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LINDA DARNELL for Star of the Month October 2013


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6 hours ago, TomJH said:

What is gratifying about THE WALLS OF JERICHO for Darnell fans is that it gave the actress the opportunity to play a manipulative schemer.

 

Tom, 

This is true, but she had any number of roles where she was a manipulative schemer, including:

SUMMER STORM (1944), where as a peasant girl she worked on prominent citizens George Sanders and Edward Everett Horton for material objects, love, even marriage.

HANGOVER SQUARE (1945):  In gaslit London, she worked on deranged composer Laird Cregar to write pop songs for her , even a musical comedy, instead of focusing on his concerto.

A LETTER TO THREE WIVES (1949):  As a girl from the wrong side of the tracks, She sets her sights on marrying her boss, Paul Douglas, instead of just sleeping with him, which is all he wanted to do.

THIS IS MY LOVE (1954): Her spinster here works to take Rick Jason from her sister Faith Domergue, married to crippled Dan Duryea, with tragic consequences.

There are others in Linda Darnell’s filmography that has her doing this, including FOREVER AMBER, where as Richard Greene says, (paraphrasing here) “You just can’t climb up society from man to man, like rungs on a ladder”.  Which is what she schemed to do, and did it.

 

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5 hours ago, Arturo said:

There are others in Linda Darnell’s filmography that has her doing this, including FOREVER AMBER, where as Richard Greene says, (paraphrasing here) “You just can’t climb up society from man to man, like rungs on a ladder”.  Which is what she schemed to do, and did it.

 

Ironically, in real life Linda's career was hurt when she refused to climb up a studio ladder rung by rejecting Darryl Zanuck's sexual overtures towards her.

I watched Black Spurs (1965) for the first time a few months ago, While, as  "B" western of producer A. C. Lyles, it was a bit better than I expected, I still found it dismaying watching Linda play such a small, insubstantial role that could have been cut right out of the film. It was her first film role in eight years and, since I haven't seen any of her TV work during those years, her bloated appearance came as a real shock to me. She was physically quite dramatically changed from the dark haired beauty that she had still been when she had appeared in Zero Hour in 1957. It was a dissatisfying screen farewell for the lady, I thought.

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On 12/2/2020 at 3:49 PM, TomJH said:

Ironically, in real life Linda's career was hurt when she refused to climb up a studio ladder rung by rejecting Darryl Zanuck's sexual overtures towards her.

I watched Black Spurs (1965) for the first time a few months ago, While, as  "B" western of producer A. C. Lyles, it was a bit better than I expected, I still found it dismaying watching Linda play such a small, insubstantial role that could have been cut right out of the film. It was her first film role in eight years and, since I haven't seen any of her TV work during those years, her bloated appearance came as a real shock to me. She was physically quite dramatically changed from the dark haired beauty that she had still been when she had appeared in Zero Hour in 1957. It was a dissatisfying screen farewell for the lady, I thought.

Tom, I remember feeling this way decades ago when I saw stills of  BLACK SPURS, and years later, when I saw a clip of it on Linda Darnell’s Biography episode; specifically, she hadn’t aged well in her physical appearance.  However, when I bought the film on Amazon Prime several years ago and finally saw it, she didn’t seem that bad.  Sure the part was a nothing supporting role, as a Madam in an Old West town which gave her little to do, much less a challenging part.  
 

But, maybe after some years of finding tv episodes from the late 50s, early 60s, and stills promoting same, or for general publicity,  it no longer felt shocking.  There are some scenes where you can imagine her looking similar to what she looked 10-15 years earlier, overlooking the mid-60s hairstyles and makeup.  I’ve mentioned here in the past that Linda had a tendency to put on weight.  Even as a young star in her teens, she had this tendency.  She fought with weight issues constantly throughout her career.  As decent  film offers dried up and she channeled her acting into TV and the stage, and her bitterness with her career arc and personal life took center stage, her drinking increased, and she began to get more bloated.  But it was all a matter of degree.  Where in seemed most noticeable was in her face, which got fuller and she developed an incipient double chin, and in her waist.  However it wasn’t that much different than during earlier times, just a little more so.  I guess I’ve gotten used to it after seeing her during this time more than previously.  I remember some 40 years ago when  I first saw her in an episode of the first season of Wagon Train, from 1958.  I remember thinking how heavy and bloated she looked.  Some 10 years ago, I bought a dvd collection of that season, and when I saw that episode again, I marveled as how well she looked.  Nothing like I remembered from years earlier.  Go figure.

 Sure, after several years Linda Darnell having a much more substantial role than in BLACK SPURS would have left a better end to her career and life, but it was not to pass.  Apparently though, there was enough interest in Hollywood to have several offers made to her.  A possible comeback could’ve happened, had she not had her tragic death.

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1 hour ago, Arturo said:

Tom, I remember feeling this way decades ago when I saw stills of  BLACK SPURS, and years later, when I saw a clip of it on Linda Darnell’s Biography episode.  However, when I bought the film on Amazon Prime several years ago and finally saw it, she didn’t seem that bad.  Sure the part was a nothing supporting role, as a Madam in an Old West town which gave her little to do, much less a challenging part.  
 

But, maybe after some years of finding tv episodes from the late 50s, early 60s, and stills promoting same, or for general publicity,  it no longer felt shocking.  There are some scenes where you can imagine her looking similar to what she looked 10-15 years earlier, overlooking the mid-60s hairstyles and makeup.  I’ve mentioned here in the past that Linda had a tendency to put on weight.  Even as a young star in her teens, she had this tendency.  She fought with weight issues constantly throughout her career.  As decent  film offers dried up and she channeled her acting into TV and the stage, and her bitterness with her career arc and personal life took center stage, her drinking increased, and she began to get more bloated.  But it was all a matter of degree.  Where in seemed most noticeable was in her face, which got fuller and she developed an incipient double chin, and in her waist.  However it wasn’t that much different than during earlier times, just a little more so.  I guess I’ve gotten used to it after seeing her during this time more than previously.  I remember some 40 years ago when  I first saw her in an episode of the first season of Wagon Train, from 1958.  I remember thinking how heavy and bloated she looked.  Some 10 years ago, I bought a dvd collection of that season, and when I saw that episode again, I marveled as how well she looked.  Nothing like I remembered from years earlier.  Go figure.

 Sure, after several years Linda Darnell having a much more substantial role than in BLACK SPURS would have left a better end to her career and life, but it was not to pass.  Apparently though, there was enough interest in Hollywood to have several offers made to her.  A possible comeback could’ve happened, had she not had her tragic death.

Strangely, Arturo, I think I mentioned to you earlier in your thread that I have vague memories of having seen Linda appear as a guest panelist on a daytime game show, Your First Impression when I was a kid. That show was on the air from 1962 to 1964 and my ancient memory of it is that Linda was still a striking beauty. I guess that left me unprepared for her considerable weight gain (particularly in the face) that I saw in Black Spurs. Somewhere I read that one day she showed up on the set of the film holding a spear, joking she was trying to extend her screen time in the western. A. C. Lyles westerns in the '60s were known for giving employment to a lot of Hollywood "has beens" and certainly this film had a large collection of formerly big names in it, of which Darnell got second billing. That second billing, in turn, left me unprepared for how small her role would actually turn out to be in a film which was sadly released shortly after her death.

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36 minutes ago, SunAndMoon said:

Films I have seen Linda in:

The Mark ofZorro

Blood and Sand

Hangover Square

My Darling Clementine

Blackbeard the Pirate

What should I watch next?

Well you missed one of Linda Darnell’s best films on TCM last night, NO WAY OUT.  Another one that was on earlier this week was the retroactively campy airplane drama ZERO HOUR (1957) Some of her better films that are shown on there occasionally include the noir FALLEN ANGEL (1945), with Dana Andrews and Alice Faye, A LETTER TO THREE WIVES (1949), with Ann Sothern, Jeanne Crain, Thelma Ritter, Paul Douglas and Kirk Douglas, and the controversial epic FOREVER AMBER (1947), with Cornel Wilde, Richard Greene, George Sanders and Jessica Tandy, and not quite as good but enjoyable, the whimsical comedy IT HAPPENED TOMORROW (1944) with Dick Powell and Jack Oakie, or the noirish melodrama SECOND CHANCE (1953), with Robert Mitchum and Jack Palance.  
 

If you have the FOX Movie Channel they offer some of her movies regularly during their their 12 hour classic film block.   The black comedy UNFAITHFULLY YOURS (1948) will be there in a few minutes, and the aforementioned FOREVER AMBER on December 13.  Of course, with YouTube you can also see some of her films.  I will post periodically her upcoming movies as I’m aware of them.

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On 12/4/2020 at 6:28 PM, NipkowDisc said:

" arrrr! I want no more schemin' between you and mainyard!"

LINDA DARNELL, ROBERT NEWTON, BLACKBEARD THE PIRATE, 1952 Stock Photo -  Alamy

Nip, 

Thank you for posting these stills from BLACKBEARD THE PIRATE (1952), along with some over the top quotes, mostly uttered by the title  character, to match his over the top performance.  Robert Newton was the archetypical movie pirate, hamming it up for all he was worth.   As one of the most often played Darnell films shown on tv the while growing up, my brothers and I would spout forth with the “Aye Matey” delivery of Newton, if not some of the florid dialogue featured.  
 

My focus was always on Linda’s character, however, followed by Blackbeard, and the “barnacle that come stuck to her”,  Irene Ryan’s Lady-in-Waiting: “Waiting for what?”  “A man most likely”.  Fun film, if not the most prestigious that Linda was probably hoping for.   I enjoy watching it whenever it’s played by TCM.   It was the first of three films she made for RKO, and studio head Howard Hughes wanted to feature ex-flame Darnell in some of his productions for exploitation purposes.  I think she could’ve fit in well in some of Director Raoul Walsh’s subsequent films, SEA DEVILS (1954), THE TALL MEN (1955), THE REVOLT OF MAMIE STOVER (1956) or BAND OF ANGELS (1957).  

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On 12/2/2020 at 4:58 PM, Arturo said:

This is true, but she had any number of roles where she was a manipulative schemer

Wouldn't that include FOREVER AMBER or MY DARLING CLEMENTINE or A LETTER TO THREE WIVES...?  I mean as far as "manipulative schemer"? 

Btw, I adore her!  She is right at the top for favorite leading ladies - great beauties - heart wrenching bad girls - a favorite! 

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On 12/4/2012 at 12:36 AM, Arturo said:

She was a luminous beauty, and underrated as an actress.

I am just now perusing your LINDA DARNELL thread.  Damn!  If I love anybody more it's INGRID BERGMAN

 

On 12/5/2012 at 9:27 AM, TopBilled said:

>I wish TCM would come up with one of those "shorts" about her - you know, those (roughly) 10 minute tributes to an actor, actress, or director, usually with a current star speaking about them in a "voiceover". I forget what those things are called, but Linda Darnell deserves one.

 

Word of Mouth?

Dig it!

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11 hours ago, Allhallowsday said:

Wouldn't that include FOREVER AMBER or MY DARLING CLEMENTINE or A LETTER TO THREE WIVES...?  I mean as far as "manipulative schemer"? 

Btw, I adore her!  She is right at the top for favorite leading ladies - great beauties - heart wrenching bad girls - a favorite! 

Allhallowsday,

The remainder of the post you quoted also mentions both FOREVER AMBER and A LETTER TO THREE WIVES  as films where Linda Darnell did indeed play a “manipulative schemer”.   However, I don’t think this applies for her Chihuahua in MY DARLING CLEMENTINE.   While she did manipulate both Cathy Downs and Víctor Mature to ensure he married her and not Downs, that was just a small part of her role in this movie.   But most of the time, she just tried to ingratiate herself in a non-manipulative manner, as she was confident in his affections towards her prior to the arrival of Cathy Downs’ Clementine.  But yes, she did try to manipulate the situation upon the arrival of a rival.

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11 hours ago, Allhallowsday said:

I am just now perusing your LINDA DARNELL thread.  Damn!  If I love anybody more it's INGRID BERGMAN

 

Dig it!

Thank you.  I have left it alone and neglected it a couple of times, mostly because I got sucked into the Off-Topic political whirlwind.   One time, I had to look for it by going back more than 100 pages of This Sub-Fórum.  Linda Darnell has always been my favorite actress, so I need to double down in hoping this SOTM can be done at TCM in the near future.  

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10 minutes ago, Allhallowsday said:

That is my favorite Western... and LINDA DARNELL is one of the reasons.  

One of my favourite moments in the film

4448b3464946520ca994602b5330d7edcd97fc64

Another is when Linda throws a vase of beer (or whatever it is) in Ward Bond's face after he makes a loud whinny sound as she passes by. I wish I could have found a gif of that one to post here.

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On 12/4/2020 at 10:35 AM, SunAndMoon said:

Films I have seen Linda in:

The Mark ofZorro

Blood and Sand

Hangover Square

My Darling Clementine

Blackbeard the Pirate

What should I watch next?

Zero Hour the inspiration for Airplane. Linda gives a very good performance as the supportive wife of Dana Andrews.

Zero Hour , 1957, Dana Andrews ., Linda Darnell, | Old movies, Movie  scenes, Dana andrews

Zero Hour , 1957, Dana Andrews ., Linda Darnell, | Movie stars, Dana  andrews, Linda

Zero Hour! (1957) Movie Review - 2020 Movie Reviews

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There will be a couple of Linda Darnell films on the Fox Movie Channel in the next few days.

 

FMC: Sunday, December 13, 8:50 am est, 5:50am pst; Monday, December 14: 3:30am est, 12:30am pst; and Wednesday, December 23, 7:30am est, 4:30am pst.

FOREVER AMBER (1947):  Flawed if colorful epic, during the reign of King Charles of Britain, crippled due to censorship issues, and changing director, cast and scripts.  Darnell’s biggest film, its mixed reception did not lead to her expected superstardom, despite being the year’s biggest grosser.  Large cast includes Cornel  Wilde, Richard Greene, George Sanders and Jessica Tandy.

 

FMC, Tuesday, December 15. 4:45am est; 1:45 am pst.

DAY-TIME WIFE (1939): This screwball comedy was Darnell’s second film, made when she was only 15, and the first of 4 costarring roles with Tyrone Power, Fox’ biggest male star.   She is concerned her husband is having a fling with secretary Wendy Barrie, so she secretly takes a job as a secretary to find out why this may happen, with her boss being married cad Warren William.  Also featuring Bonnie Barnes and Joan Davis.  Enjoyable if lightweight.

 

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s-l225 (15).webp

On 12/10/2020 at 10:43 AM, jamesjazzguitar said:

With her hairstyle in Zero Hour,   Linda remined me of Joy Page.     Joy didn't have much of a film career but I do see her on 50s T.V. shows from time to time.

Joy Page (November 9, 1924 – April 18, 2008) was an American actress best  known for her role as the Bulgarian b… | Character actor, American actress,  Classic movies

James, while there is a certain resemblance, there were many other times when her hairstyle was closer to Joy Page here,from early in her career at the end of the 30s,, over the next 20 years.

s-l225 (6).webp

EDIT:  Sorry I tried to download some pics from Google which demonstrate Linda Darnell over the years with similar hairstyles, but it kept telling me the files are too large.

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Such a Beauty,.

.. ...

-

Gone Way Too Soon.

.

..but Not Forgotten.....

🌈👙💝💝💝.

. ... ......

If Your (Anyone) is Ever Interested and Havent Seen This..

 

..if Memory Serves Me Right.. ... .....She Was (a) Guest on a Charming ("Little") Show Some Years Ago.. ..Called -- What's My Line - ...,

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10 hours ago, Aritosthenes said:

Such a Beauty,.

.. ...

-

Gone Way Too Soon.

.

..but Not Forgotten.....

🌈👙💝💝💝.

. ... ......

If Your (Anyone) is Ever Interested and Havent Seen This..

 

..if Memory Serves Me Right.. ... .....She Was (a) Guest on a Charming ("Little") Show Some Years Ago.. ..Called -- What's My Line - ...,

Thank you.  I have seen the episode of WML with Linda Darnell as the mystery guest; in fact, the link may have been posted here some years ago.  Linda Darnell is beautiful and charming, speaking with an Italian accent.  This totally stumps the panelists.   She had shortly before filmed the second of two films Italy, GLI ULTIMI CINQUE MINUTI/THE LAST FIVE MINUTES.

Linda had spent  a good amount of time in Rome the previous year, both to work on the movie as well as get a pet project going, a Girl’s Town on the outskirts of the city.  She had been inspired to do this, when going to /from the Cinecitta Studio for her first film there in 1953,  DONNE PROIBITE/ANGELS OF DARKNESS/FORBIDDEN WOMEN. she noted seeing young girls that seemed to be out on the streets.  She spent a good deal of time, money and energy on this project, trying to raise awareness, funding and support for it’s establishment.  She even entered into an ill-fated loveless marriage with a brewing tycoon, to help her with this.  In fact, in the “What’s My Line” episode, she doesn’t seem to answer definitely if she is or isn’t married; she had just divorced this guy.  

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So I am copying a post I did on the Joan Bennet for SOTM thread.  There I mentioned that Joan Bennett and Linda Darnell had co-starred in a movie together, THE GUY WHO CAME BACK.  I mentioned it would make a great TCM premiere if Bennett, or Darnell, would get that honor.  I would be happy if they just release a decent copy of it; I bought two online, neither very good quality, 6 out of 10 at best.

 

”This movie was filmed and released in 1951, and might’ve been Joan’s last film before the incident between her husband and her agent.  She plays the wife of washed up football player Paul Douglas, who can’t accept that he is washed up in the sport, and too old to re-enlist in the Navy (it had a working title of “The Man Who Sank the Navy”.  
 

Secretary/actress/singer/dancer/model Linda Darnell, or so she describes herself, runs into him at his friend Zero Mostel’s supper club, where the two friends’ banter is reminiscent of vaudeville Schtick, and it inspires Linda to convince Paul to do a variety act.  He bombs, but in the meantime, has started an affair with her.  He moves out of the house, but after awhile, realizes he misses his wife and son Billy Gray, especially when “friend “ Don Defore starts to date Bennett, whom he had always pined for.  Eventually Linda and Joan team up to convince him to go back to his family.

This is an ok comedy-drama.  20th Century-Fox saw this as another opportunity to team Darnel and Douglas, after the hits A LETTER TO THREE WIVES and EVERYBODY DOES IT, both released in 1949.  However, Darnell went on suspension for a few months for refusing to do it, since she didn’t like the idea of playing another temptress, especially one with unclear motivations for her actions; some scenes must’ve been cut that would have made her character’s actions more understandable.  Plus her studio wanted her to dye her hair platinum blonde, which she didn’t want to do (rising starlet Marilyn Monroe actually tested for the part).  Eventually, due a costly divorce, she relented and did the film.  She and the cast got decent reviews, but in the early years of television, it was not the hoped-for hit.”

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On 12/17/2020 at 6:53 PM, NipkowDisc said:

I have previously cited the two most beautiful actresses as Gene Tierney and Hedy Lamarr but I shoulda included the breathtaking Linda Darnell.

but that's not the way it feels | Old hollywood stars, Classic actresses,  Hollywood stars

Nipkow,  

This still was used to promote the film SUMMER STORM (1944), which Linda Darnell did on loan to UA, and which effectively changed her image once and for all from the Girl Next Door to a femme fatale.  It also revitalized her career.  She was all of 20 when she filmed it,after some 5 years of her earlier image.  Her career at 20th Century Fox had been stagnating for a couple of years, first because she refused Darryl Zanuck's sexual advances upon her turning 18, then because the previous year she had eloped with her cameraman in his 40s.  She no longer got assignments in prestige films, but had been given roles in programmers, or loaned out for the same.  So she grabbed the chance to play a Russian vixen, tempting George Sanders, Edward Everett Horton, and Hugo Haas in a village in pre-revolutionary Russia.  

The ad campaign mirrored the one Howard Hughes was using with Jane Russell for THE OUTLAW, featuring Linda among bales of hay showing cleavage, etc.  She also suddenly entered the wartime pin-up sweepstakes.

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