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The Legend Of Lylah/Elsa/Whoever
- Bruce Reber
I tuned in TCM last night 9/26/13 to catch the final 20 minutes or so of "The Legend Of Lylah Clare", starring Peter Finch, Kim Novak and Ernest Borgnine (the most notable stars). I've seen this before in it's entirety, but its been at least two years. I was reminded of how bad TLOLC really is-IMO it's Kim Novak's worst film. Certainly any of the others involved in this disaster, including director Robert Aldrich ("Whatever Happened To Baby Jane", "Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte", "The Flight Of The Phoenix" and "The Dirty Dozen") should never by any stretch of the imagination rank this mess among one of their career highlights. Everyone comes off as just plain silly and ridiculous, and TLOLC itself plays out like a twisted gothic melodrama. After all of her fine performances in great films like "Picinic", "The Man With The Golden Arm", "The Eddy Duchin Story", "Bell Book And Candle", "Vertigo" and " Strangers When We Meet" (a curious omission from TCM's SOTM Kim Novak tribute), and she stars in this stinker! What were you thinking, Kim! The dog food commercial at the end (with all the dogs running into the kitchen to get a taste of that wonderful Barkwell dog food),and the freeze frame of the snarling dog while the closing music played - was that supposed to be some kind of weird symbolism? I could only mean that Lylah Clare's career had gone to the dogs!
One Hot Glamorous Mess
I found this movie on TCM a few years ago and just couldn't believe it, so I caught it again and still didn't believe it! Kim Novak is gorgeous but misguided in the double role of Lylah/Elsa. Peter Finch chews up the scenery as does Ernest Borgnine. Coral Browne is wonderful as an uber-bitch gossip columnist! Robert Aldrich directs this Gothic pot-boiler with style and panache but the sound STINKS!! It sounds like an Italian Hercules movie that's been dubbed into English!! I've seen it at least 5 times and I still can't make out a third of the dialogue. If the crying clowns don't scare you off, sit it out until the end for sure!
Only Peter Finch stars here!
What a dreadful film! I almost believe it was intentionally done as camp, it is so bad. Kim Novak's performance, if one can call it that, is her very worst outing ever. Peter Finch is excellent as the power mad director who goads his star further into madness and only realizing after her death that he loves her. Other than Finch, there isn't another redeeming feature in the entire film. What a colossal waste of 130 minutes of your life!
Kim is a delight to see even in a bad movie.
Kim has done wonderful work like Of Human Bondage, where she acted Mildred Rogers in a very sympathetic way. The obsession of Philip Carey (Lawrence Oliver), the viewer can easily understand. Who having glance at Kim can ever forget her?, the same happens with James Stewart having followed her in Vertigo he becomes obsessed with her beauty. She is a Godess. The first time I saw her was in The Notorious Lady, and immediately I realized I was contemplating somebody grater than life. I continue looking for her movies and saw The Eddie Duchin Story, she's adorable, and Kiss Me Stupid, even as a vulgar waitress (Polly the pistol) is a delight to see her. Boys' Night Out was fabulous and one of her oldest movies Jeanne Eagles was very young and very beautiful. The Mirror Cracked in a war with Liz Taylor, she looks wonderful, and of course one of the best if you want to get yourself enthralled is Moll Flanders, I think Kim is loved by the camera wherever she is the other actors or actresses disappear, maybe that is the reason because she was never paired a good looking actor, probably the exception is William Holden in Picnic. Go a have a good time with Lylah.
A MUST SEE for lovers of bad movies. The alternating voice of Kim Novak and her alter ego Lyhlah CLaire is one of the best BAD actring on film!
What's the matter with "Lylah Clare"?
Almost everything - but not Kim Novak,nor the rest of the cast...Kim is one of those odd,bewitching performers who can't save a terrible screenplay(this by director Robert "Mr.Subtlety" Aldrich,based on a teleplay that starred Alfred Drake and Tuesday Weld!)) but she can lend some appearance of style to a movie by simply showing up(We can forgive that awful red dress,because the white gown is so lovely). "Lylah" is one of my all-time favorite howlers,featuring some of the worst dialogue Peter Finch ever had to chew his way through,and that delightful confrontation between Kim and Coral Browne. All of that hamming by Ernest Borgnine,Rosella Falk,Valentina Cortese and Milton Seltzer is all to the good, otherwise we'd be yawning our way through a 130-minute gas leak. Ditto the dog-food commercial. I wonder who dubbed the Lylah voice - Kim may be husky,but she wouldn't have that speech pattern. A much better slap at the movie business is Aldrich's "The Big Knife",written by Clifford Odets,starring Jack Palance,Ida Lupino,Rod Steiger and Shelley Winters.Good enough to almost swallow whole,as these things go.
Kim Novak is Gorgeous in Robert Aldrich's Film
- David Atkins
After being a great movie star in Hollywood and indeed for a time #1 at the box office with hits like Picnic, Vertigo, The Man With The Golden Arm, Strangers When We Meet, Of Human Bondage, Moll Flanders, Kiss Me Stupid and having worked with the likes of Rita Hayworth, Billy Wilder, William Holden, Alfred Hitchcock, Jack Lemmon, and others Kim Novak took a few years off and returned to films after a too long hiatus as the first billed star in Robert Aldrich's film of Hollywood. Aldrich compliled a fine cast with Peter Finch, Coral Brown, Ernest Borgnine supporting Ms Novak. MGM presented this film in a lush production and Miss Novak was gowned by Renie in some of the more striking outfits of her career. Kim Novak is a fine actress and her work deserves re appraisal. She was much much better than initially reviewed. This movie failed and one wonders Kim Novak with her clout in Hollywood as a big movie star allowed Robert Aldrich to create one of the weirdest endings in a movie I have ever seen...this should have been a big movie for Kim Novak and instead it was a dismal flop. However she rarely looked more beautiful than she appears in this Film.