6.6/10
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26 user 14 critic

Forever Amber (1947)

In seventeenth-century England, Amber St. Clair aims to raise herself from country girl to nobility, and succeeds, but loses her true love in the process.

Directors:

Otto Preminger, John M. Stahl (uncredited)

Writers:

Philip Dunne (screenplay), Ring Lardner Jr. (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Linda Darnell ... Amber St. Clair
Cornel Wilde ... Bruce Carlton
Richard Greene ... Lord Harry Almsbury
George Sanders ... King Charles II
Glenn Langan ... Capt. Rex Morgan
Richard Haydn ... Earl of Radcliffe
Jessica Tandy ... Nan Britton
Anne Revere ... Mother Red Cap
John Russell ... Black Jack Mallard
Jane Ball ... Corinne Carlton
Robert Coote ... Sir Thomas Dudley
Leo G. Carroll ... Matt Goodgroome
Natalie Draper ... Countess of Castlemaine
Margaret Wycherly ... Mrs. Spong
Alma Kruger ... Lady Redmond
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Storyline

Amber St Clair means to get on in life and despite a poor background knows she has the assets to do it. Husbands, lovers, prison and a liaison with King Charles II form a tapestry of apparently calculating ups and downs, although in fact the one love of her life, Bruce Carlton, is never far from Amber's thoughts. Written by Jeremy Perkins {J-26}

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The spectacle ... the fire ... the plague ... swords that clash ... excitement that mounts ... lips that meet ... and adventure that sweeps the screen !


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

One of the most expensive movies of the '40s, costing over $5 million. See more »

Quotes

King Charles II: [to his spaniels] Children, children, what distressing behavior.
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Alternate Versions

A couple of weeks after its record breaking premiere, studio heads finally caved into Catholic protests and re-cut the movie. Among the changes:
  • References to Amber's sex life and any acts of non-marital romance were cut.
  • SPOILER: A new ending in which Amber watches her son go off with Bruce.
  • Redubbed dialogue in the form of Cornell Wilde repentative of his behaviour: "In Heaven's name, Amber, haven't we caused enough unhappiness?" and "May God have mercy on us both for our sins."
  • Also a prologue was added that condemned the character's actions: "This is the tragic story of Amber St. Claire... slave to ambition.. stranger to virtue... the wages of sin is death".
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Connections

Referenced in Home, Tweet Home (1950) See more »

User Reviews

 
Overwrought epic romance that lacks chemistry
7 July 2004 | by stills-6See all my reviews

Overlong, overwrought romantic epic that lacks chemistry between the leads. Linda Darnell is passable as Amber -- if not stunningly talented, then at least gifted with screen presence. But Cornell Wilde is as flat as a wet blanket, dousing the fire out of every scene where it might possibly have ignited. Most errors in movies of this type can be overlooked if the attraction between the two lovers is palpable. Sadly, there is no indication that Wilde's Carlton even likes Amber, let alone finds her alluring. Production code aside, there were plenty of movies of this period that portrayed believable epic love, and this isn't one of them.

The real highlight here is George Sanders as the licentious Charles II, a part he was born to play. I have no doubt that Vincent Price, considered for the role, could have done well (he gave the best performance of his career in another Preminger movie, "Laura"), but Sanders brings so much dripping wit and irony to everything he does that he makes every scene he's in come alive. He's not in it much, however.

The production itself is pretty good, some great costumes and sets. The swordfighting scene (with thankfully little dialogue) was excellent and far too short. The story itself is a little choppy. The first scene was a non-sequitur, promising a potentially interesting plot device that never came. And the ending was a complete disaster - abrupt, unresolved, unbalanced, and worst of all, unsatisfying. Overall, the movie leaves a sour taste in the mouth, as if the decadence that was portrayed somehow got hold of the people making it and caused them to focus more on the image than on the story.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French | Italian

Release Date:

26 January 1948 (Sweden) See more »

Also Known As:

Forever Amber See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$6,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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