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November 20, 2009

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bill

Poor Linda Darnell...

Glenn Kenny

@ bill: Yea, verily. Sirk talks about her tenderly in the above mentioned book: "She was a beautiful girl and a lovely actress at the time of 'Summer Storm'... She was going out with Howard Hughes then, but when he threw her over, she took to drink. By the time she was in my other picture ['The Lady Pays Off,' 1951], she was quite a different person. This was one of the saddest of many cases in Hollywood, which was a world centre for drinking. [She] died tragically; she had a tremendous fear of fire, and that was how she died—burned to death in her early forties."

Hence, I always feel at least a little guilty whenever I'm watching something she's in, and she enters the scene and my heart goes pit-a-pat and I start repeating "Homina homina homina." And then dream of the day when someone decides to put "Forever Amber" on DVD. What can I do?

jbryant

Don't fight it, Glenn. As I mentioned on Dave's site, Darnell has been my big movie star crush for almost as long as I can remember (I saw A LETTER TO THREE WIVES at an impressionable age). Her tragic end is indeed a mood-killer if you flash on it during a "homina homina" moment, but I can usually get over it. Film is forever.

Your review makes me want to see this again even more than Dave's write-up did.

bill

Yeah, I know what you mean, Glenn. I saw Darnell for the first time only in the last couple of years, when I saw FALLEN ANGEL. When she first appeared on screen, I fell in love with her. Later, she does this thing...I can't remember what Dana Andrews had just said to her, but she's bringing a cup to her lips, and gives this look, or maybe laughs...damn it, I don't know. BUT I know it was great, so natural and in character, and wonderful (Glenn, perhaps you know the moment...?).

So then I made the mistake of finding out more about her. That's about as awful an end as you can imagine. Even so, any time I see her in a film now, I perk up. I stumbled across IT HAPPENED TOMORROW not all that long ago, on TCM, and I waffled about whether or not I wanted to watch it. When I saw she was in it, the decision was made.

Anybody read HOLLYWOOD BEAUTY, the 2001 biography of Darnell by Ronald Davis? I'm curious if it's worthwhile, or just sensationalism.

John McElwee

The book by Ronald Davis is excellent. Anyone interested in Linda Darnell should seek it out. Really nice article on "Summer Storm", by the way. I will certainly pick it up from VCI.

Andrew

As they say...what the fuck is up?

Lolz. Glenn wins the Internet.

jbryant

I've read Davis' book, too. Twice. I second John's recommendation of it.

Miguel Marías

Glenn, I you have a multi-region DVD, "Forever Amber" just came out in Spain. It is a very good picture, and Lina Darnell is beautiful and plays beautifully.
Miguel Marías

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