A half-caste beauty emigrates from India to Great Britain, pursues fame and fortune at the cost of personal happiness, and becomes a Hollywood movie star while suppressing the truth of her heritage.
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1  
1987  
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Series cast summary:
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 Sir Burton Rumsey (2 episodes, 1987)
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 Marty (2 episodes, 1987)
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 Vicky Kelley (2 episodes, 1987)
Gary Cady ...
 Lucien Chambrun (2 episodes, 1987)
John Carlin ...
 James (2 episodes, 1987)
Ernest Clark ...
 Sir Philip (2 episodes, 1987)
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 Grandmother (2 episodes, 1987)
Kate Emma Davies ...
 Young Queenie (2 episodes, 1987)
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 Bully (uncredited) (2 episodes, 1987)
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 David Konig (2 episodes, 1987)
Serena Gordon ...
 Prunella Rumsey (2 episodes, 1987)
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 Aaron Diamond (2 episodes, 1987)
John Grillo ...
 Johan Krauss (2 episodes, 1987)
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 Uncle Morgan (2 episodes, 1987)
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 Lady Sybil (2 episodes, 1987)
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 Inspector Gopal (2 episodes, 1987)
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 Horse Trainer (uncredited) (2 episodes, 1987)
Abigail Painter ...
 Bully Leader (2 episodes, 1987)
Geoffrey Rose ...
 Mr. Pugh (2 episodes, 1987)
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 Dawn Avalon / ... (2 episodes, 1987)
Rob Spendlove ...
 Dickie (2 episodes, 1987)
Godfrey Talbot ...
 Joss (2 episodes, 1987)
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 Dimitri Goldner (2 episodes, 1987)
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Storyline

In the early 20th century colonial India, young beautiful Anglo-Indian girl Queenie, who easily passes for white, lives with her caring Indian mother and stepfather. However, the local British aristocracy considers her tainted and often makes her life miserable. Her stepfather works as a sax player in the local elite British club which pays so well that his family can afford to enjoy the typical western upper middle class lifestyle. Unfortunately, Queenie's life is anything but easy and it's only getting harder. She's constantly bullied at the local British school for girls she attends by her racist female peers. The old creepy pastor who teaches the girls religion as well as English offers her some private lessons. Racially charged riots break out and her family's home is attacked. Corrupt racist British official and dirty old man Sir Burton Rumsey blackmails her for sex after he catches her stepfather with his socialite wife. Eventually, Queenie and her stepfather are forced to ...

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Genres:

Drama | Romance

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Release Date:

1987 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El color del éxito  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Based upon the life of Merle Oberon. Her first husband was Alexander Korda, uncle of Michael Korda who wrote the movie. See more »

Connections

Version of The Trouble with Merle (2002) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Memories of Auntie Merle
8 May 2008 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

Queenie is the television mini-series based on the novel by Michael Korda who apparently likes using his famous family as subject matter. In this one he based the lead character on his aunt by marriage, Merle Oberon.

We are NOT seeing the Merle Oberon story in Queenie. Though the protagonist was Anglo-Indian this was something she kept a secret throughout her entire life, probably at great pain to herself. What Queenie does do is show the times in the Raj when she grew up in India.

Times were not easy for the real Merle or for young Mia Sara in Calcutta in the teens and twenties of the last year. For reasons that sound abominably stupid today, the British public which wanted to let India go was blocked by some very powerful folk, chiefly Winston Churchill and press magnate Lord Beaverbrook. The racist attitudes were summed up so well by Joss Ackland where he states that we can't leave India because the Moslems and Hindus will end up killing each other, but just as long as they don't bring the fight into their club. Racial and religious antagonisms which for reasons of policy both good and bad were encouraged.

Mia Sara's character is like Ava Gardner's in Bhowani Junction, struggling hard and not feeling she belongs in either British or Indian society. What Michael Korda does in the story is allow her to have a measure of pride in her heritage, something Merle Oberon could never do in her life.

But she married well and Kirk Douglas plays the fictional David Konig, the prototype for British film producer Alexander Korda. Douglas borrows liberally from his Oscar nominated role of Jonathan Shields from The Bad and the Beautiful to play Konig. I suspect there's more Shields than Korda in his performance though.

Best performances in the film are from Claire Bloom as Sara's mother and from Serena Gordon as the vicious young lady who was Ackland's daughter and her antagonist.

Queenie was done on location in Jaipur, India a city which is known for its traditional look and probably looks more like Calcutta in the twenties than Calcutta now.

I think Merle Oberon would have approved.


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