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Five years between Dors #1 and Dors #2. (Those must have been a brutal 5 years.)
Part 2 of this mini-series just goes to illustrate why the British are not [and never will be] taken seriously in film.
Part 2 probably had the stupidest movie scenes I've ever seen. Hippie Lake and grandma Dors (Dors #2) as their marriage flourished from the swinging sideburns and flower-child 60s to the polyester and Norma Arnold from The Wonder Years of the me-generation 70s. Dors' death scene, with her gagging last breath, mingling with complete melodrama and the abuse of illegal artistic license via the director....all of it had a horribly ludicrous effect.
BUT besides the sham of Part 2, I'd like to express the slick easiness of Part 1. It was quite the charming extended 90 minute episode of Diana's rise [the most interesting part of any biography -- how they go from diamond in the rough to ringmaster of their own historical circus of fame, incomparability and glamour]. Dors #1 was incredible. Perky, intriguing, talented and fresh. Confident and secure in her own body (what a body). The cinematography sets the mood of the 50s with respectable authenticity. It is fun to see Dors #1 comprehending her dream and handling it when it finally arrives full force. Stereotyped personalities in the forms of her mother [happy-go-lucky "Diana" enthusiast] and father [humorless yet harmless suppresser] contaminated some parts, and yet...couldn't help but amplify the overall cuteness of Dors #1 and her youthful solutions to every problem. Sleek and sophisticated and worth the watch.
Part 2, though, should be avoided. It falls into a mountain of hopeless confusion that loses the innocent faith of Part 1. Diana's biography takes control and suddenly children and pregnancies pop up. Husbands come from nowhere, and so do poorly explained reasons to marriages and divorces. An ensemble of events that lead up to...something, yet nothing. Alan Lake didn't seem convincing as being so madly in love with Dors #2 as to justify his own conclusion. Jill became that tedious character that popped up to move the plot along [a tired concept, the "friend serving as the audience" script ingredient]. Decades change. Lake's sideburns change. There are some dinner parties thrown in (what for?). And then that infamous death scene. Her....children? The movie didn't seem to like the fact that she even HAD children, so they conveniently just forgot those little kidlets all together. Actually, Diana's last son was eventually omitted from the entire movie altogether. Of course. Why wouldn't he?
The British filmmakers got lost in their own network of Diana portrayal. Was it fear in not representing the truth correctly? Something was obviously wrong with something, but nobody spoke up and the gears became over-lubricated. The thin slice of elegant pie caked over into a toppled mess of aged make-up and hokey drama. Silly representations that made Diana Dors seem oblivious and in a personal stupor about her own cancer. Didn't anybody tell her she was dying?
Part 2 seems insulting towards Ms Dors. The bio gets transformed into some
audience-demographic, cartoonized, British-stylized soap opera fest that reveals the temperament of the British people an assumed guess of their temperament thanks to the production studio]. This system can only stain England's credibility to their approach of cinema television [and perhaps even film]. But then again maybe a solution is impossible, since 99% of all decent British talent ends up immigrating to Hollywood. Even Diana Dors eventually moved to America.
Maybe she was the one who started the trend.
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