The Legend of Lylah Clare () - The Legend of Lylah Clare () - User Reviews - IMDb
The Legend of Lylah Clare (USA ), made immediately following situate them in relation to the film-on-film or Hollywood-on-Hollywood genre. . In films like The Big Knife and Kiss Me Deadly we witness the end of a. The Legend of Lylah Clare is a American drama film released by Metro- Goldwyn-Mayer A final sequence (in this case, a TV commercial for dog food that interrupts the film itself) suggests that the world of Hollywood is literally one of dog. TCM Diary: Secret Ceremony () + The Legend of Lylah Clare () an exquisitely unhealthy codependent relationship in which she'll gain a daughter Barney Sheehan), and money concerns, end up diluting artistry.
This Zarkan must be a regular Terrence Malick. The cast overflows with grotesques. The characters size each other up with frequently awkward, over-literal dialogue. Lylah, for instance, compares Molly Luther to Medusa by saying that she has a snake's nest between her ears. Coral Browne plays her one-note gossip monster to the limit; Molly's minders and helpers look like members of the Hollywood Undead Boy Toy Club.
Ernest Borgnine needed to be pulled back about ten notches for Flight of the Phoenix and is perhaps the only wrong note in that entire excellent movie.
Here Borgnine's bombast as Barney Sheean is appropriate but still way too much -- we lean back in our seats, wishing we could dial him down. Aldrich was nothing like the crass Sheean, but he dresses the character exactly like himself, complete with his trademark untied necktie.
After the experience of The Big Knife, this may have been the director's way of deflecting the notion that Sheean is a lampoon of any living studio head. Lylah's weaknesses eventually undermine its play with Grand Fate. Zarkan's descent into obsession, despite Peter Finch's strong performance, never grips us. Elsa's transformation into Lylah appears to happen almost overnight.
Rossella introduces her to drugs, and she responds to the demands of her new personality by sleeping with various men, even as her relationship with Zarkan deepens. This film pretty much marked the end of the lovely Kim Novak's career as a top star.
Billy Wilder undercut Novak's glamorous image in Kiss Me, Stupid and the trashy ethic of Lylah makes her seem even more unattractive. The shy and bookish Elsa is unconvincing and a lazy writing concept to boot. The reborn Lylah Clare is almost a banshee, from her cheap hairdos to the faux-vampish costumes she wears. Sort of a cross between Greta Garbo, Marlene Dietrich, and a transvestite hooker, Lylah sells her trashy personality with an exaggerated German accent one might hear in a cartoon.
It's just awful, a "you can't be serious" filmmaking decision. For her part, Kim Novak attacks every scene like a trouper. In one sample scene Lylah wears a lacy brassiere to walk with a visitor around a grand Hollywood garden Opinions about The Legend of Lylah Clare that run the gamut, including some from Aldrich biographers that consider the film a masterpiece.
Most everything that happens in the show has some basis in Hollywood lore -- I've seen loud, glad-handing 'celebrities' table-hop at places like Musso and Frank's, and their behavior was almost as grotesque as that shown here. Even the film's "Possession by Dead Movie Star" theme isn't that far-fetched. The unhealthy need some people develop to be part of glamorous Hollywood takes all kinds of unpleasant forms, primarily the abuse of people around them. It's hard to conceive of a more garish movie being made in Robert Aldrich movie references hit us in the face, if only through titles on posters and marquees: The lighting and set design make even Zarkan's Hollywood mansion seem ugly, and remind us that erratic alcoholics really need hand rails on their staircases.
The film's repeated flashbacks to the "legendary" death scene should be interesting, seeing as how the particulars change with each iteration. Aldrich films them in a bizarre red-tinted gauzy cameo, not unlike the flashback re-cap of the end of Christopher Lee that opens Dracula Prince of Darkness. Such films explicitly focus upon the business aspect of the industry and the struggle between art and commerce. Nor do they concentrate on the battles between commerce and art. Rather, they are more concerned with grotesqueries created by this system.
Each film deals with how stars are affected in their very being by the workings of commerce, reification and commodification. The films dissect how this community constructs, treats, fetishises and remembers its stars.
The Legend of Lylah Clare () - IMDb
In the process, a genuinely fetishistic cinema is created that is populated by stars who do not quite seem to fulfil classical Hollywood or even Method acting models, either in terms of appearance or performance style. It is a far cry from the magically or tragically ethereal world that it is often represented as being within this genre. What Aldrich offers as an alternative world-view is a vision of an unbalanced universe in which the obvious moral centers are subverted and where individual action is futile.
Each operates, if obliquely, in relation to other, absent films. The presence of key actors in these films either recalls one of their previous performances or foreshadows a future performance. What the hell ever happened to movies? It is this tension between a kind of realism and a concomitant brittle artificiality that is central to the paradox of these films. This tension gives us a clue as to why these three films do not reflect upon their own conditions of production to any great extent.
The narratives of these films frequently claim territory and express themselves in language too grand to fit diegetically into the tawdry and indifferent worlds they map-out. However, these qualities also contribute much to the power and strangeness of these films. In some sense the actors used are not believable or convincing as stars, despite the fact that they are, indeed, stars. They are stars who are often beyond their prime Davis and Crawfordor who do not fit a particular template of the studio starlet or leading man Palance and Novak.
It is as if the Hollywood these characters dream of and act within no longer exists. There is a grandness of gesture here that is inappropriate. Characters in these films do not speak words or thoughts. Rather, they utter, or almost read, their dialogue. His dialogue seems to be completely made up of epigrams and mottos.
However, the film as a whole lacks weight, substance and any kind of conviction. It is as if there is no longer any energy left to deal with this most labyrinthine of self-reflexive subjects. A grotesque, deathly and exhausted quality settles over the film. Finally, what is most interesting about these three films is that they are not that interesting, or emblematic.
Or perhaps they are not sufficiently interesting, revealing or emblematic in the ways one might expect in terms of the Hollywood-on-Hollywood genre.
They work within a star system that they also deface. This film is, in turn, fascinating and quite terrible. Yet its awfulness often makes it wilful and fascinating. The film doesn't make one iota of sense.
The story is about a washed-up director who wants to make a movie of the life of legendary Bavarian actress Lylah Clare, who died in sordid, mysterious circumstances on her wedding night. The director is inspired to do the "Lylah Clare: Film Star" motion picture after meeting a woman who looks exactly like her they're both played by Kim Novak.
A too young Peter Finch plays the director, Lewis. There's a woman, Rosalla played by Rosalla Falk with a super heavy Italian accent. I call Lewis, Rosalla and Bart the "trio of terror" because they bitch nonstop! Every word is an insult or a sharp put-down. From the moment Elsa walks in the gaudy mansion, the trio of terror abuse her incessantly.
Most would have left in a New York minute but because the film's narrative is illogical, Elsa stays with the sordid bunch. LOFC revolves around the idea that in recreating the Lylah Clare legend for a film, Elsa inadvertently becomes caught up by the aura and legend of the famous star, which includes her 'unfortunate' past. Elsa gradually loses her identity, being Elsa one second and Lylah the next.
We see three flashbacks or reveries? The three flashbacks contradict each other.