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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.

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(teleplay), (teleplay) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Lylah Clare / Elsa Brinkmann / Elsa Campbell
... Lewis Zarken / Louie Flack
... Barney Sheean
... Bart Langner
... Rossella
... Paolo
... Countess Bozo Bedoni
Jean Carroll ... Becky Langner
... Mark Peter Sheean
... Molly Luther
... Young Girl
James Lanphier ... 1st Legman
... Mike
... Nick
... Cameraman
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Storyline

A sexy starlet 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, she became a star...Over many nights, she became a legend. See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

15 November 1968 (West Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Große Lüge Lylah Clare  »

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Box Office

Budget:

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

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Director Aldrich initially wanted Jeanne Moreau or Diana Dors for the lead, but they were unavailable. See more »

Goofs

Elsa's (Kim Novak's) voice during her tirade against Molly Luther is clearly not hers. It is the guttural deep voice of an older heavy smoker, something that cannot be imitated. This is consistent with the plot, which eventually reveals she really is possessed...but why doesn't anyone else notice the impossibility? 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 The Three Musketeers (1939) 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 See 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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