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Arturo

LINDA DARNELL for Star of the Month October 2013

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Yes, I put in a reminder at TCM. You mean it's STILL not on DVD? I wonder why?

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It's on DVD via the Fox Cinema Archives edition, and on (expensive) Blu-ray from Twilight Time:

51xYwDdv0LL._SY445_.jpg  515-hVw-47L.jpg

 

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Lawrence, thank you for that.  When I said I wanted a DVD/Blu-Ray release, I was hoping for something with extras, specifically deleted scenes.

There is an on-demand Fox Cinema Archives DVD-R.  This one is adequate, but there are no extras.  The Blue-Ray released about a year ago has some extras, including the Linda Darnell biography narrated by Peter Graves.  However, there are nome of the specific extras of what I am hoping for.   Maybe for the 75th Anniversary in 3 years.  However, this Blu-Ray release has a much better picture than the DVD-R.

Ironically, FA and two other Darnell films, THE WALLS OF JERICHO and TWO FLAGS WEST, were all set for a proper DVD release 10 years ago.  Then Fox pulled the plug on these remastered releases.  They were only released in Spain for whatever reason.  I bought them, but they are in the Region format from that country, and not compatible with U.S. players.

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6 minutes ago, Arturo said:

Lawrence, thank you for that.  When I said I wanted a DVD/Blu-Ray release, I was hoping for something with extras, specifically deleted scenes.

There is an on-demand Fox Cinema Archives DVD-R.  This one is adequate, but there are no extras.  The Blue-Ray released about a year ago has some extras, including the Linda Darnell biography narrated by Peter Graves.  However, there are nome of the specific extras of what I am hoping for.   Maybe for the 75th Anniversary in 3 years.  However, this Blu-Ray release has a much better picture than the DVD-R.

Ironically, FA and two other Darnell films, THE WALLS OF JERICHO and TWO FLAGS WEST, were all set for a proper DVD release 10 years ago.  Then Fox pulled the plug on these remastered releases.  They were only released in Spain for whatever reason.  I bought them, but they are in the Region format from that country, and not compatible with U.S. players.

We can hope for a good release some day. The sooner the better, as there have been some ominous home video developments of late, with Samsung announcing that they are ceasing manufacture of Blu-ray and 4K disc players, and two Blu-rays that I had on pre-order were canceled and never released (one was from Sony, one was Warners). The move to streaming-only continues to pick up steam. Discs aren't going away just yet, but I would recommend people getting what they can now, as I wouldn't be surprised if some of the bigger companies start to announce cessation of disc manufacture as more and more streaming companies start up and library rights become more valuable on that market. :( 

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On 2/26/2019 at 1:58 PM, Arturo said:

Just a reminder FOREVER AMBER will be on TCM this Thursday night/ Friday morning at 12:15 am Eastern.

Here's a still of Linda Darnell from a deleted scene in the film.  Would love to see this and other cut scenes as extras in a DVD/Blu-Ray release.

 

a14218038afc41ea317c028783874a0c--a-letter-tyrone-power.jpg

Another reminder that FOREVER AMBER will be on TCM tonight, @ 12:15am  est, 9:15pm pst.  It may be a premiere on the station.

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TCM's schedule is saying it's on 12:15AM.  You don't want people tuning in at the wrong time!

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38 minutes ago, Hibi said:

TCM's schedule is saying it's on 12:15AM.  You don't want people tuning in at the wrong time!

Lol.  You're right Hibi.  I calculated 3 hours from my local Pacific time, but subtracted instead of added the hours.  Thanks for the heads up.  I will edit my posts.

 

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Arturo, I took a look at the print of Forever Amber that TCM broadcast early this morning and noticed how dark it was generally. It occurred to me that whenever I've seen this film in the past I was also struck by how dark many of its scenes were.

I was wondering if you have ever seen a bright looking copy of Forever Amber, certainly brighter than this version TCM had. Fox was a studio known for its bright saturated Technicolor but that is certainly not the case with anything I have seen of this film.

Or did Preminger and Leon Shamroy just shoot a dark film for some reason? Of course, any scenes set in hovels you expect to be dark but, for an expensive "A" production, it has never been the visual knockout that I would have expected, especially compared to some other big costume films Hollywood was churning out during the '30s and '40s.

The prints I've seen of Forever Amber can't compare, for example, to Fox's Captain from Castile, also a '47 release, for visual splendor. Mind you, Captain is largely an outdoor film while Amber is largely set indoors.

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1 minute ago, TomJH said:

Arturo, I took a look at the print of Forever Amber that TCM broadcast early this morning and noticed how dark it was generally. It occurred to me that whenever I've seen this film in the past I was also stuck by how dark many of its scenes were.

I was wondering if you have ever seen a bright looking copy of Forever Amber, certainly brighter than this version TCM had. Fox was a studio known for its bright saturated Technicolor but that is certainly not the case with anything I have seen of this film.

Or did Preminger and Leon Shamroy just shoot a dark film for some reason? Of course, any scenes set in hovels you expect to be dark but, for an expensive "A" production, it has never been the visual knockout that I would have expected, especially compared to some other big costume films Hollywood was churning out during the '30s and '40s.

The prints I've seen of Forever Amber can't compare, for example, to Fox's Captain from Castile, also a '47 release, for visual splendor. Mind you, Castile is largely an outdoor film while the other is largely set indoors.

Tom, years ago I watched Forever Amber on the FMC and also noticed that the print was a little dark. The color on Fox films were usually brighter and so beautiful. I think my very favorite visually is Leave Her To Heaven. the color on LHTH is magnificent. Agree on Captains on Castile, well you know starred in that one LOL.

btw, Darnell and Power, for me, doesn't get more beautiful than that combo

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5 minutes ago, lavenderblue19 said:

Tom, years ago I watched Forever Amber on the FMC and also noticed that the print was a little dark. The color on Fox films were usually brighter and so beautiful. I think my very favorite visually is Leave Her To Heaven. the color on LHTH is magnificent. Agree on Captains on Castile, well you know starred in that one LOL.

btw, Darnell and Power, for me, doesn't get more beautiful than that combo

Yeh, Lavender, Leave Her To Heaven is particularly stunning and, guess who was the cinematographer: the same Leon Shamroy who filmed Amber.

As far as Darnell and Power are concerned, Arturo may correct me on this, but I believe that she was going to be co-starred in Captain from Castile with Ty once again. That was cancelled, though, for her bigger opportunity in Forever Amber.

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3 hours ago, TomJH said:

Arturo, I took a look at the print of Forever Amber that TCM broadcast early this morning and noticed how dark it was generally. It occurred to me that whenever I've seen this film in the past I was also stuck by how dark many of its scenes were.

I was wondering if you have ever seen a bright looking copy of Forever Amber, certainly brighter than this version TCM had. Fox was a studio known for its bright saturated Technicolor but that is certainly not the case with anything I have seen of this film.

Or did Preminger and Leon Shamroy just shoot a dark film for some reason? Of course, any scenes set in hovels you expect to be dark but, for an expensive "A" production, it has never been the visual knockout that I would have expected, especially compared to some other big costume films Hollywood was churning out during the '30s and '40s.

The prints I've seen of Forever Amber can't compare, for example, to Fox's Captain from Castile, also a '47 release, for visual splendor. Mind you, Captain is largely an outdoor film while Amber is largely set indoors.

Tom, 

I agree about the dark, muted Technicolor in FOREVER AMBER.  It seems that this movie has always looked that way.   It sure if it needs major restoration or if this is the color palette that Preminger and /or the photographer intended.  As mentioned, there are many indoor or night scenes; Newgate Prsion comes to mind.  However, there are a few that are quite bright, so I don't really know if it was done dark intentionally or not.

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On 3/1/2019 at 9:22 AM, lavenderblue19 said:

Tom, years ago I watched Forever Amber on the FMC and also noticed that the print was a little dark. The color on Fox films were usually brighter and so beautiful. I think my very favorite visually is Leave Her To Heaven. the color on LHTH is magnificent. Agree on Captains on Castile, well you know starred in that one LOL.

btw, Darnell and Power, for me, doesn't get more beautiful than that combo

 Lav, 

Both LEAVE HER TO HEAVEN and CAPTAIN FROM CASTILE have that beautiful bright Technicolor for which Fox was renowned in the 1940s.  I think either director of those films, John M. Stahl and Henry King, respectively, might've brought a similarly bright palette to FOREVER AMBER had they done the film; of course Stahl had started FA.  A contemporaneous Technicolor Fox film, the musical CENTENNIAL SUMMER (1946), directed. like FA by Otto Preniinger, and also with Darnell and Wilde, is similarly relatively dark like FA.  So whether this was Preminger's preference, or it's another film in need of restoration, I dont know.

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4 hours ago, TomJH said:

Yeh, Lavender, Leave Her To Heaven is particularly stunning and, guess who was the cinematographer: the same Leon Shamroy who filmed Amber.

As far as Darnell and Power are concerned, Arturo may correct me on this, but I believe that she was going to be co-starred in Captain from Castile with Ty once again. That was cancelled, though, for her bigger opportunity in Forever Amber.

Tom, you are correct in that Linda Darnell would've costarred with Power in CAPTAIN FROM CASTILE.  When she was initially assigned to FA in the spring of 1946, she was already scheduled to play Catana in CFC, it was assumed that AMBER would finish shooting before the start of CFC at the end of the year/beginning of 1947.  However, when Preminger came on board as director of FA, he requested a totally new script.  Between that and other delays, the film didn't actually resume until October 1946, and continued until March 1947.  So Linda missed out on CFC, which she had really wanted to do.

I recently came across a magazine article from @1956-57.  It states that Power actually dated Darnell for a bit, and wanted to get serious.  I never knew this, and assume that they were between spouses when this happened.  This could've been when Linda was filming FA in late 1946, when he was divorcing Annabella and she was separated from her first husband.  Power dated Gene Tierney around this time.  He soon got into a major affair with Lana Turner before th start of filming of CFC. 

Not sure about a later timeline and His and Linda's marriage/availability status coinciding.

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2 hours ago, Arturo said:

I recently came across a magazine article from @1956-57.  It states that Power actually dated Darnell for a bit, and wanted to get serious.  I never knew this, and assume that they were between spouses when this happened.  This could've been when Linda was filming FA in late 1946, when he was divorcing Annabella and she was separated from her first husband.  Power dated Gene Tierney around this time.  He soon got into a major affair with Lana Turner before th start of filming of CFC. 

Not sure about a later timeline and His and Linda's marriage/availability status coinciding.

That comes as news to me, too, Arturo, that Darnell dated Power for a while. (What a beautiful couple they would have been!).

I don't know if I mentioned this previously in this thread, but, as a kid, I vaguely recall seeing Darnell as a panelist on Your First Impression. It was a daytime TV game show that appeared on NBC from 1962 to 1964. Bell Leyden was the host. There would be, if I remember correctly, five photos of Hollywood stars/character actors on display, with one of them standing behind a curtain. Three panelists, of which Linda was middle panelist one time, had to guess which of the five was behind that curtain. One time I remember it was Barton MacLane who, I believe, said he was running a ranch.

In any event I was under the impression then that Linda had had a relationship with Ty Power (I suspect based on no more than their great chemistry in The Mark of Zorro, which was on TV quite often then). Darnell looked beautiful but this was a couple of years after Power had died and I recall thinking, "Linda, how can you sit there looking so beautiful. You should still be in mourning over Ty."

Yeh, I was a kid, alright.

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Well, I finally got to view Amber and I've got to say I was underwhelmed. Not exactly sure why. I didn't hate it, but felt it was a misfire all around. It was ok. Had it been made a few decades later, I'm sure it would've been more like Tom Jones or even more explicit. Linda wasnt given much to do, despite being the star.  As far as the oomph factor, she does provide that. Easy to see why every man wanted to bed her, but, alas, all that is mere speculation on the viewer's part. As written, it didnt give her much to work with. (due to the censors she cant be TOO bad. LOL). The parts with George Sanders were good, otherwise my attention often wandered. Had to laugh how the pregnancy was handled. Immaculate Conception??? Wilde looked ridiculous in that page boy wig but his acting was ok. The Great Fire was a big disappointment. I thought it would have been a bigger event in the film. Glad I finally got to see it, but not something I'd probably watch again....

If I had to summarize, I'd say too much talk and not enough action (sexual or otherwise!)

Would love to read the novel to compare...

 

I liked the film, The Wicked Lady, much better. (set around the same time period) Amber kind of just plods along.....

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15 hours ago, Hibi said:

Well, I finally got to view Amber and I've got to say I was underwhelmed. Not exactly sure why. I didn't hate it, but felt it was a misfire all around. It was ok. Had it been made a few decades later, I'm sure it would've been more like Tom Jones or even more explicit. Linda wasnt given much to do, despite being the star.  As far as the oomph factor, she does provide that. Easy to see why every man wanted to bed her, but, alas, all that is mere speculation on the viewer's part. As written, it didnt give her much to work with. (due to the censors she cant be TOO bad. LOL). The parts with George Sanders were good, otherwise my attention often wandered. Had to laugh how the pregnancy was handled. Immaculate Conception??? Wilde looked ridiculous in that page boy wig but his acting was ok. The Great Fire was a big disappointment. I thought it would have been a bigger event in the film. Glad I finally got to see it, but not something I'd probably watch again....

If I had to summarize, I'd say too much talk and not enough action (sexual or otherwise!)

Would love to read the novel to compare...

 

I liked the film, The Wicked Lady, much better. (set around the same time period) Amber kind of just plods along.....

Hibi, 

That was the reaction of many critics, and ordinary people, back when the movie opened.  Censorship had taken the meat out of the story, both in the various drafts of scripts, and after the filming.  Several filmed scenes, and whole storylines, were discarded.  As little as possible about Amber's sexuality was shown, from the paring down the number of lovers, the the close edits of any kiss; they invariably cut away before the actual kiss.  The still I posted earlier, of Amber on the edge of a bed, was from a scene that was cut; beds denoted sex.  Another one has her bathing in a tub, when she first arrives in London, and that didn't survive.  Early in the movie, after she gives Bruce the first kiss, she in her pilgrim outfit, and he contemplates it after she departs, a followup scene was done, where he follows her outside.  This was probably where she was supposed to get pregnant.  It would've made more sense, including her motivation to go to London.  Your comment of the immaculate conception reminded me of A frustrated critic back then; he stated that for all he knew, the baby as developed in a test tube.

So the censorship story helped ruin this film; definitely, it did not live up to its potential or hype.

The book is LONG, but has much detail, and many more story arcs and lovers.

 

 

s-l400 (21).jpg

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6 hours ago, Arturo said:

As little as possible about Amber's sexuality was shown, from the paring down the number of lovers, the the close edits of any kiss; they invariably cut away before the actual kiss.  The still I posted earlier, of Amber on the edge of a bed, was from a scene that was cut; beds denoted sex.  Another one has her bathing in a tub, when she first arrives in London, and that didn't survive.

s-l400 (21).jpg

I know that accuracy can be tricky when it comes to box office receipts for a year but, despite its many dramatic failings, Forever Amber is listed as the top money maker of 1947 at AMC Filmsite.

TOP FILMS BY YEAR
IN 40s DECADE

(unadjusted domestic gross totals)

1940: Pinocchio (1940)
1941: Sergeant York (1941)
1942: Bambi (1942)
1943: This Is the Army (1943)
1944: Going My Way (1944)
1945: Mom and Dad (1945)
1946: Song of the South (1946)
1947: Forever Amber (1947)
1948: The Snake Pit (1948)
1949:
Samson and Delilah (1949)

https://www.filmsite.org/boxoffice2.html

 

By the way, another of the biggest box office hits of the same year was Cecil B. DeMille's Unconquered, a Colonial America adventure I have loved ever since I first saw it on TV as a kid. It's an old fashioned film (not in a bad way) in many respects but one thing the wily old DeMille knew was the importance of sex appeal. Unlike Forever Amber, Unconquered does have a bath tub scene (featuring Paulette Goddard). In a film full of Indian wars and perilous escapes DeMille still knew the necessity of throwing in a scene with a little spice.

unconquered-image-29.jpg

It seems crazy that Forever Amber doesn't have an equivalent scene with Linda, especially since it, unlike the DeMille film, is supposed to be a "naughty" subject matter.

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10 hours ago, Arturo said:

Hibi, 

That was the reaction of many critics, and ordinary people, back when the movie opened.  Censorship had taken the meat out of the story, both in the various drafts of scripts, and after the filming.  Several filmed scenes, and whole storylines, were discarded.  As little as possible about Amber's sexuality was shown, from the paring down the number of lovers, the the close edits of any kiss; they invariably cut away before the actual kiss.  The still I posted earlier, of Amber on the edge of a bed, was from a scene that was cut; beds denoted sex.  Another one has her bathing in a tub, when she first arrives in London, and that didn't survive.  Early in the movie, after she gives Bruce the first kiss, she in her pilgrim outfit, and he contemplates it after she departs, a followup scene was done, where he follows her outside.  This was probably where she was supposed to get pregnant.  It would've made more sense, including her motivation to go to London.  Your comment of the immaculate conception reminded me of A frustrated critic back then; he stated that for all he knew, the baby as developed in a test tube.

So the censorship story helped ruin this film; definitely, it did not live up to its potential or hype.

The book is LONG, but has much detail, and many more story arcs and lovers.

 

 

s-l400 (21).jpg

 

LOL! (Test tube) Too bad the tub scene was eliminated. According to some reviews on imdb, the ending was shortened as well? (at least in current prints). When she's looking out the window, she gets a summons from the king and departs implying this was just a momentary setback and she's off for other pursuits. Have you seen any prints that show this? Apparently there was another storyline with some actress (forget who) that wound up on the cutting room floor (probably due to length). This from some imdb review.

I can imagine what they had to condense or cut from the novel. Censorship or otherwise. It's too bad. I commented about wanting to read the novel, but when I found out it's around 900 pages that gave me pause. (LOL).

I also think they missed playing up the Great Fire as a big disaster scene. It turned out to be a big nothing.

Also agree with you and others the print is too DARK! Even outdoor scenes arent bright enough

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50 minutes ago, Hibi said:

 

LOL! (Test tube) Too bad the tub scene was eliminated. According to some reviews on imdb, the ending was shortened as well? (at least in current prints). When she's looking out the window, she gets a summons from the king and departs implying this was just momentary setback and she's off for other pursuits. Have you seen any prints that show this? Apparently there was another storyline with some actress (forget who) that wound up on the cutting room floor (probably due to length). This from some imdb review.

I can imagine what they had to condense or cut from the novel. Censorship or otherwise. It's too bad. I commented about wanting to read the novel, but when I found out it's around 900 pages that gave me pause. (LOL).

I also think they missed playing up the Great Fire as a big disaster scene. It turned out to be a big nothing.

Also agree with you and others the print is too DARK! Even outdoor scenes arent bright enough

There was a continuation of the last scene, where Amber leaves the window, and yells to her maid Nan to reply to some correspondence; as you said, the implication is that she will continue in her merry way.  I believe the film was actually released this way, but it led to condemnation by the Catholic Legion of Decency.  The boycott they called for resulted in 20th Century Fox Spyros Skouras and director Otto Preminger meeting with them.  Supposedly, Skouras humiliated himself, on his knees begging them to call off the boycott and remove the condemnation.  He allowed a member of the organization to go over the footage, and literally dictate where there should be cuts.  This is why the kisses usually end before a complete clinch. 

They also dictated a prologue and epilogue, stating that Amber was being punished due to the wages of sin, or somesuch nonsense.  The last scene obviously could therefore not imply she would continue in the same manner.  This is why the ending looks stilted, as the final scene was removed, and the voiceover was inserted. I believe a portion of the latter was in the print shown by TCM; most prints I have seen no longer have it, Leading to the abrupt end.  I will have to look at my Blu-Ray to see if it has it.   I believe Fox sent out a final reel with the edits, as well instructions to all exhibitors on the specific cuts needed to be made in earlier portions.  I don't know if the footage of the original ending has survived.

There were extra scenes when Amber ends up in the Friar's Den, where Black Jack Marlin has a lover; she resents Amber's arrival.  I think they have a cat fight at some point.  There was also a rivalry with another actress at the theater; I think she was also interested in Amber's patron, and resented the newcomer's rise in esteem at that establishment.  Another physical altercation resulted.  Both of these storylines, as well as others also filmed, were removed completely; even the actreses' credits were removed.  I think it was due to length, as Darryl Zanuck did not want his movies to last more than 2.5 hours, even epics.  It might"'ve added some interest, and even action, to the proceedings.  I don't remember the names of the actresses, Mari Aldon was one, but not sure what role she played.  I will have to look for a small book I bought a few years ago about the making of the movie, to refresh my memory. 

I think there was also more footage with her husband the Earl of Radcliffe.  Whether this included additional footage of the London Fire I don't know.  I agree that this was a missed opportunity, in not including more of that disaster.  Again, Zanuck, known for ruthless editing, may have removed some of this due to length.

I have no idea if any of the excised footage has survived.  As I've mentioned, it would be great for an anniversary release of a DVD/Blu-Ray, which along with a restoration of the picture/color (if the dark look was unintentional), as well as footage of deleted scenes.  I will volunteer to go to the salt mines in Kansas where all the reels are stored and search for it myself lol. 

 

 

 

 

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LOL! Thanks for the info. So ridiculous (the censorship). There was no prologue or epilogue in the print TCM showed but I read about them on imdb. I've forgotten the name of the actress and skimming through imdb I cant find it now. I found out about the book on Amazon. (From the novel to the screen or something like that) Would like to read it! Sadly, I doubt the cut footage exists anymore (aside from stills).

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On 3/1/2019 at 6:42 PM, TomJH said:

In any event I was under the impression then that Linda had had a relationship with Ty Power (I suspect based on no more than their great chemistry in The Mark of Zorro, which was on TV quite often then). Darnell looked beautiful but this was a couple of years after Power had died and I recall thinking, "Linda, how can you sit there looking so beautiful. You should still be in mourning over Ty."

Yeh, I was a kid, alright.

Perhaps she did mourn him, just not where anyone could see her.

I'm actually glad Linda didn't do Captain From Castille. It was a mediocre picture and I could tell Ty's heart wasn't in it at all. :(

I'm so sentimental about those two.

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1 hour ago, SunAndMoon said:

Perhaps she did mourn him, just not where anyone could see her.

I'm actually glad Linda didn't do Captain From Castille. It was a mediocre picture and I could tell Ty's heart wasn't in it at all. :(

I'm so sentimental about those two.

Captain from Castile is disappointing. It lumbers along at excessive length and then ends just as it looks like it might get interesting, as Cortes begins his invasion of Mexico, with that live smoking volcano in the background.

However the film may well have benefited if Ty Power had had scenes to share with Linda Darnell, instead of Jean Peters. The script would have been the same deary thing, of course, but the chemistry between these two stars might have perked their up their scenes to a degree. Oh, well, we'll never know.

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On 3/9/2019 at 7:21 AM, TomJH said:

Captain from Castile is disappointing. It lumbers along at excessive length and then ends just as it looks like it might get interesting, as Cortes begins his invasion of Mexico, with that live smoking volcano in the background.

However the film may well have benefited if Ty Power had had scenes to share with Linda Darnell, instead of Jean Peters. The script would have been the same deary thing, of course, but the chemistry between these two stars might have perked their up their scenes to a degree. Oh, well, we'll never know.

Tom, I think we've discussed that it was a shame the Power and Darnell were never re-teamed after he came back from the war, and when she was an adult woman; she was only 17 when they made the 4th and last film together.

CAPTAIN FROM CASTILE would've been interesting had Linda been able to do it.  It also would have been a worthy follow-up to FOREVER AMBER, in CFC as the sexy Catana in another Technicolor epic, flawed as it was.  Fox tried to reteam them a few more time over the next few years, but it never happened. 

 

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On 3/8/2019 at 8:37 AM, Hibi said:

LOL! Thanks for the info. So ridiculous (the censorship). There was no prologue or epilogue in the print TCM showed but I read about them on imdb. I've forgotten the name of the actress and skimming through imdb I cant find it now. I found out about the book on Amazon. (From the novel to the screen or something like that) Would like to read it! Sadly, I doubt the cut footage exists anymore (aside from stills).

I went over the DVR recording from TCM of AMBER at a high speed, to see if there was an epilogue.  Two lines remain, spoken by Wilde.  I believe it wasw originally more substantial.  The same lines are also in the Blu-Ray I have.  The prints shown a few years on FMC and elsewhere don't have the lines, as I recall, and the ending is more abrupt.

In fast forwarding both versions, I realized the preponderent color was a light blue, veering towards blue-gray, maybe steel blue.  Not just the clothing but the backdrops also.  This must contribute to the overall dark impression FA gives.  Again, I have no idea if this was intentional, or it has faded and needs restoration.  The other primary colors are fairly vivid, a bit more in the Blu-Ray version, but they are not used enough to overcome the overall impression .

 

 

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