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Arturo

LINDA DARNELL for Star of the Month October 2013

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I tried posting the following earlier, but I had no connection (bars) then.

 

In the early hours of this Monday, Linda will be in two films:

 

On FMC.@ 7:15 am est; also Tuesday, @ 6 am est:

DAYTIME WIFE (1939), her second film, she plays Tyrone Power's young wife in this screwball comedy, and thinks he is playing on her. The first of four costarring roles with Power.

 

On EncoreWesterns @ 1:45 am:

TWO FLAGS WEST (1950). Linda is the female lead in this exciting western, costarring with Jeff.Chandler,.Cornel.Wilde and Joseph Cotton.

 

Next.week, Tuesday 9/15 @ 6 am est, FMC will repeat BRIGHAM YOUNG (1940), Darnell's first western, and her second film with Power, in this epic telling of the Mormon Trek.

 

But the day before, on Monday, 9/14, @ 3:30 am est, and.later @ 12:40 pm est, FMC will air Linda's most important film.at.the time, the botched epic FOREVER AMBER (1947). The long, troubled filming of the salacious bestseller has tainted the film as a critical and financial failure. However, it was a top grosser when it came out, and it has much to recommend it, including the cinematography, sets, costumes, score, and even the direction and some.of the performances. Costarring Cornel Wilde, Richard Greene.and George Sanders.

 

It's been awhile since I have seen it listed on FMC, so I am excited about this. Now if only TCM can get a copy of this, and air it as.an integral part of a Darnell SOTM. Hey, if Susan Hayward can be chosen, there's no reason why Linda can't be also.

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I tried posting the following earlier, but I had no connection (bars) then.

 

In the early hours of this Monday, Linda will be in two films:

 

On FMC.@ 7:15 am est; also Tuesday, @ 6 am est:

DAYTIME WIFE (1939), her second film, she plays Tyrone Power's young wife in this screwball comedy, and thinks he is playing on her. The first of four costarring roles with Power.

 

On EncoreWesterns @ 1:45 am:

TWO FLAGS WEST (1950). Linda is the female lead in this exciting western, costarring with Jeff.Chandler,.Cornel.Wilde and Joseph Cotton.

 

Next.week, Tuesday 9/15 @ 6 am est, FMC will repeat BRIGHAM YOUNG (1940), Darnell's first western, and her second film with Power, in this epic telling of the Mormon Trek.

 

But the day before, on Monday, 9/14, @ 3:30 am est, and.later @ 12:40 pm est, FMC will air Linda's most important film.at.the time, the botched epic FOREVER AMBER (1947). The long, troubled filming of the salacious bestseller has tainted the film as a critical and financial failure. However, it was a top grosser when it came out, and it has much to recommend it, including the cinematography, sets, costumes, score, and even the direction and some.of the performances. Costarring Cornel Wilde, Richard Greene.and George Sanders.

 

It's been awhile since I have seen it listed on FMC, so I am excited about this. Now if only TCM can get a copy of this, and air it as.an integral part of a Darnell SOTM. Hey, if Susan Hayward can be chosen, there's no reason why Linda can't be also.

I enjoyed DAYTIME WIFE 1939 especially Tyrone and Linda as a young married couple. Linda is so young in this film, she looks different to me. When she appeared in BLOOD AND SAND 1941, she looked like the Linda we know. A few days ago I watched my guilty pleasure FALLEN ANGEL 1945. I love this film noir, who knows why it isn`t rated higher. Four men are in love with Linda, and she is not accepting a ring unless she will marry into a better life. I thought that Alice Faye was ok playing the prim and proper June, but the critics did not agree with my opinion.

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I enjoyed DAYTIME WIFE 1939 especially Tyrone and Linda as a young married couple. Linda is so young in this film, she looks different to me. When she appeared in BLOOD AND SAND 1941, she looked like the Linda we know. A few days ago I watched my guilty pleasure FALLEN ANGEL 1945. I love this film noir, who knows why it isn`t rated higher. Four men are in love with Linda, and she is not accepting a ring unless she will marry into a better life. I thought that Alice Faye was ok playing the prim and proper June, but the critics did not agree with my opinion.

Linda Darnell WAS very young when she filmed DAYTIME WIFE; it wrapped filming in mid-October 1939, on her 16th birthday in fact. Fox was promoting her to be a couple years older. Linda does look a bit different in her first few pictures. I think she started to look more familiar when she wore her hair long, as in the costume pictures BRIGHAM YOUNG or THE MARK OF ZORRO (1940). Or maybe it's just that films like ZORRO or BLOOD AND SAND are relatively more available, so this is the more familiar image.

 

I agree that FALLEN ANGEL is a very good noir, although a totally "guilt-free" pleasure to me, with Linda among the standouts. I also think Alice Faye is good, although she did not,.at.least.not in the released print. Several of her more dramatic scenes were apparently left on the cutting room floor, and felt that her role.emerged as.one dimensional. She was particularly hurt and incensed because she was hoping to move away from gaudy musicals into more dramatic fare, but when she saw an early showing, she left the studio in a rage.

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I enjoyed DAYTIME WIFE 1939 especially Tyrone and Linda as a young married couple. Linda is so young in this film, she looks different to me. When she appeared in BLOOD AND SAND 1941, she looked like the Linda we know. A few days ago I watched my guilty pleasure FALLEN ANGEL 1945. I love this film noir, who knows why it isn`t rated higher. Four men are in love with Linda, and she is not accepting a ring unless she will marry into a better life. I thought that Alice Faye was ok playing the prim and proper June, but the critics did not agree with my opinion.

 

Big fan of Fallen Angel.    Not sure why you assume the film isn't 'rated higher' by film noir fans.   If you mean TCM viewers;  Well the film is a 20th Century Fox  and therefore not one TCM would show very often (if at all).     Luckily MOVIES-TV shows it a lot but alas with commercials.

 

I felt Faye did some fine acting in the film.   Similar to what 20th Century Fox tried to do with Betty Grable in I Wake up Screaming.  The very differences between the two leading female stars is central to the film.   

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Big fan of Fallen Angel.    Not sure why you assume the film isn't 'rated higher' by film noir fans.   If you mean TCM viewers;  Well the film is a 20th Century Fox  and therefore not one TCM would show very often (if at all).     Luckily MOVIES-TV shows it a lot but alas with commercials.

 

I felt Faye did some fine acting in the film.   Similar to what 20th Century Fox tried to do with Betty Grable in I Wake up Screaming.  The very differences between the two leading female stars is central to the film.   

I need to stop looking in my Leonard Maltin movie review book.

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I need to stop looking in my Leonard Maltin movie review book.

 

I do recommend that Leonard Maltin reviews are not used to reflect any type of consensus.  

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On Tuesday 9/15 @ 6 am est, FMC will repeat BRIGHAM YOUNG (1940), Darnell's first western, and her second film with Power, in this epic telling of the Mormon Trek.

 

But the day before, on Monday, 9/14, @ 3:30 am est, and.later @ 12:40 pm est, FMC will air Linda's most important film.at.the time, the botched epic FOREVER AMBER (1947). The long, troubled filming of the salacious bestseller has tainted the film as a critical and financial failure. However, it was a top grosser when it came out, and it has much to recommend it, including the cinematography, sets, costumes, score, and even the direction and some.of the performances. Costarring Cornel Wilde, Richard Greene.and George Sanders.

It's been awhile since I have seen it listed on FMC, so I am excited about this. Now if only TCM can get a copy of this, and air it as.an integral part of a Darnell SOTM. Hey, if Susan Hayward can be chosen, there's no reason why Linda can't be also.

 

*******************************************

 

Just a.reminder.that.early Monday morning, and later in the day, FMC will show the biggest film.of Linda Darnell's career, FOREVER AMBER, if not her most acclaimed role or best acting opportunity. At the time she was cast, however, she and the rest of Hollywood felt it was a coup for her. Unfortunately, the watered down script and heavy handed censorship resulted in a mixed reception, both for Linda and the film.

 

Just before the second showing of AMBER, FMC will.be showing another Fox Technicolor epic from 1947, CAPTAIN FROM CASTILE. Originally, Linda was cast to play in this film, as the barefoot Spanish gypsy Catana, a role which would have suited her perfectly. Even when she was assigned to take over the role of Amber from Peggy Cummins, it appeared Linda would still do CFC afterwards. However, the new director on FOREVER AMBER, Otto Preminger, ordered a rewrite of the script, thereby delaying the resumption of production by some three months. Linda bitterly accepted the reality that she could not do CFC, which would have reteamed her with Tyrone Power, and newcomer Jean Peters got the plum assignment.

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sapphiere--whenever I come across a film rated *1/2 stars or lower by Maltin, I'm to the point I automatically watch it--more often than not, film turns out to be good (**1/2 stars or better).

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Just before the second showing of AMBER, FMC will.be showing another Fox Technicolor epic from 1947, CAPTAIN FROM CASTILE. Originally, Linda was cast to play in this film, as the barefoot Spanish gypsy Catana, a role which would have suited her perfectly. Even when she was assigned to take over the role of Amber from Peggy Cummins, it appeared Linda would still do CFC afterwards. However, the new director on FOREVER AMBER, Otto Preminger, ordered a rewrite of the script, thereby delaying the resumption of production by some three months. Linda bitterly accepted the reality that she could not do CFC, which would have reteamed her with Tyrone Power, and newcomer Jean Peters got the plum assignment.

It's a shame that Linda didn't get cast in Captain from Castile. Nothing against Jean Peters (who's quite good in the film), but Darnell and Ty Power always played well off one another. They had extraordinary chemistry in The Mark of Zorro.

 

But it seems to me that during the post war '40s Fox was frequently co-starring Power with up and coming starlets in a number of his films (Wanda Hendrix, Colleen Gray come to mind, as well as Jean Peters). Actually, Gray's casting in Nightmare Alley works, I feel, because the role requires a young fresh innocent in the part. But that was not really a requirement for the role of Catana Perez in CFC. Darnell could have been perfect in the role.

 

Darnell had matured as an actress on screen. In Zorro she had been the incarnation of virginal innocence, played with great charm by the lady. Quite the contrast, eh, to her tarnished, cynical transformation as a sultry mantrap in a film like Fallen Angel, for example. The part of Catana could have been interesting for Darnell as she could have the best of both worlds as an actress. She could have looked hot and sultry but still, essentially, have been playing a good hearted soul.

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It's a shame that Linda didn't get cast in Captain from Castile. Nothing against Jean Peters (who's quite good in the film), but Darnell and Ty Power always played well off one another. They had extraordinary chemistry in The Mark of Zorro.

 

But it seems to me that during the post war '40s Fox was frequently co-starring Power with up and coming starlets in a number of his films (Wanda Hendrix, Colleen Gray come to mind, as well as Jean Peters). Actually, Gray's casting in Nightmare Alley works, I feel, because the role requires a young fresh innocent in the part. But that was not really a requirement for the role of Catana Perez in CFC. Darnel could have been perfect in the role.

 

Darnell had matured as an actress on screen. In Zorro she had been the incarnation of virginal innocence, played with great charm by the lady. Quite the contrast, eh, to her tarnished, cynical transformation as a sultry mantrap in a film like Fallen Angel, for example. The part of Catana could have been interesting for Darnell as she could have the best of both worlds as an actress. She could have looked hot and sultry but still, essentially, have been playing a good hearted soul.

 

Like I have said before casting decisions in the studio-system were mostly made to benefit the bottom line (current or future).   Power was a big enough draw that he didn't need to be paired with an established leading lady.  So of course pair him with an up and coming starlet as a way to promote that starlet and increase their value to the studio.  

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Like I have said before casting decisions in the studio-system were mostly made to benefit the bottom line (current or future).   Power was a big enough draw that he didn't need to be paired with an established leading lady.  So of course pair him with an up and coming starlet as a way to promote that starlet and increase their value to the studio.  

Maybe so but it's often at the expense of the film. Wanda Hendrix didn't help Prince of Foxes and Cecile Aubry was an unmitigated DISASTER in Power's The Black Rose. (I had forgotten about Aubry when I listed newcomers co-starred with Power; my mind undoubtedly blocking the memory of her because her bizarre child-like performance causes me so many shudders).

 

It's difficult for me to think that Captain from Castile would not have been a stronger film (even with Henry King's leaden direction) if Linda Darnell had spiced up the production by being reteamed with an actor with whom it had already been shown she had screen chemistry.

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Maybe so but it's often at the expense of the film. Wanda Hendrix didn't help Prince of Foxes and Cecile Aubry was an unmitigated DISASTER in Power's The Black Rose. (I had forgotten about Aubry when I listed newcomers co-starred with Power; my mind undoubtedly blocking the memory of her because her bizarre child-like performance causes me so many shudders).

 

It's difficult for me to think that Captain from Castile would not have been a stronger film (even with Henry King's leaden direction) if Linda Darnell had spiced up the production by being reteamed with an actor with whom it had already been shown she had screen chemistry.

 

I agree with you that often it is at the expense of the film.   I have pointed that out many times as one of the flaws of the studio system (especially to those at this forum that think the so called golden age \ studio era had no flaws).

 

If producers were able to swap stars from various studios more often (load outs and 'trades' were generally not preferred by the studio bosses) the overall quality of the casting would have been better and there would have been less miscasting.     

 

Of course on the reverse side studios also had matches made in heaven like Flynn and DeHavilland or Tracy \ Hepburn and this created a win\win for the bean counters as well as the quality of the film.   

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It's a shame that Linda didn't get cast in Captain from Castile. Nothing against Jean Peters (who's quite good in the film), but Darnell and Ty Power always played well off one another. They had extraordinary chemistry in The Mark of Zorro.

 

But it seems to me that during the post war '40s Fox was frequently co-starring Power with up and coming starlets in a number of his films (Wanda Hendrix, Colleen Gray come to mind, as well as Jean Peters). Actually, Gray's casting in Nightmare Alley works, I feel, because the role requires a young fresh innocent in the part. But that was not really a requirement for the role of Catana Perez in CFC. Darnell could have been perfect in the role.

 

Darnell had matured as an actress on screen. In Zorro she had been the incarnation of virginal innocence, played with great charm by the lady. Quite the contrast, eh, to her tarnished, cynical transformation as a sultry mantrap in a film like Fallen Angel, for example. The part of Catana could have been interesting for Darnell as she could have the best of both worlds as an actress. She could have looked hot and sultry but still, essentially, have been playing a good hearted soul.

It IS a shame, imho, that Darnell and Power were never reteamed after the war, when her by then mature persona would.have worked well wifh him. As much as I like Jean Peters, and I like her in CAPTAIN FROM CASTILE, I agree Linda would have been more effective in this. In fact, Zanuck had pegged her for the role a couple of years before filming began, as he thought the barefoot gypsy Catana was reminiscent of her 1944 breakthrough role as a femme.fatale in SUMMER STORM. Prior to Power coming back from.the war, and being cast in this, the studio had announced.Cornel.Wilde for the male lead.

 

Additionally, CFC could have been important for Linda, in that she would have had another quick sexy role following FOREVER AMBER, and the impact of this might have made.her a superstar. Instead, it was almost a year later that she appeared in her next film, the interesting, if static, costume melodrama THE WALLS OF JERICHO, which received mediocre reviews followed by mediocre returns.

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Like I have said before casting decisions in the studio-system were mostly made to benefit the bottom line (current or future). Power was a big enough draw that he didn't need to be paired with an established leading lady. So of course pair him with an up and coming starlet as a way to promote that starlet and increase their value to the studio.

 

Indeed, the studio system often did this, pairing promising newcomers with established stars. But it was not always the case. In the post-war period, Power was.costarred with Gene Tierney (at the height of her career) and Anne Baxter in THE RAZOR'S EDGE, Tierney in THAT WONDERFUL URGE,.and Baxter in LUCK OF THE IRISH. So costarring him with big names was employed as often as.not. And the relative.newcomers used, such as Hendrix and and Aubrey, especially, were hindrances in PRINCE OF FOXES and BLACK ROSE, respectively. Imagine Gene Tierney in POF, or Jean Peters, now more established in THE BLACK ROSE. In the case of Wanda Hendrix, Power.had wanted her, in fact, for THAT WONDERFUL.URGE, but the studio felt she had no boxoffice pull. They did relent for POF; paradoxically, the big budget adventure films seemed.to have theae newcomers, as Fox must have felt they had a ready-built.audience among Power fans.

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It IS a shame, imho, that Darnell and Power were never reteamed after the war, when her by then mature persona would.have worked well wifh him. As much as I like Jean Peters, and I like her in CAPTAIN FROM CASTILE, I agree Linda would have been more effective in this. In fact, Zanuck had pegged her for the role a couple of years before filming began, as he thought the barefoot gypsy Catana was reminiscent of her 1944 breakthrough role as a femme.fatale in SUMMER STORM. Prior to Power coming back from.the war, and being cast in this, the studio had announced.Cornel.Wilde for the male lead.

 

 

I've always had mixed feelings about Captain from Castile. Great music by Alfred Newman and on location photography but way too slow and too long. (When it came to costume films, Henry King was no Mike Curtiz, to put it mildly). The film lacks any real excitement and, incredibly, it ends just as Cortes is about to begin the conquest of Mexico. What we watched was a lengthy preamble to, potentially, the most interesting stuff to come.

 

Still, to have had a mature, sexy Linda Darnell on screen with a post war Tyrone Power would have brought the film some additional distinction and sizzle in their scenes together. We're in agreement on this one, Arturo. Almost impossible to think that it wouldn't have been a stronger film if she had been cast in it.

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Well,.I forgot to post here earlier, to mention that Linda Darnell would be seen late Monday on TCM,.as part of Lee J. Cobb's SUTS, in ANNA AND THE KING OF SIAM (1946). She plays the decorative, if decidedly brief role of Tuptim, reluctant concubine to the king. She is suitably exotic, wearing the Siamese.version of the sarong. During thr filming of the burning sequence, she was burned slightly, causing her to comment that she preferred dying.on screen (she usually ended up dead on film at this time) by shooting or strangling; ironically, she would be burned while filming three different movies.

This expensive movie, the first of the postwar blockbusters without the wartime restrictions on sets, costumes, etc., needed the boxoffice insurance of Darnell,.along with Dunne; Harrison meant next to nothing in America up to this point. Linda's image in the costumes and makeup were featured prominently in the promotional materials for the film, and in the fan magazines, to help sell the movie. Her role was probably substantially larger originally. Darryl Zanuck did his usual job of editing, especially with its long running time, and must've cut out much of her role.

ANNA AND THE KING OF SIAM will be on TCM later today, at 8 pm est, 5 pm.pst.

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ANNA AND THE KING OF SIAM will be on TCM later today, at 8 pm est, 5 pm.pst.

I always find what finally happens to Darnell in this film painfully ironic.

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ANNA AND THE KING OF SIAM will be on TCM later today, at 8 pm est, 5 pm.pst.

The ironic thing, in light of Linda's death in a fire, is that she got singed during filming, not just in AATKOS, but also in two other films. First, in HANGOVER SQUARE, where her strangled body is tossed onto the bonfire by deranged Laird Cregar during Guy Hawkes Day. Later,.during the filming of FOREVER AMBER, when husband Richard Haydn tries to have her burn during the London Fire.

 

Due to these experiences, Linda had a lifelong fear of fire.

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The ironic thing, in light of Linda's death in a fire, is that she got singed during filming, not just in AATKOS, but also in two other films. First, in HANGOVER SQUARE, where her strangled body is tossed onto the bonfire by deranged Laird Cregar during Guy Hawkes Day. Later,.during the filming of FOREVER AMBER, when husband Richard Haydn tries to have her burn during the London Fire.

 

Due to these experiences, Linda had a lifelong fear of fire.

But didn't she die because she went looking for a child in her burning house, in spite of her terrifying fear of fire? What a lot of courage she had.

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But didn't she die because she went looking for a child in her burning house, in spite of her terrifying fear of fire? What a lot of courage she had.

Yes, supposedly she had made it out, but went back in looking for someone who had also made it out, unbeknownst to her. That was courageous, considering her fears. Although there are ugly rumors on the internet as to what happened.

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Yes, supposedly she had made it out, but went back in looking for someone who had also made it out, unbeknownst to her. That was courageous, considering her fears. Although there are ugly rumors on the internet as to what happened.

I'm shocked, shocked (!) that anything ugly (and untrue) could ever appear on the internet.

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Yes, supposedly she had made it out, but went back in looking for someone who had also made it out, unbeknownst to her. That was courageous, considering her fears. Although there are ugly rumors on the internet as to what happened.

 

 

I had read that that story was false (that she went back in) I think maybe in an autobiography of her? Unsure what the real story was...

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There appears to be some confusion about the precise facts surrounding Linda's tragic accident. That makes this terrible end for the actress, unfortunately, ripe fodder for some conniving minds to write about.

 

I assume that none of the witnesses to her end are still around to set the record straight.

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Well, the book was written quite some time ago. I think if I remember correctly, Linda never got out in the first place. Maybe Arturo would know for sure.

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Well, the book was written quite some time ago. I think if I remember correctly, Linda never got out in the first place. Maybe Arturo would know for sure.

According to the biography "Hollywood Beauty", which was researched in the 70s and 80s, and published in 1991, Linda did not make it out. She, her friend and friend's daughter were on the second floor, and after the daughter jumped out the window, Linda disappeared. She apparently was afraid to jump, and went down the stairs to go out the door. A neighbor saw her silhouetted against the flames, and he tried go go in for her, but she went back in and vanished. She was found on the floor, alive but with burns all over her body. She would not survive much more than a day lster.

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