6.1/10
1,856
51 user 26 critic

Darling Lili (1970)

Set during World War I, this movie is a cute spin on the Mata Hari legend.

Director:

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

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Julie Andrews ... Lili Smith
Rock Hudson ... Major William Larrabee
Jeremy Kemp ... Colonel Kurt Von Ruger
Lance Percival Lance Percival ... T.C. Carstairs
Michael Witney Michael Witney ... Lt. George Youngblood Carson
Gloria Paul ... Crepe Suzette
Jacques Marin ... Major Duvalle
André Maranne André Maranne ... Lt. Liggett
Bernard Kay ... Bedford
Doreen Keogh ... Emma
Carl Duering ... General Kessler
Vernon Dobtcheff ... Otto Kraus
Laurie Main ... French General
Louis Mercier Louis Mercier ... French General
Arthur Gould-Porter Arthur Gould-Porter ... Sergeant Wells
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Storyline

WWI. Lili Smith is a beloved British music hall singer, often providing inspiration for the British and French troops and general populace singing rallying patriotic songs. She is also half German - her real last name being Schmidt - and is an undercover German spy, using her feminine wiles to gather information from the high ranking and generally older military officers and diplomats she seduces. Masquerading as her Swiss uncle, Colonel Kurt Von Ruger is not only her German handler but her lover. Kurt's boss, General Kessler, doesn't fully trust Lili as she is still half British. That is why it irks him that Kurt has entrusted Lili with the important mission of finding out more about the Allied air defense plans, the air which is becoming a more important battleground of the war. Of the five men who are most privy to such information, Kurt believes the best target is American pilot, Major William Larrabee as he is young, single and a ladies man. Lili is more than easily able to ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

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


Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | German

Release Date:

24 June 1970 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

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

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Box Office

Budget:

$25,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Geoffrey Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

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

Sound Mix:

70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)| Mono (35 mm prints)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The manager in charge of hiring the extras to shoot a scene in the Palais De Justice (Superior court) in Brussels in lieu of the Paris railroad station gave away a fixed number of tickets and requested the ticket holders to come back for work around midnight. Some of the left wing activists (socialists) bought a roll of the identical tickets and passed them out to mostly students from the nearby University (Université Libre de Bruxelles) and asked them to show up before midnight. Because they were there early, they were able to get into the court house with no problem. They were given costumes almost right away, and when the real extras showed up, the guys in charge were puzzled that there were so many in line considering that the huge hall was already half full. It took them minutes before they figured that they had been fooled and outsmarted by the local activists. They were forced to turn away those who had the phony tickets and accept only few of the legitimate hired extras. See more »

Goofs

In several interior scenes, Rock Hudson's hair style and sideburns are drastically shorter than in the rest of the film. This seems to give credence to the rumors of studio interference and the necessity of re-shoots. See more »

Quotes

Lili Smith: The filthy, scheming, cheating, faking, lying, egotistic, self-indulgent, hedonistic, son of a..."
See more »

Crazy Credits

The Paramount Pictures logo does not appear in the beginning of the film, only at the end of the film. See more »

Alternate Versions

Two decades after its original release, director Blake Edwards re-cut the film for the TNT network, shortening it by 22 minutes and dramatically changing its tone. This so-called "director's cut" runs 114 minutes. See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

La Marseillaise
by Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle
Special French Lyrics Translations by Danielle Mauroy and Michel Legrand
See more »

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User Reviews

A FAIRLY GOOD FILM IN THE DIRECTOR'S CUT
16 May 2001 | by KatmissSee all my reviews

Blake Edwards' "Darling Lili" is not a great film, but it is better than most people give it credit for. One of the most maligned productions in history (the aerial sequences took 2 years to film, the budget swelled to 3 times the original budget, various cuts of the film only add to the muddle), my final analysis is this: an underrated film whose reputation should soar once it's more widely seen.

This film exists in three versions: the original roadshow version (190 minutes)which Edwards disowned, the general release version (136 minutes)and Edwards' personal director's cut (113 minutes).

Tones shift between versions. The roadshow version had more talky sequences and was a numbing bore. The general release version deleted these sequences and was an improvement, but was still missing something. Edwards' cut was a great improvement. It is more serious in tone than the previous cuts, but the story concucted by Edwards and William Peter Blatty benefits from that approach. Julie Andrews is simply great as Lili, the singer/spy and her singing is at an all time high. Rock Hudson is excellent as her American pilot lover. Only after his inclination was exposed, did people take him seriously as an actor. But he was great all along. The songs by Henry Mancini and Johnny Mercer are strong as is the cinematography (by Russell Harlan, in Panavision)

Sadly, "Darling Lili" is not available on tape or DVD. But luckily for us, AMC shows this very often.

Roadshow version: 1/2* General Release: ** 1/2 Director's Cut: ***1/2


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