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The Legend of Lylah Clare (1968)

Approved | | Drama | 15 November 1968 (West Germany)
A dictatorial film director (Peter Finch) hires an unknown actress (Kim Novak) to play the lead role in a planned movie biography of a late, great Hollywood star.

Director:

Robert Aldrich

Writers:

Robert Thom (teleplay), Edward DeBlasio (teleplay) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Kim Novak ... Lylah Clare / Elsa Brinkmann / Elsa Campbell
Peter Finch ... Lewis Zarken / Louie Flack
Ernest Borgnine ... Barney Sheean
Milton Selzer ... Bart Langner
Rossella Falk ... Rossella
Gabriele Tinti ... Paolo
Valentina Cortese ... Countess Bozo Bedoni
Jean Carroll Jean Carroll ... Becky Langner
Michael Murphy ... Mark Peter Sheean
Coral Browne ... Molly Luther
Lee Meriwether ... Young Girl
James Lanphier James Lanphier ... 1st Legman
Robert Ellenstein ... Mike
Nick Dennis ... Nick
Dave Willock ... Cameraman
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Storyline

A sexy starlet (Kim Novak) 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 alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

OVERNIGHT A STAR...OVER MANY NIGHTS A WOMAN! See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

15 November 1968 (West Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

Große Lüge Lylah Clare See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,490,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film is listed among the 100 Most Enjoyably Bad Movies Ever Made in Golden Raspberry Award founder John WIlson's book THE OFFICIAL RAZZIE® MOVIE GUIDE. See more »

Goofs

When Elsa is speaking in Lylah's voice, if you look closely you can see that the words are slightly out of sync with Elsa's mouth. See more »

Quotes

Lewis Zarken: I've never seen a woman yet who didn't have a whore locked up somewhere deep inside her.
See more »

Connections

References In a Lonely Place (1950) See more »

Soundtracks

Lylah
Music by Frank De Vol
Lyrics and Vocal by Sibylle Siegfried
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A carousel of deluded souls
10 August 2001 | by moonspinner55See all my reviews

Another piece of yesterday from Robert Aldrich, filthied-up through his askew, slightly campy/slightly too-serious vision. We never know where we sit with an Aldrich movie; he enjoys setting up a comfortable scenario before wickedly pulling the rug out from under his audience. He exposes all the weaknesses of Kim Novak as an actress, brutally letting the puckered blonde look silly (at her expense) and without ever giving her a fair shot at a meaty scene. The opening moments are richly evocative, but they don't last long: Kim (in a mousy wig) hangs out in a dingy apartment in Hollywood, surrounded by old movie magazines. Turns out she resembles a long-deceased movie queen named Lylah Clare and is quickly tapped to star in a picture of the actress' doomed life--to be directed by Lylah's widower husband! Bits of satire, supernatural elements and symbolism muddy up this stew, though I admit to being engrossed by it all. Peter Finch, as always, is worth watching, and Novak's mere presence is tantalizing (even if her acting is not). Frank De Vol's background score is lush, and I loved some of the set-pieces and overwrought melodrama. As for the ending, I would have a tough time explaining it to anyone, except to say that it is Aldrich's stamp as a director to go over-the-top. Here, he goes a little bit over-the-edge as well. ** from ****


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