Forever Amber

1947

Adventure / Drama / Romance

2
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Rotten 11%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Spilled 47%
IMDb Rating 6.6 10 1143

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Synopsis


Uploaded By: FREEMAN
October 30, 2019 at 03:54 AM

Director

Cast

Vincent Price as Lord Harry Almsbury
George Sanders as King Charles II
Jessica Tandy as Nan Britton
Leo G. Carroll as Matt Goodgroome
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
1.15 GB
988*720
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
2 hr 18 min
P/S 0 / 1
2.12 GB
1472*1072
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
2 hr 18 min
P/S 2 / 4

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by bkoganbing 8 / 10

Restoration Revelry

If Forever Amber were being made today the results would have been quite different. Without The Code and the Catholic Legion of Decency inspecting all the product that came from Hollywood, Amber St. Clair's sexual escapades during Restoration Great Britain would have been a far better film. Still it's not bad as it is.

Another reviewer compared it to Gone With the Wind. You can look at that in two ways, the interaction between Linda Darnell and Cornel Wilde and compare it to Vivien Leigh and Clark Gable. Lots of similarities there. But also the book itself was a blockbuster best seller in the Forties as Gone With the Wind was in the previous decade and brought in a built-in audience.

Kathleen Winsor when she wrote the novel was married to her first husband a football player who was a history student. For his honor's thesis he was writing about the Stuart Restoration. From his research material, Winsor became fascinated with the period and created her novel.

20th Century Fox and Otto Preminger got the rights and did a fine job in recreating the United Kingdom of the 1660s. Linda Darnell got one of her best roles in her career as Amber, a high spirited and vivacious girl like Scarlett O'Hara, who finds true love, but sacrifices it for ambition.

In class conscious times as those were there were few venues for people to rise, even less if you were a woman. Darnell rises from Newgate Prison to the court of Charles II where she becomes one of Charles's numerous mistresses. Along the way she uses many men, like highwayman John Russell, army captain Glenn Langan, nobleman Richard Haydn and even her own true love nobleman Cornel Wilde with whom she has a son out of wedlock.

Presiding over it all is a world weary and cynical George Sanders who plays Charles II. Sanders would play The Merry Monarch in another and vastly inferior film called The King's Thief. He does capture the jaded cynicism of Charles II so very well, it's one of his top five career parts.

If the title role in the film were about the male lead Bruce Carlton, I'm sure Darryl Zanuck would have cast Tyrone Power in the part as he appeared in several films opposite Linda Darnell. Instead Cornel Wilde steps in and he's a most dashing Restoration nobleman and seeker of fortune in the New World.

The most spellbinding performance and so against type is that of Richard Haydn as the elderly rake, Lord Radcliff. He's a widower who's looking for a 17th century trophy wife and finds one in Linda who at the point in time he first meets her is an actress. He's a coldblooded person of mystery and menace and really registers it well on the screen. He marries Linda and she inherits his title when he dies.

Haydn is killed in a thrilling scene involving the great fire of London which occurred in 1666. It's the highlight of the film and I can't say any more about how and why he's killed, but trust me it was one deserved end.

Though Forever Amber is a good film, it could have been far better, but for censorship problems. Still it provides Darnell, Sanders, and Haydn with some of their best career parts and is worth seeing.

Reviewed by jjnxn-1 9 / 10

A tarty romp through Merry Olde England

Somewhat saucy romp has a ravishingly beautiful and amber haired Linda Darnell in the lead full of piquant carnality, lavish costumes and settings and a scene stealing George Sanders as Charles II. What it doesn't have is a lively pace and that to some extent is its undoing. Preminger was the wrong director for a piece of entertainment like this that required a florid touch, Michael Curtiz would have been much more at home at the helm.

The novel this is based on was a notorious but tremendously successful sensation of its day. That book while certainly not "A Great American Novel" is a highly enjoyable piece of pulp fiction full of sex, murder and double crosses in fancy clothes with a complex, very entertaining heroine at its center who has a good heart but is not overly burdened with morals. Unfortunately since they tried to film it in the forties when the Production Code was in full force the more salacious plot points had to be excised. What made it to the screen has its moments but shows the heavy hand of censors most evident in the abrupt ending but scattered throughout the movie. Still a fun romp with Linda giving a spirited performance and for those who haven't read the book a somewhat racy tone.

A troubled production from the beginning what with censorship problems, a recast leading lady, Linda Darnell stepped in after production had started when Peggy Cummings didn't work out and Lana Turner couldn't be borrowed from MGM and a martinet in the director's chair.

There are still a few amusing stories connected to the backstage upheaval that went on. Linda Darnell had worked with Preminger before on Fallen Angel and it had been rough going but she truly came to loathe him during production of Amber. Later while filming A Letter to Three Wives Joseph Mankiewicz needed her to throw a look of disgust at a picture unseen by the audience, to achieve that look he slipped a picture of Preminger into the frame without her knowledge, he got his look.

A small sampling of Preminger's directorial style: after acting out a scene for Linda and Cornel Wilde he screamed at them as they tried to do as he had instructed "Don't do it like I did it! Do it like I meant it!"

One peripheral story: when Ava Gardner was briefly married to Artie Shaw he flew into a rage and berated her when he caught her reading Forever Amber saying it was trash and she should be focusing her attention on things that would enrich her mind, he was that kind of husband. They divorced shortly after and within the year he had married Kathleen Winsor...the author of Forever Amber!

Reviewed by blanche-2 7 / 10

A troubled production

"Forever Amber" was one of those ambitious studio projects that was in trouble from the beginning. The result is nowhere near as bad as one would guess.

Based on a novel by Kathleen Winsor (who had definitely been thinking about the story since she saw Gone with the Wind 8 years earlier), the story concerns Amber, a great beauty at the time the Stuarts were restored to the English throne. Amber is ambitious for the finer things in life, a la Madame Bovary. She leaves her life of poverty, and the man she is told to marry, and gets a ride to the big city with Bruce Carlton (Cornel Wilde) and Lord Almsbury (Richard Greene), two adventurers who want to get the money promised them by King Charles II (George Sanders) for their last voyage and then go off to sea again. Amber falls in love with Carlton immediately. The two have a romance, but for Carlton, it's more a dalliance. However, he leaves Amber pregnant. She's cheated out of the money he gave her by two con artists, and she's arrested.

Amber escapes prison with the help of a highwayman (John Russell), who uses her in his robbery gang; she seduces the victim to go with her, and he's robbed. One night, as the police chase her, she runs into the home of Captain Rex Morgan (Glenn Langan). Morgan tells Amber that if she takes a job on the stage, she will have the king's protection. So the next thing we know, Amber is a performer. Eventually she winds up as a favorite of King Charles and lives in the palace with her son.

The film started out starring Peggy Cummins, who apparently wasn't doing a very good job. She was replaced with Linda Darnell, who is as gorgeous as a blond as she was as a brunette. Though she's very sensual as Amber, she's not particularly vixenish or fiery. Her costumes are absolutely stunning. The whole color production is stunning, sumptuously produced.

As one might guess, the story was mighty scandalous in the '40s, with Amber sleeping her way to the top, as it were. The film received horrific publicity because the Catholic church demanded changes, and if they didn't get them, the film would get the feared "C" rating (condemned) which meant Catholics couldn't go and see it. The changes were made, the film was rated B (objectionable in part for all) but because of all the bad publicity, it didn't make much money.

"Forever Amber" moves a little slowly, and Darnell has no chemistry with Cornell Wilde. Not only that, but there isn't much film footage showing why she fell for him. The cast is pretty good, with a charming performance by Richard Greene and a nice character turn by Anne Revere. Sanders is a real standout, as is Richard Haydn as the Earl of Radcliffe. Wilde doesn't register much; he could never warm up the camera, but he looks good here.

A derivative film, but worth seeing for Darnell's great beauty.

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