Julie Christie turns in an astonishing, OscarÂ(r)-winning* performance in this "sensitive and stunning tale" (Cue) about wanting it alland getting exactly what you wish for. Directed by John Schlesinger from an OscarÂ(r)-w... more »inning* screenplay by Frederic Raphael, Darling is "a slashing social satire loaded with startling expositions and lacerating wit" (The New York Times). Ambitious model Diana Scott (Christie) uses her relationships to turn a low-rent career into a high-gear smorgasbord of jet-setting, love-making and the pursuit of hedonistic happiness. But as she moves from one fiery tryst with a TV writer (Dirk Bogarde) to another with a suave playboy (Laurence Harvey) and yet another with a crown prince, she finds that happiness is the one thing that may elude her forever. *1965: Actress (Christie), Original Screenplay, Costume Design« less
Alejandra Vernon | Long Beach, California | 09/19/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This 1965 multi-award winning film is a riveting portrait of a woman who deviously claws her way to the top, in search of "happiness and completion". Julie Christe won an Oscar for her portrayal of Diana Scott, and manages to make this "trivial and shallow" woman interesting.
Frederick Raphael, who also won an Oscar for his work, wrote a story and script that is the basis of what makes this a riveting film to watch. Every scene makes sense, and every phrase has a purpose; there is not a single word that does not belong, or is unnecessary.
It is wonderfully photographed in a very crisp black and white by Ken Higgins, and has an unobtrusive but lovely score by John Dankworth.Director John Schlesinger brings out the best in even the bit players, and most of all, from Dirk Bogarde, who gives a heartbreaking, brilliant performance as one of Diana's stepping stones. Laurence Harvey plays a vain and vile character with the snakelike coldness he is so good at, and of course, Christie is in her prime, and her beauty and talent shine bright.
Though the atmoshpere of the film is caught in the '60s, the story and characters are timeless; this film deserves to be viewed, for its tremendous performances, and as a portrait of how times change, but much of humanity stays the same, and selfish desires, even when satisfied, are but clanging brass."
Great transfer but..........
cinephile | 12/03/2003
(2 out of 5 stars)
"MGM's new release of DARLING looks beautiful and more pristine than the Criterion Collection's laserdisc edition from 1995. There are no features aside from the (very dated) trailer; commentary from Christie would have been a welcome feature and made this a great one for your collection. The greatest disappointment is in the brief editing within the Parisian brothel sequence: the standard VHS tape that had been floating around for years omitted Christie's nude scene, a couple of shots hinting at oral sex between she and Laurence Harvey, and the brothel sequence. The DVD keeps almost everything in tact except a shot of a man rushing into a room to 'perform' with his cigarette smoking female partner. What you're left watching is a close-up of Julie Christie's shocked face as she stares at a woman smoking. The impact of the scene is gone. Now, the only version of DARLING that is fully intact is the laserdisc from Criterion and late-night showings on TCM. What gives MGM? Are they afraid viewers might not be able to handle such 'shocking' material?"
A BLAST FROM THE PAST...
Lawyeraau | Balmoral Castle | 06/08/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Winner of the 1965 Oscar for Best Actress, the beautiful and pouty lipped Julie Christie gives a glowing performance as an amoral cover girl, Diana Scott, in the swinging '60s in London.
Diana, who is married, is having an affair with a married television correspondent, Robert Gold, played to perfection by the sexy and world weary, Dirk Bogarde. Eventually, they leave their respective mates and set up house together in swinging London. All is not hunky dory for long, as Julie goes on to have an affair with her agent, Miles, divinely played by Laurence Harvey. When Robert discovers her lies and infidelity, he leaves her.
Diana goes on to party hearty, and she ultimately meets a wealthy and widowed, Italian prince while on location in Italy shooting a commercial. After a perfunctory meeting, she meets up with him again, and he proposes. She thinks about his proposal, and ultimately consents to becoming Princess Diana.
Only after marrying him, a virtual stranger to her, does she realize how lonely she is. She finds herself being left in their palazzo with his seven children, while the prince is away, ostensibly visiting his mother without her. She realizes that she is living in a gilded cage, no more than a trophy wife.
She impulsively contacts Robert and flies to England to meet with him. After they make love, she realizes how much she loved him, and declares her feelings for him, only to be rebuffed. He then sends her packing, back to her empty life in Italy. Yet, he does so at great emotional cost to himself, as well.
This film is very representative of the swinging sixties and conveys a real sense of the joie de vivre of the period. It deals with subjects that were formerly taboo. There are subtle and sly references to homosexuality. Abortion and a woman's sexuality are issues in the film and dealt with in a way with which these issues were not ordinarily dealt. While it may seem tame by today's standards, this was very cutting edge in its time, and reflective of some of the changes which society, as a whole, was undergoing. This movie is definitely an oldie but a goodie."
Stylish, Yet Poignant
Kathy Fennessy | 06/22/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Her name isn't Darling, but that's what they call her. She doesn't mind, just as long as they call her--men, that is--for dates, jobs, whatever. John Schlesinger's second film with Julie Christie (after her cameo as Tom Courtenay's dream girl in "Billy Liar") put them both on the map--and won Christie the Oscar as social-climbing model/actress Diana Scott. It's a stylish, yet poignant tale (also deservedly garnering the gold for costume design); of its time, yet timeless--and the parallels between Diana and real-life royals Princesses Grace and that other Diana only add to the poignancy.
Christie's beauty and brilliance aside, the contributions of Dirk Bogarde ("The Servant") and Laurence Harvey ("The Manchurian Candidate")--two other leading lights of swinging sixties British cinema--shouldn't be overlooked. Harvey has rarely been more cool and callous, Bogarde rarely more vulnerable and human. Diana uses one man and is used by the other, only to give up her playgirl lifestyle for something brighter, shinier--and emptier. "Darling" represents the peak of the Schlesinger-Christie pairings and is one of the finest films of the 1960s. Or any decade."
Cutting out the charm and character...
Kathy Fennessy | 07/11/2004
(2 out of 5 stars)
"This MGM Home Video version of Darling (#1005693) is not a full version of the film. It was enjoyable but rings of media puritanism. A number of defining scenes, albe-them mildly risque, are missing. This is cultural and historical bleaching. We must discourage companies from ruining films. Do not buy it. I am now out the money and looking for the full version on DVD."