6.8/10
366
14 user 2 critic

Queenie 

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.
Reviews

Episodes

Seasons


Years



1  
1987  
1 nomination. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.7/10 X  

A married man suffering from midlife crisis obsesses over a girl from his romantic fantasy. He meets her exact duplicate on vacation and helps her get rid of her abusive husband. They run off together but a caller starts blackmailing him.

Director: Terrell Tannen
Stars: Ned Beatty, Mia Sara, Michael Madsen
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.3/10 X  

A veteran reporter is investigating the disappearance of a photo-journalist who was covering a civil war in Africa. The only clue is a roll of film he left behind. The reporter soon realizes he may have bitten more than he can chew.

Director: Tom Clegg
Stars: John Savage, William Hickey, Mia Sara
Big Time (TV Movie 1989)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Fran is a fashion model who regards modeling as an empty profession and yearns to become a serious actress, Michael is successful investment banker and the man who supports Fran, and Paul ... See full summary »

Director: Jan Egleson
Stars: Mia Sara, Dennis Boutsikaris, Adrian Pasdar
By the Sword (1991)
Adventure | Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A mysterious man, Suba, gets himself a job at a fencing academy, and as he learns the way of the students, the school, and its maestro, they learn that there's more to him than meets the ... See full summary »

Director: Jeremy Kagan
Stars: F. Murray Abraham, Eric Roberts, Mia Sara
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5/10 X  

Shortly before a rodeo festival week in Yuma County a body is found in the desert. It seems that it's Ria Paris, who was assumed to be killed by her husband before he took his own life ... See full summary »

Director: J.S. Cardone
Stars: John Beck, Katharine Ross, Steven Bauer
Daughter of Darkness (TV Movie 1990)
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  

The Daughter of Darkness is an atmospheric, sub-hallucinogenic venture into the world of the unknown. The enigma facing the young woman is the identity of her father. Unfortunately for her ... See full summary »

Director: Stuart Gordon
Stars: Anthony Perkins, Mia Sara, Robert Reynolds
Romance | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5/10 X  

Victoria is a dealer in the most dangerous game. Playing conveniently into her hand is her husband and his partner, two of the dirtiest cops on the force. Gunning for her is a seductive ... See full summary »

Director: Scott McGinnis
Stars: Clayton Rohner, Mia Sara, Tim Daly
Till We Meet Again (TV Mini-Series 1989)
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Made for TV movie revolving around the lives of three young women as they deal with the incidents around them. Along the way they find romance and become swept up in family intrigue. Events... See full summary »

Stars: Michael York, Courteney Cox, Mia Sara
Drama | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.8/10 X  

Fire-and-brimstone preacher sees Satan everywhere, trains gullible young boy to "detect" evil, and the two of them commit several murders in the name of Jesus. Based on a true story.

Director: Ralph L. Thomas
Stars: Donald Sutherland, Chad Lowe, Mia Sara
Blindsided (TV Movie 1993)
Drama | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.7/10 X  

An ex-cop is temporarily blinded when he steals cash from a money laundering operations. While recuperating in Mexico, the thief falls in love with a beautiful woman who has underworld ... See full summary »

Director: Thomas Michael Donnelly
Stars: Jeff Fahey, Mia Sara, Rudy Ramos
Diamonds (1999)
Comedy | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

Mystery about an ex-prizefighter who embarks on a journey to find 13 missing diamonds.

Director: John Asher
Stars: Kirk Douglas, Lauren Bacall, Dan Aykroyd
Call of the Wild (TV Movie 1992)
Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

A young boy heads off to the Yukon after hearing tales about the Gold Rush, and he forms an unwavering friendship with a heroic Alsatian dog called Buck.

Director: Michael Toshiyuki Uno
Stars: Ricky Schroder, Gordon Tootoosis, Duncan Fraser
Edit

Cast

Series cast summary:
Joss Ackland ...  Sir Burton Rumsey 2 episodes, 1987
Martin Balsam ...  Marty 2 episodes, 1987
Claire Bloom ...  Vicky Kelley 2 episodes, 1987
Gary Cady Gary Cady ...  Lucien Chambrun 2 episodes, 1987
John Carlin John Carlin ...  James 2 episodes, 1987
Ernest Clark ...  Sir Philip 2 episodes, 1987
Rosalie Crutchley ...  Grandmother 2 episodes, 1987
Kate Emma Davies Kate Emma Davies ...  Young Queenie 2 episodes, 1987
Kirk Douglas ...  David Konig 2 episodes, 1987
Serena Gordon Serena Gordon ...  Prunella Rumsey 2 episodes, 1987
Joel Grey ...  Aaron Diamond 2 episodes, 1987
John Grillo ...  Johan Krauss 2 episodes, 1987
Leigh Lawson ...  Uncle Morgan 2 episodes, 1987
Sarah Miles ...  Lady Sybil 2 episodes, 1987
Albert Moses ...  Inspector Gopal 2 episodes, 1987
Abigail Painter Abigail Painter ...  Bully Leader 2 episodes, 1987
Geoffrey Rose ...  Mr. Pugh 2 episodes, 1987
Mia Sara ...  Dawn Avalon / ... 2 episodes, 1987
Rob Spendlove Rob Spendlove ...  Dickie 2 episodes, 1987
Godfrey Talbot Godfrey Talbot ...  Joss 2 episodes, 1987
Topol ...  Dimitri Goldner 2 episodes, 1987
Edit

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 ...

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1987 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El color del éxito See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Many cast attendee's of the most densely packed (UK non-Award), celebrity event 'Save the Rose Theatre' campaigns, public PR day, May 1989. [See each artist entry] See more »

Connections

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

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Really loosely based is the right term for this one.
8 April 2017 | by blanche-2See all my reviews

Merle Oberon was a glamorous film star, one of the first, I believe, to go on record about the wonders of plastic surgery. Unfortunately, she was born at the wrong time to take advantage of her beauty as an older woman or to be truthful about her real background.

"Queenie" is based on the roman a clef by her nephew, Michael Korda, and it's pure fiction except for a few items.

It's the story of an Anglo-Indian young girl, Queenie Kelly, living in India when it was under British rule. She suffered from bullying by students at the school she attended because of her mixed ethnicity. At the same time, her exotic beauty attracted male attention. At one point, when her musician brother is fired from his country club job, she goes to Sir Burton Ramsey, who owns the club, to beg for his job back. He rapes her. Running from him, he trips and falls over a balcony to his death.

Terrified no one would believe her, Queenie steals Ramsey's wallet and, with her uncle, leaves the country for England. There she works as a stripper and eventually becomes a film star. Calling herself Dawn Avalon, she can never tell anyone her true ethnicity or identity, which would ruin her career and possibly result in a murder charge.

That's the story of Queenie, but with the exception of hiding her true identity, it's not the story of Merle Oberon. Much of Oberon's early life is in question. Her mother could actually have been her grandmother, and her sister Constance her mother; her nephew claimed to have discovered he was her half-brother after researching his heritage.

In order to empathize with Oberon, the racism during these years must be addressed. With people like Freddie Washington and Anna Mae Wong denied careers, Oberon could never, ever, have admitted to being part Indian. Instead, like the character in Queenie, she claimed to have been born in Tasmania.

This miniseries is very entertaining, with Mia Sara absolutely perfect for Queenie - you could never find a double for Oberon, but Sara has Oberon's delicate, exotic looks and beautiful speaking voice. Someone said Oberon was an established star before marrying Alexander Korda, but that's not true. Korda, whom she married, not only gave her career a huge boost, but he brought her to Hollywood to work for Sam Goldwyn.

In the miniseries, Korda is "David Konig" and played by Kirk Douglas. Queenie is in love with a photographer turned cinematographer, Lucien (Gary Cady), but Konig gets him a cinematographer's job in Egypt while Queenie is filming in India. He then seduces and marries her.

The real Oberon married Korda, and after their divorce, she married cinematographer Lucien Ballard. According to a letter I have, Ballard physically abused her, as did a boyfriend later on. Ballard invented a special light for Oberon after she was in a car accident, and that light, the "obie" is still used today.

The film Queenie makes, her big debut, in the miniseries is said to cost $25 million, more than Gone with the Wind. Not likely that the movie was made during wartime in India. Also not likely that it cost 25 million since GWTW cost $3.85 million.

Claire Bloom does a beautiful job as Queenie's mother. I'm not sure if the story of her mother pretending to be her maid comes from this fictional account or actually happened. If her mother was indeed with her, it makes sense that the two would have agreed to that masquerade. In any case, Oberon adored her mother.

Though only in her fifties, like many female movie stars of her time, Oberon was relegated to low-budget films, self-produced films, and television. She did have a good role in 1967's Hotel and, at 56, was absolutely stunning. Her last film was in 1973, six years before her death. A stressful life, but a successful career that could have continued in today's world.

Queenie was filmed in Jaipur, India, with magnificent production values and a cast that includes not only Douglas and Bloom, but Topol, Joss Ackland, Martin Balsam, and Joel Grey. Recommended - it's the kind of super-expensive miniseries we saw a lot of in the '80s, and they're gone for good.


2 of 2 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 14 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Popular Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed