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THE LEGEND OF LYLAH CLARE


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  • 5 months later...
  • 1 month later...

It's time for " Lylah Claire- the Musical" call Andrew Lloyd Webber

 

That would be an interesting musical.

 

A few years ago there were rumors going around (at least I think they were only rumors) that another Robert Aldrich movie --- WHATEVER HAPPENED TO BABY JANE?---was being adapted into a musical and that there was talk of real-life sisters Liza Minnelli and Lorna Luft playing the leads.   

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This movie reminds me more of the kind of stuff that was coming out of American-International at the time than a major studio release. To me, it looks and feels like "Wild in the Streets" or the Fabian drugs-in-school epic "Maryjane". When you go for lurid, you actually have to use some restraint or it's going to be a joke. Aldrich got lucky with a few of his films but this one is just too ham-handed to be taken seriously. As camp it's perfection, but is camp a concept that still has meaning in an age when the Kardashians = reality? It's also too 60's-centric in the same way that the Carroll Baker "Harlow" was, which totally undermines any pretentions of recreating a historical period. In 1968, more and more moviegoers were getting baked or ingesting a certain something to enhance the experience and "Lylah Clare" was screwy enough to satisfy that element of the audience, but most others must have been scratching their heads. In the 1970's a friend managed a revival house and every year on his birthday he screened a personal fave for a private party, stuff like "Glen or Glenda?" and "The Naked Kiss". "The Legend of Lylah Clare" fit right in.

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The movie is a mix of the Hollywood gothic ( "Sunset Blvd" - "Baby Jane") with the then popular anything goes 1960's sex - ( look at the lurid poster to see how they were selling the movie)  YEah it does feel like an exploitation picture- those Kardashian creatures are beyond camp- it takes a bit of wit and brains to create it- something they lack.

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  • 5 months later...

I just realized why the musical stinger that accents the moment when Elsa steps into Lylah's footprints outside Grauman's Chinese Theater (and other dramatic moments in the movie) is so amusingly familiar.

 

Frank DeVol recycled this bit of music for THE BRADY BUNCH Hawaii episodes to accent the tiki statue that brough the Bradys so much bad luck, including Greg's near-fatal surfing wipeout and Alice's back injury during her hula lesson:

 

 

 

When will TCM air THE LEGEND OF LYLAH CLARE again? 

 

Cue musical stinger "Oo-ee-oo-ee-oo  WAH!" 

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  • 2 weeks later...

In another thread I noted that Robert Aldrich originally considered Maria Felix for role of Lylah Clare. He sent ther the script, but the two were never able to reach an agreement so the role ultimately went to Kim Novak.

 

682cbd161d5349ce01f1ad475fcbbce0.jpg

 

 

grosse-luege-lylah-clare-861384.jpg

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In another thread I noted that Robert Aldrich originally considered Maria Felix for role of Lylah Clare. He sent ther the script, but the two were never able to reach an agreement so the role ultimately went to Kim Novak.

 

682cbd161d5349ce01f1ad475fcbbce0.jpg

 

 

grosse-luege-lylah-clare-861384.jpg

My.mom.was.one.of.seven.sisters, all attractive. In their youth, in the 50s or early 60s, they were often compared to several movie stars. My mom was variously told she looked like Hedy Lamarr, Yvonne DeCarlo, Linda Darnell, or Maria Felix. One aunt was only compared to zJackie Kennedy, and yet another was either told she resembled Elizabeth Taylor, or again, Maria Felix. In her case, she looked like Liz quite a bit, but had the arched Maria Felix eyebrows, and would arch them even more for effect, as Maria did.

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  • 4 weeks later...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fxkUR0ZCR2g

 

 

Please forgive me, LHF, but Lylah has taken control . . .

 

"Molly Luther, the Wicked Witch of the West! You throw water on her and she shrivels, she meeeeeelts! Ha ha ha ha ha! Imagine that! She really melts! And all that’s left is a little phony flower and a dried up, disappointed FRRRRREAK!”

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Oh thank you so for posting that clip....

 

One of the things that stands out about LYLAH CLARE is how manipulative of the viewer Aldrich is- and to such a malicious degree that I wasn't entirely sure while watching it that he was not somehow personally angry at me while making it (and I wasn't even born when it came out.)

 

LYLAH is not so much a movie as it is a 2 hour and 13 minute long giant middle finger to everyone and everything in the world. and it's interesting to me that it was made in 1968 because has there ever been a year where the world needed less of a middle finger pointed at it for 2 hours and 13 minutes?

 

Anyway:

 

Aldrich quite deliberately peppers the first third with just enough intriguing moments and plot questions so as to make it just compelling enough that the viewer will be lured into sticking with it. Then a sort of Stockholm Syndrome sets in, where you know you should turn it off, but you just can't.

 

Once this happens, you become Aldrich's b*tch and he knows he can smack you around as much as he likes: you ain't going nowhere.

 

Then in the last two thirds, he throws enough crazy, off-the-wall sh!t at you, that- in the grand tradition of M. Night Shyamalan- the viewer cannot walk away because you just can't believe that the film is this bad. You keep hanging in there because all your principles are being questioned: "surely, they can't be going with this story, these performances, this dialogue.... surely it must get better. I mean, it costs money to make a movie, it takes effort to make a movie...SURELY someone from studio management visited the set and said "hey, whoa! what the hell are you guys doing here?"...or maybe it was passed to an editor who's going to start sorting it out soon: surely they bring this thing back to earth at some point or if not possibly can the National Guard intervene? Because NO ONE CAN ALLOW SOMETHING LIKE THIS TO GO ON WITHOUT STOPPING IT!"

 

And then you end up watching the whole G*ddamn movie because you just want to see how they have the pure, unmitigated gall to end it....and also because there's a slight chance that there's information tacked on after the closing credits regarding how you can become a party in a class-action lawsuit aimed at the people who made it.

 

(Sadly: there isnt.)

 

The late comedian Richard Jeni had an utterly brilliant bit about the movie Jaws: The Revenge, I think the original footage has been lost, but here is a youtube video someone did with a computer generated voice reading a transcript of Jeni's rant (it is hilarious):

 

 

 

I think his words apply very much to LYLAH CLARE as well.

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The late comedian Richard Jeni had an utterly brilliant bit about the movie Jaws: The Revenge, I think the original footage has been lost, but here is a youtube video someone did with a computer generated voice reading a transcript of Jeni's rant (it is hilarious):

 

 

 

I think his words apply very much to LYLAH CLARE as well.

Wow.  Thank you Lorna for posting that video.   I recommend that everyone take the time to watch it.  Very funny.

The hot dog at the bottom of the pool?  Priceless.

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Thanks LHF for making me never waste my time watching this movie

 

THE LEGEND OF LYLAH CLARE is good, campy fun, TikiSoo. 

 

If you enjoy camp, you should check it out. 

 

Just be ready for the crying clowns.

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  • 2 years later...

"Get your #@*  out there and tell them Lylah's coming.

As soon as she gets her harness on . . ."

 

Or on Monday July 31, 2017 at 7:00 AM Eastern Time.

 

Whichever comes first . . .

 

Cue musical stinger:

"Oo-ee-oo-ee-oo!" 

 

 

Fans of THE BRADY BUNCH will recognize the "Oo-ee-oo-ee-oo!" as the music associated with Bobby's tiki statue in the Hawaii vacation episodes, which brought such bad luck to the Bradys . Frank De Vol recycled this piece of music from his score of THE LEGEND OF LYLAH CLARE.

Listen for it early in the movie when Elsa steps into Lylah's footprints outside Grauman's  Chinese Theatre. It highlights this moment and other dramatic moments throughout the movie.

 

capturfiles_35a.png?w=490&h=274

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"Get your #@*  out there and tell them Lylah's coming.

As soon as she gets her harness on . . ."

 

Or on Monday July 31, 2017 at 5:00 AM Eastern Time.

 

Whichever comes first . . .

 

Cue musical stinger:

"Oo-ee-oo-ee-oo!" 

 

 

Fans of THE BRADY BUNCH will recognize the "Oo-ee-oo-ee-oo!" as the music associated with Bobby's tiki statue in the Hawaii vacation episodes, which brought such bad luck to the Bradys . Frank De Vol recycled this piece of music from his score of THE LEGEND OF LYLAH CLARE.

Listen for it early in the movie when Elsa steps into Lylah's footprints outside Grauman's  Chinese Theatre. It highlights this moment and other dramatic moments throughout the movie.

 

capturfiles_35a.png?w=490&h=274

 

I do love the 3 Hawaii episodes The Brady Bunch, especially the bad luck tiki idol.  I'm looking forward to seeing one of these "so bad it's good" movies.  I've got 'Lylah' set to record!

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Oh thank you so for posting that clip....

 

One of the things that stands out about LYLAH CLARE is how manipulative of the viewer Aldrich is- and to such a malicious degree that I wasn't entirely sure while watching it that he was not somehow personally angry at me while making it (and I wasn't even born when it came out.)

 

LYLAH is not so much a movie as it is a 2 hour and 13 minute long giant middle finger to everyone and everything in the world. and it's interesting to me that it was made in 1968 because has there ever been a year where the world needed less of a middle finger pointed at it for 2 hours and 13 minutes?

 

Anyway:

 

Aldrich quite deliberately peppers the first third with just enough intriguing moments and plot questions so as to make it just compelling enough that the viewer will be lured into sticking with it. Then a sort of Stockholm Syndrome sets in, where you know you should turn it off, but you just can't.

 

Once this happens, you become Aldrich's b*tch and he knows he can smack you around as much as he likes: you ain't going nowhere.

 

Then in the last two thirds, he throws enough crazy, off-the-wall sh!t at you, that- in the grand tradition of M. Night Shyamalan- the viewer cannot walk away because you just can't believe that the film is this bad. You keep hanging in there because all your principles are being questioned: "surely, they can't be going with this story, these performances, this dialogue.... surely it must get better. I mean, it costs money to make a movie, it takes effort to make a movie...SURELY someone from studio management visited the set and said "hey, whoa! what the hell are you guys doing here?"...or maybe it was passed to an editor who's going to start sorting it out soon: surely they bring this thing back to earth at some point or if not possibly can the National Guard intervene? Because NO ONE CAN ALLOW SOMETHING LIKE THIS TO GO ON WITHOUT STOPPING IT!"

 

And then you end up watching the whole G*ddamn movie because you just want to see how they have the pure, unmitigated gall to end it....and also because there's a slight chance that there's information tacked on after the closing credits regarding how you can become a party in a class-action lawsuit aimed at the people who made it.

 

(Sadly: there isnt.)

 

The late comedian Richard Jeni had an utterly brilliant bit about the movie Jaws: The Revenge, I think the original footage has been lost, but here is a youtube video someone did with a computer generated voice reading a transcript of Jeni's rant (it is hilarious):

 

 

I think his words apply very much to LYLAH CLARE as well.

 

 

LOL. Great write up, Lorna! When I first viewed it many years back on its network showing, I couldnt believe how bad it was. (I knew it had flopped and got bad reviews, but still......)

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LOL. Great write up, Lorna! When I first viewed it many years back on its network showing, I couldnt believe how bad it was. (I knew it had flopped and got bad reviews, but still......)

 

Thanks! I love it when one of my reviews comes back from beyond the grave (i think it was 2 years old!)

 

I probably coulda' saved myself some time and just posted the GIF below tho, it approximates the experience of viewing LYLAH as well as 1,000 words could:

 

CraftyUltimateBufflehead-size_restricted

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Thanks! I love it when one of my reviews comes back from beyond the grave (i think it was 2 years old!)

 

I probably coulda' saved myself some time and just posted the GIF below tho, it approximates the experience of viewing LYLAH as well as 1,000 words could:

 

CraftyUltimateBufflehead-size_restricted

 

LOL! I didnt notice the date until after I'd quoted you, but WTH! It was spot on.........

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i forgot to post that i (intermittently) watched the start of LYLAH the morning it aired while getting ready for work, and i made sure to sit and really take in the part with CORAL BROWNE, because it REALLY is the defining moment where the wheels go up and this thing takes off for the stratosphere...

 

i was particularly amused by Finch's line to Novak in the scene that immediately proceeds it, where she tries to descend a grand staircase whilst looking like an elegant, jaded movie star:

 

LOUIS ZARKAN

Congratulations! You've done an especially effective

impression of an offended Tibetan Yak.

 

 

It's one of those lines that leaves the viewer with nothing but questions. Why a yak? Why specifically a Tibetan yak? Why not, say, a Tunisian camel or a Andean alpaca? How exactly does one offend a Tibetan Yak? (maybe question their right to independence from China?) How does Louis Zarkan know so much about Tibetan Yaks and their body language?

 

Again, NOTHING but QUESTIONS on my end.

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You question too much. LOL. WHO writes this stuff? I'm not sure I could sit through another viewing. It has its campy moments, but it's just too tedious overall.

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You question too much. LOL. WHO writes this stuff? I'm not sure I could sit through another viewing. It has its campy moments, but it's just too tedious overall.

 

yeah, i don't know if i could do it start to finish all the way through again...

 

i still very much remember wandering around as if in shellshock for the rest of the day after i saw it all the way through the first time.

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