Darling Lili

Darling Lili

Streaming Video - 1970
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Julie Andrews made a bid to change her squeaky clean image with this elaborately mounted WW I musical. Lili Smith (Andrews) is a popular British music hall singer who is regarded as a femme fatale and has been known to throw a bit of striptease into her act. However, Lili has a secret: she's actually a German spy, and the uncle she dotes upon is really Von Ruger (Jeremy Kemp), a fellow espionage agent and her contact for the Huns. In hopes of gaining valuable information, Lili begins using her feminine wiles on Maj. William Larrabee (Rock Hudson), a top American pilot. However, Lili soon discovers that she's falling in love with Larrabee and can't find the courage to betray him; Larrabee discovers Lili's secret, but he refuses to turn her in. (oscarsite.com)
Audience: Rated PG.
Publisher: [United States] : Paramount : Made available through hoopla, 1970.
ISBN: 9781415709153
Characteristics: 1 online resource (1 video file (approximately 107 min.)) : sound, color


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Oct 02, 2016

This is a musical romantic comedy set in World War One. Julie Andrews is a British singer in Paris who is also a German spy. Rock Hudson is the American pilot who falls in love with her (and she with him). Jeremy Kemp is the German intelligence officer that Andrews answers to. There are two versions of this movie. There is the original 136 minute version that was released in theatres when the movie came out (and is played on TCM) and the 107 minute "director's cut" that is now on DVD. It's a matter of taste as to which one you might prefer. Personally, I'd give the director's cut only a 6/6.5 out of 10 while I'd give the original a 7/7.5 out of 10. A lot of the musical scenes were cut. Also deleted is a lot of the comedy, about half of Jeremy Kemp's scenes, and many of Rock Hudson's scenes. The original was very much Julie Andrews' film even though Rock Hudson shares top billing, but its even more so in the director's cut. (In the theatrical trailer, Rock Hudson's name is mentioned only once while Julie Andrews's name is given over and over.) Actually surprised the Rock Hudson agreed to be in such a secondary role considering that, just a few years before, he had top billing in movies like Ice Station Zebra. By the way; the director, Blake Edwards, was Julie Andrews' husband. The director's cut is still worth watching, but if you do, make sure you also watch the "special features" that come with the DVD; they include the 29 minutes that were cut from the original release.

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