Jump to content
 
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...

LINDA DARNELL for Star of the Month October 2013


Recommended Posts

Another example of the 'What If?" parlour game scenario with Linda Darnell would be in the choice of men she became involved with romantically, whether she married them or not. Each of her three husbands she chose for different reasons, and received some comfort and solace from them, at least initially.

 

Husband No. One, Peverell Marley, was 42 when they married in 1943, more than twice Linda's 19 years of age at that time. He had joined the service, and when he came back on leave, she realized how much she missed him and had come to depend on him; after all, their friendship had grown stronger as she battled her mother for independence, and boss Darryl Zanuck over better roles as her career stagnated. They eloped to Las Vegas, a move which estranged the studio even more against her, causing them to remove her from the musical she had been filming, THE GANG'S ALL HERE, and suspending her. For awhile later, relations remained chilly, and Linda was given more bland assignments, while Marley's contract as cinematographer at Fox was not renewed. Linda claimed that she wanted an older man, and that he provided the support and understanding she needed.

 

As time went on, however, and Linda matured into adulthood, and into sexy siren roles, the disparity in ages became more pronounced. He began to belittle her, and refused to attend many industry functions with her. Most damagingly, he taught her to drink hard liquor, and insisted she drink with her. This would develop into Linda's lifelong drinking problem. And as the marriage became shaky in the second half of the 40s, Pev revealed the mercenary view he had of their marriage. When they separated in 1946, and Linda shortly became seriously involved with Howard Hughes, if temporarily, Marley met with HH, and discussed divorcing Linda for $25,000. This ended Linda's affair with Hughes. Later, when she filed for divorce in 1950, Marley demanded $125,000 to not bring Joe Mankiewicz' name into the picture, since Linda was having an affair with him. This she scraped together, and led directly to her financially unstable situation for the rest of her life; it led to her taking any part offered, instead of holdong out for the right part.

 

 

More to come....

Link to post
Share on other sites

Linda Darnell's marriage to her first husband Peverell Marley ended when she filed for divorce in July 1950, which was granted in early 1951. Earlier, she had twice separated from him, once in 1946-47, when she became involved with Howard Hughes, and later, in mid-1948, after she became involved with Joseph Mankiewicz while they filmed A LETTER TO THREE WIVES. Marley used Mankiewicz' name to get Linda to pay him $125,000 for him to agree to a quiet divorce; as mentioned, this had lifelong repercussions to Linda's solvency and career choices.

 

Linda's affair with Joe Mankiewicz lasted off and on for nearly 6 years. She was madly in love with him, but as he was married to an unstable woman, actress Rosa Stradner, whom he both feared and feared she might commit suicide, he was not about to change that status. Linda grew despondent at the hopelessness of her situation, to the point of considering ending her life. Outwardly, of course, she did not exhibit any of this, although she was now drinking noticeably all the time. Additionally, Mank had convinced her to go to psychoanalysis; this, combined with her drinking, unleashed her inner demons to the point where she could erupt in fury with little provocation. All future relationships would have to deal with her sudden mood swings.

 

Although Linda made two of her best movies for Joe, in the end he betrayed her, as she took it, when the part in THE BAREFOOT CONTESSA he had promised her he cast Ava Gardner. This ended their affair, as Linda felt the sting of humiliation at being passed over. At that point, TBC would've given an important part in this prestigious picture, just when her career was needing something of this nature. And he gave her the tools for her touch into her troubled past and present, turning her simple nature into one bordering on neurotic.

Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Tomorrow AM on FMC....Just another reminder for anybody interested:

 

FALLEN ANGEL, Otto Preminger's 1945 interesting noir followup to his breakthrough hit of the year before, LAURA, will be on Fox Movie Channel Friday, April 26 at 6 am eastern, 3 am pacific. Starring Alice Faye, Dana Andrews and Linda Darnell, it's backstory is almost as intriguing as what's on the screen.

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Linda DArnell met Phillip Leibman, the man who would become her second husband, while a beer commercial was filmed at her house in 1953. She had experienced profound feelings of loneliness since she had divorced Pev Marley two years earlier, exascerbated by her pining for Joe Mankiewicz, with whom she had an on and off affair, and who was spending most of his time in New York. In mid 1952, she had gone to Italy to finalize filmmaking with producer Giuseppe Amato, and was soon involved with Amato in an affair; this affair woudl resume a year later when she went to do the first of two films for Amato. Neither of these affairs with married men would do Linda any long-term good, either for her private life or for her career. As I've mentioned AVa Gardner's selection to be THE BAREFOOT CONTESSA ended Linda's relationship withMankiewicz, and her two films for Amato brought no dividends for her here, as only one was (barely and belatedly) released in the US. Rather, she would be away for extended periods, at a crucial time for her career, with the end result that she would lose valuable ground. By early 1954, Liebmann's persistent wooing would pay off More to follow.....

Link to post
Share on other sites

 

A digression from the "what if's" in Linda Darnell's marriage choices to another "what if?"....Tomorrow morning, FMC will show SWAMP WATER. Linda had originally been cast in this bayou drama, and desperately wanted the opportunity at this chance at acting. However, her studio, perhaps stung by criticism in casting Gene Tierney in TOBACCO ROAD, didn't want to deal with criticisms of another of their beauties given this type of role, and reassigned the role to Anne Baxter. Linda was sorely disappointed. Could this have altered her future career had she done it at this early stage (1941)....We'll never know.

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Interesting 'what if' here. The key would of been how well Darnell would of done with a difficult part.

 

Your comparison to Tierney is likely to be what concerned the studio. I think many of the young beauties were not very strong actors at the begining of their careers. That isn't a knock on them; they just lacked experience. So casting them in limited roles to develop them makes sense. For example, I think Rita was rather weak at the start but she was cast mostly in musicals and her dancing carried her.

 

 

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Linda Darnell, WOW! I have never seen a response like this for Star of the Month, after all these years who would have thought that Linda Darnell would be so popular. This is terrific, the first time I ever saw Linda was in the lush 20th production of Forever Amber, I watched it again recently and it has lost nothing over the years. Hope October is going to be good for Linda fans; I for one, look forward to it.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Peterb10:

 

 

 

Here's hoping this comes true. Btw, on a somewhat facetious note, have you noticed the response to the thread in Hot Topics devoted to "George Brent's Rear End"?! Now that one has had an amazing response.

 

PS - One of my most fervent hopes is a restored and remastered DVD release of FOREVER AMBER, (hopefully) featuring some of the many deleted scenes.

 

Edited by: Arturo on May 2, 2013 8:22 PM

Link to post
Share on other sites

Fox Movie Channel will show MY DARLING CLEMENTINE this Saturday morning at 6am eastern, 3 am pacific, featuring Linda Darnell as the fiery Chihuahua in this classic John Ford western. Also stars Henry Fonda and Victor Mature, and a great cast.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Back to "what if" with Linda's husbands....What if she had never married her second husband, beer tycoon Phillipe Liebmann. She had turned him down a number of times, but finally agreed and married him, albeit secretly, in early 1954; Linda informed the press of this in July of that year. There are several reasons she finally relented. One, she was lonely, as she had just ended her affair with Joe Mankiewicz (although she still loved him); Two, she was having financial difficulties, and the wealthy Liebmann promised her a respite from her money woes as a Park Avenue matron; Three, she wanted to buy a ranch in New Mexico, and Liebmann agreed to purchase it for her; and Four, she wanted to get start-up money for her latest charity venture, founding a Girls' Town of Italy, the idea which came to her while filming in Rome the previous summer. Liebmann expected his trophy wife to accompany him around the world as he promoted his beer, and be a sort of visual spokesperson for his product He also wanted her to retire from moviemaking, and spend their time when not travleing in either New York or New Mexico. She could not quite fill these expectations. She was not Joan Crawford; she would not take on the identity of spokeswoman for her husband's drink. She would also not agree to giving up her career, but in the event, she only filmed one movie in Hollywood, THIS IS MY LOVE, for the duration of the marriage; another movie, THE LAST FIVE MINUTES she filmed in Rome in early 1955. She quickly grew bored of her role as a wealthy cafe society wife, and, wracked with guilt over the reasons she married him without loving him, she started to drink heavily again, and lashed out at him without much provocation. Finally, in December 1955, she got a quick divorce, and almost immediately resumed filming a movie, DAKOTA INCIDENT (although she had started doing TV dramas a few months earlier). But she had been out of the Hollywood social swirl for some two years, at a crucial time, and she didn't get many decent movie offers. She cut her asking price in order to be offered tv work. In the end, the marriage did not accomplish any of Linda's goals, other than the founding of Girl's Town; her loneliness continued as she soon pulled away from her husband's expectations; Liebmann took back the ranch, jewelry and other gifts he had showered her with. Her financial problems came back stronger than ever, and now, with the studio system dying and movie production cut back, and her lack of exposure to producers and others, the offers that would allow her to make a living and pay off her debts were no longer pouring in; PLUS she was getting paid substantially less for the tv work she was doing, notwithstanding her enjoyment in doing these dramas. So the marriage to Leibmann left her in a worse off position, financially and career-wise.

Link to post
Share on other sites

James, good points you make here. Although in the case of Tierney, it is particularly jarring, after the fact, to see her crawling around in the dirt, with the studio dirt attempting to hide her patrician beauty, in TOBACCO ROAD. I think Fox knew immediately, and the critics (and fan mail probably) took them to task over this odd casting, yet it is very early in Gene's career, and her persona had not yet gelled (although she was an instant hit with the public), and she would soon get several more offbeat assignments as cinema exotics. With Linda, it would not have been too difficult to see her as a backwoods beauty in SWAMP WATER; she had already been cast as something similar in CHAD HANNA, she was being seen as playing girls lower on the social scale, especially with Tierney now on the lot, and this girl was not so weird as the Ellie May character in TR. But Zanuck was already thinking of phasing Linda out of some of the more prestigious ingenue assignments, and had already cast her in a rah-rah college musical of no great importance, RISE AND SHINE. Maybe it was that Linda's mom had alienated the studio hierarchy, but all of a sudden (and this would get excacerbated once she turned 18 in Oct 1941, and promptly turned Zanuck down), parts meant for her or that she could've done justice to, were suddenly going to other actresses, and what little she got, would be in poor pictures. This was the start of Linda's first falling from grace at 20th.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Another slight sidetracking of the "what if's" in Linda Darnell's life, this time about her choices of husbands and other romantic relations with men. It had been suggested here awhile back, that what Linda should've done was get involved with some headline making scandals and affairs, a la Lana Turner, Ava Gardner and Liz Taylor, to have had that notoriety increase her value as a saleable commodity. Linda was always true to her heart, as were the above actresses, and she would never have gotten into an affair or marriage for the publicity value. In her first two-three years of her Hollywood stardom, she did make the rounds of nightclubs, often doing the town with friends like Lana. However, she was quoted as saying that she didn't think that any actress out jitterbugging every night could do a creditable job the next day on the set. She also stated that she would never marry an actor; "I haven't met one yet that's properly balanced". So while she dated any number of them, early on, and later between marriages, she didn't gravitate to partners that would have the papparazzi staking them out pr chasing them around town. Later, she came to loathe the Hollywood scene, and did it only sparingly. She DID get involved in relationships that were potentially scandalous, and/or publicity worthy, especially with Howard Hughes and Joseph Mankiewicz. But Hughes had so many girls, and was so publicity shy, that when Linda's first husband offered to divorce her for $25,000, he abandoned that relationship posthaste. Mankiewicz was married, as was Linda, when they became involved in mid-1948. While Linda soon separated, and would eventually divorce because of Joe, he could never leave his wife. This hopelessness led to Linda becoming dangerously despondent, to the point of contemplating suicide. But outsiders were clueless to all this, and as Linda paid her first husband $125,000 to keep quite about this affair, it never became public knowledge, which at the time of Ingrid Bergman's ostracism, might have caused Linda similar career reversals. Later, a la Bergman, Linda became involved in an affair with the married Italian producer of her films DONNE PROIBITE and GLI ULTIMI CINQUE MINUTI, Giuseppe Amato. This also could have had a detrimental effect on her career, but although it had the Italian press all worked up, and reports made it to the US, Linda denied the stories (plus unlike Ingrid, she was single at the time), and in due course, both affair and press coverage of same fizzled.

Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Another showing on Fox Movie Channel, Sunday May 12, at 7:15 am eastern, 4:15 am pacific.

 

FALLEN ANGEL, Otto Preminger's 1945 interesting noir followup to his breakthrough hit of the year before, LAURA, will be on Fox Movie Channel Friday, April 26 at 6 am eastern, 3 am pacific. Starring Alice Faye, Dana Andrews and Linda Darnell, it's backstory is almost as intriguing as what's on the screen.

 

PS - Several other noirs and noirish dramas on FMC in the next several days. See the post on the Upcoming Fox Movies.... thread on Hot Topics, or the FMC website, for more info.

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Early tomorrow morning on FMC is another "what if" movie that could've featured Linda Darnell, MOONTIDE. This is one of two plausible movie candidates for role that Linda was being pitched by Darryl F. Zanuck in October 1941, just as she became an 18 year old adult. This role Linda would lose because she refused Zanuck's sexual advance. The other possible movie is TO THE SHORES OF TRIPOLI (of course this is all speculation on my part, and it could be something else). The reason I think it is one of these is that they both started filming in late 1941, and both had to quickly have a leading lady brought in from elsewhere: Ida Lupino, borrowed from WB for MOONTIDE, Maureen O'Hara for TTSOT, with Fox negotiating half of her contract from RKO. My hunch tells me that the forlorn girl in MOONTIDE would have appealed to Linda more than being leading lady in a Technicolor flag-waver, and Zanuck would have wanted to sweeten the offer in the hopes that she would go for it.

 

Anyway, whatever movie role it was, Linda did not do it. But if she had gotten it, this might have been an important part, just at the time her stock was sagging with the studio heads, and they may have given her some better assignments than the few (and poor ones) she got over the next two years.

Link to post
Share on other sites

An interesting fact about Linda Darnell's movie career, which spanned a quarter century: Linda almost never played mothers in her movies; rarely did she have a child (of course when she started films she was herself just a child of 15). In the 40s, only in FOREVER AMBER (1947) did she have an offspring, Little Bruce; the book had her with a couple other illegitimate kids, but the Breen Office only allowed one for the movie. Given that she aged from 16 to 25 in the movie, and was involved with a number of men, it would seem odd that she hadn't become a mother in this epic. In the 50s, not counting when she played a governess once in 1951's THE LADY PAYS OFF (where it ends with the idea she will continue as Gigi Perreau's step-mother), she was a prostitute who had a child in the Italian production ANGELS OF DARKNESS (1953), and later, played a mother with a sick child in ZERO HOUR! (1957). That same year, in the TV movie HOMEWARD BORNE, which saw limited theatrical release in 1958, her adoption of a child was the crux of her problems with her husband. In fact, contrary to her feature films, Linda played a mother in several of her tv dramas she did in the second half of the 50s. Besides the aforementioned HOMEWARD BORNE, these include TRIAL BY FIRE and MY LITTLE GIRL. Her stage debut in A ROOMFUL OF ROSES also had her playing a mother with child troubles, as were the others. I guess by then Linda, approaching her mid-30s, was the right age to have kid problems, but it seems odd that when she was younger, she didn't seem to ever have even a newborn. PS-Of course in real life, Linda was unable to have a child, and had to adopt a daughter, Lola, with whom she would have a troubled relationship.

 

Edited by: Arturo on May 12, 2013 8:32 PM

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you Arturo for your posts. I don't know very much about Linda Darnell's career, and always wondered why she wasn't a bigger star in bigger films. Your informative posts have been very illuminating.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, no horror movies, but she was in a couple of genuinely suspenseful movies: HANGOVER SQUARE and SECOND CHANCE, not to mention NO WAY OUT's finale. And in the mid-40s it was suspenseful speculating if Linda would get killed in any given movie, or make the final cut (she usually wouldn't). Neither THE 13TH LETTER nor NIGHT WITHOUT SLEEP have much suspense, notwithstanding the filmmakers' intentions.

Link to post
Share on other sites

>I have the feeling that horror and sci-fi were two genres for which Linda rejected scripts, out of hand, in the 50s and early 60s.

 

That's what I think, too. But even the best actresses, like Davis, Crawford and Stanwyck eventually took those kinds of roles to keep working. If Linda had lived, my guess is that she would have done some horror films in the late 60s and 70s.

Link to post
Share on other sites

*If Linda had lived, my guess is that she would have done some horror films in the late 60s and 70s.*

 

Topbilled:

 

I don't know that I agree. Of course one can only speculate, but Linda seemed to gravitate to movies, and tv dramas, that gave her a strong acting opportunity (not that she was offered sufficient numbers of them). When she tentatively returned to work in 1963-64, after her divorce from her third husband, she continued to do what she had been, if on a lesser scale: stage and guest appearances on TV, and, while she only did one movie (the posthumously released BLACK SPURS), she had concrete offers for others. I don't think she would have willingly gone the Grand Guignol route, but would have focused more on tv and stagework if there were no other movie offers. And while some of these horror movies had decent roles, albeit of a campy nature at times, she had a sense of what was right for her image and what wasn't. This is why she hated doing a nightclub act, feeling that she cheapened her image as she traded on her name, and abandoned it as soon as she could despite her husband saying she had to do it for the money. No, most likely she would not have accepted the likes of TROG, but continuied to do tv guest appearances or TV movies, and more stage work.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
© 2020 Turner Classic Movies Inc. A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Cookie Settings
×
×
  • Create New...