Cast & Crew
Diana Scott, an Italian princess by marriage and a famous member of the jet set, is being interviewed by a reporter from a woman's magazine at her Italian villa. She relates the story of her life and how she came to be what she is. ... Born into an upper-middle-class family, she is spoiled as a child because she is so beautiful. Disregarding advice, she is married very young to an equally immature young man. This first marriage fails, and Diana, a model, starts to live her own life in the world of London television and advertising. She meets and falls in love with television journalist Robert Gold, who is so infatuated that he leaves his wife and children for her. But Diana, trying to further her career as a model, abandons him temporarily for an executive, Miles Brand, who finds her a small part in a horror film. After the opening of the film Diana tells Robert that she is pregnant; both are initially pleased and want the child, but soon Diana decides to have an abortion. Taking the matter very lightly, she tells Robert she never got any satisfaction from sex. While recovering at her sister's country home, she is bored and returns to Robert. Once more, however, she leaves him for Miles, who takes her to Paris to experience the wild bisexual parties of his crowd. When Diana returns to London, Robert walks out on her. Diana takes up with homosexual photographer Malcolm, who takes her to Italy to film commercials. Here she meets Prince Cesare Della Romita, a widower with six children. He proposes marriage, but she rejects him. Diana returns once more to London and Robert, but this time she realizes that their affair is truly over. In a search for security, she agrees to marry the prince, but he finds little time for her in his busy schedule. Bored and lonely, she returns to Robert for the last time. They spend a night together and make love, but in the morning Robert sends Diana back to Italy. Diana weeps as she contemplates her affluent but empty life.
José-luis De Vilallonga
John G. Heller
Joseph E. Levine
Best Costume Design
Best Writing, Screenplay
Radio disc jockey Godfrey Winn presented the basic story line to Schlesinger and producer Joseph Janni during a luncheon. Winn (who makes a cameo appearance as himself in Schlesinger's Billy Liar, 1963) knew a model who became the shared mistress of several men. But shortly after she was set up in a luxurious flat by her "sponsors," she committed suicide. After Winn turned in a rough, ten-page draft of his story to Schlesinger, the director turned it over to novelist/screenwriter Frederic Raphael for scripting. In John Schlesinger by Gene D. Phillips, the director said, "We started with the idea of the ghastliness of the present-day attitude of people who want something for nothing. Diana Scott, the principal character, emerged in the script of Darling as an amalgram of various people we had known." Despite the fact that Schlesinger and Raphael had several major disagreements over the eighteen months it took to produce a satisfactory screenplay, the final result justified their efforts and won Raphael an Oscar for Best Screenplay.
Julie Christie, who had previously played a small part in Schlesinger's Billy Liar, was not the first choice for the title role but Schlesinger eventually auditioned her for the part after flying to Philadelphia where she was touring with the Royal Shakespeare Company. Convinced that Christie could project the perfect combination of charm and bitchiness for the part, he hired her and turned to filling the role of Robert Gold, an American columnist who falls in love with Diana. Montgomery Clift was Schlesinger's first choice, but after meeting the actor he realized Clift was an emotional wreck and too ravaged by drugs and alcohol to handle working. Paul Newman and Cliff Robertson were also offered the role (both declined) and then Schlesinger pleaded with Dirk Bogarde to accept the role, reshaping his character into a BBC interviewer and columnist.
In his autobiography, Snakes and Ladders, Dirk Bogarde recalls the making of Darling: "It was a very happy film although, predictably, we ran out of money halfway through and no one really believed in it except for the people who were actually involved in it. Joseph Janni, our producer, came sadly into my room one evening at the end of work. Face putty, his eyes hooped with fatigue. 'Disaster,' he muttered sitting dejectedly on the arm of a chair. 'I've mortgaged everything: car, flat, stocks and shares, everything except Stella, my wife. Can you help us? Will you accept a cut in salary and defer your deferments?' The reluctant backers sat glumly through the daily rushes; no big American name, an unknown girl and an, almost, unknown director. They also thought the story was, in the good old Wardour Street word, down beat. Anything that didn't have a happy ending had to be down beat. But the news had spread that something remarkable was happening on Darling. David Lean, at that time casting his epic of Pasternak's Dr. Zhivago asked to see film on both Julie and myself...In the event she won the Oscar for Darling, the little film, and rocketed to stardom in Hollywood. All she ever got out of "Zhivago", as far as I know, was a theme song."
Although Bogarde's excellent performance in Darling was ignored at Oscar time, he did receive a British Film Academy Award for his work. Darling, in addition to winning Oscars for Julie Christie and screenwriter Frederic Raphael, also received Academy Award nominations for Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Costume Design by Julie Harris (who won in this category).
Director: John Schlesinger
Producer: Joseph Janni, Victor Lyndon (associate)
Screenplay: Frederic Raphael
Cinematography: Kenneth Higgins
Music: John Dankworth
Art Direction: Ray Simm
Principle Cast: Dirk Bogarde (Robert Gold), Laurence Harvey (Miles Brand), Julie Christie (Diana Scott), Jose Luis de Villalonga (Cesare), Roland Curram (Malcom), Basil Henson (Alec Prosser-Jones)
BW-127m. Closed captioning.
by Jeff Stafford
It was said of her grandmother that the only members of the cabinet who were not her lovers were those who had reason to believe they were her father.- Miles Brand
...a man of few words, all of them long.- Miles Brand
Your idea of fidelity is not having more than one man in bed at the same time.- Robert Gold
Why, Carlotta. How savage we are tonight. Did someone go back to their wife?- Miles Brand
If he had, you'd have been there to greet him.- Carlotta
Taxi!- Diana Scott
We're not taking a taxi.- Robert Gold
Why not?- Diana Scott
I don't take whores in taxis.- Robert Gold
Newspaper ads stated "In Dazzling Color."
Location scenes filmed in Capri, Florence, London, and France. Opened in London in September 1965 as Darling ...; running time: 127 min.
The United Kingdom
Voted Best Director, Best Actress (Christie, shared with her work in "Doctor Zhivago"), and One of the Year's Ten Best Films by the 1965 National Board of Review.
Voted Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Actress (Christie) by the 1965 New York Film Critics.
Voted One of the Year's Ten Best Films by the 1965 New York Times Film Critics.
Released in United States 1998
Released in United States 2000
Released in United States July 15, 1965
Released in United States Summer August 3, 1965
Shown at Cinequest 1998: The San Jose Film Festival (John Schlesinger Tribute Event) January 29- February 4, 1998.
Shown at Moscow Film Festival July 15, 1965.
Released in United States 1998 (Shown at Cinequest 1998: The San Jose Film Festival (John Schlesinger Tribute Event) January 29- February 4, 1998.)
Released in United States 2000 (Shown in New York City (Film Forum) as part of program "The British New Wave: From Angry Young Men to Swinging London" October 27 - November 16, 2000.)
Released in United States July 15, 1965 (Shown at Moscow Film Festival July 15, 1965.)
Released in United States Summer August 3, 1965