is enormously likable as always, but has little to do. The production design is delightful, and it's fun to see Andrews do her striptease (which may not be in the shorter version, and I'm thinking that must have been the version I saw in 1970, because I think I would have remembered it).

Maybe the movie will come out on DVD now that they are showing two versions in NYC. The print was beautiful, by the way. It even included the overture. The audience was a poignant collection of solitary film nerds, not excluding myself!


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