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The Legend of Lylah Clare

Script spotlights the making of a film about Lylah Clare, a world famous pic star who died some time before under mysterious circumstances.

Script spotlights the making of a film about Lylah Clare, a world famous pic star who died some time before under mysterious circumstances.

Her onetime producer-discoverer, who is ‘fighting the big C’ after a visit to the Mayo clinic, wants as his swan song to revive the Clare legend via a biopic, and succeeds in convincing Lewis Zarkan, the director who made her and was briefly in love with her, to coach look-alike Elsa Brinkmann into capturing the departed star’s mannerisms.

Pic [from the teleplay by Robert Thom and Edward DeBlasio] is at its best when it spotlights the dilemma of the girl reincarnating the defunct star, especially when Elsa grotesquely switches to Lylah’s vulgar German accented tones and phrases or when she imagines the scenes of her predecessor’s violent death.

Though only intermittently given a challenging scene or two, Kim Novak brings off her dual role as Elsa-Lylah well. Peter Finch is very good as the director who’s her doing and undoing, and there’s a very amusing and talented performance by Ernest Borgnine as a studio boss.

The Legend of Lylah Clare

  • Production: M-G-M/Associates & Aldrich. Director Robert Aldrich; Producer Robert Aldrich; Screenplay Hugo Butler, Jean Rouverol; Camera Joseph Biroc; Editor Michael Luciano; Music Frank DeVol; Art Director George W. Davis, William Glasgow
  • Crew: (Color) Extract of a review from 1968. Running time: 127 MIN.
  • With: Kim Novak Peter Finch Ernest Borgnine Milton Selzer Rossella Falk Coral Browne
  • Music By: