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Diane

4.3 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

She brought beauty and poise to the screen while she hobnobbed with mobsters in Johnny Eager, plotted murder in The Postman Always Rings Twice and helped expose the Hollywood dream factory in The Bad and the Beautiful. Renowned for steamy melodramas, Lana Turner rarely starred in lavish costume dramas. But Diane was an exception that showcased her beauty and poise amid the finery of Renaissance France. Turner plays Diane de Poitiers in this historical romance, her last film under contract to M-G-M. The story begins in the mid-1500s. A marriage between France’s Prince Henri (Roger Moore) and Italy’s Catherine de Medici (Marisa Pavan) has the potential to establish peace, so Diane is asked to tutor Henri in the ways of a courtier. Fencing and etiquette are part of the instruction; falling in love is not. Diane and Henri begin an affair that continues despite the royal union…and precipitates a Medici plot to wrest control of France.

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Product Details

  • Actors: Lana Turner
  • Format: NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Warner Archive
  • DVD Release Date: May 28, 2013
  • Run Time: 110 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00D2CRZ60
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #23,498 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Linda McDonnell on May 26, 2002
Format: VHS Tape
Years ago, my friend David had a book about history as told thru Hollywood movies, and that was how I first learned of the movie, "Diane". Seemed a silly movie, advertised by a dueling shot of French prince Roger Moore matching his epee with courtesan Lana Turner in her sixteenth-century Tudor style wimple. Fast forward to 2002, and put us in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where that venerable institution decides that a good movie to link to its current tapestry exhibit would be--yep--"Diane", of all things. The week before, it had been "A Man for All Seasons". Well, I just had to check this out; I mean, I've NEVER even seen it listed in a tv guide. Saw it with Edith just last night.
Not bad! Not a classic, but not bad.
For one thing, the costumes are just wonderful, the creations of Walter Plunkett of "Gone with the Wind" fame. No, they're not authentic, but this was a Lana Turner movie, you know, not a BBC documentary. So, if you like gorgeous women in velvet and pearls, this is an appropriate flick for you. Lana is appealing and I didn't really mind Roger Moore, although another reviewer found him wooden. The real Henri II was a weakling--that why he was controlled by his mistress--so that a stronger performance would not really have made sense.
It is in the supporting performances that we have our best people. Sir Cedric Hardwicke is a Nostradamus-kind of astrologer who tells Henri's wife Catherine de Medici to dry her tears over her husband's lack of sexual interest and concentrate on her destiny as future Queen of France. Henry Daniell does a great job as Catherine's advisor who keeps those intrigues coming--always a joy to watch him. The actor playing King Francis I had a lot of bravado and some set of choppers. I liked him a lot.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
There was a time, long ago, when MGM was ruling its kingdom in Culver City, California, sparing no expenses when it came to movie business. We have a fine example here, with this 1955 film, the french court of the 16th century had been so lavishly recreated, that you can't believe your eyes...The scenery, the costumes and the music by the great Miklos ROZSA are just perfect. The acting is quite good too, especially the scenes between Lana TURNER and Marisa PAVAN, even if a very young Roger MOORE is far less convincing as king HENRY II. Of course, being french, I noticed some historical mistakes ( I don't think that king FRANCOIS 1st died of battle wounds) but does it really matter ? This Warner Collection release is a real treat with gorgeous colors, and full stereo sound.....Don't hesitate, you won't be sorry to get this DVD !
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"Diane" is probably the most unappreciated, under-rated little masterpiece in film history. I was a college student movie-goer in 1955 when it was released, but not until years later when my Mother happened to mention how good it was, did I hear about it. Then after 1993 when the Turner Home Video came out I discovered I wasn't the only one that had overlooked it, and no wonder with the inappropriate misleading advertising art such as the official graphics used for this DVD cover instead of a scene in costumes like the VHS version. Pay no attention to that. One would think it was a cheesy modern day love affair instead of a lavish historical romance. Plus, there's the ridiculous teaser comment, "Lana dares the devil." What? It has nothing to do with the supernatual. I suspect this unusual promotional blunder occurred during the time of turmoil and foolish change away from the grand and glorious tradition of MGM created by their renowned Studio boss Louis B. Mayer who had been unfortunately ousted.

It was, as others here have noted, Lana's last film for the roaring Lion before she went on to a new fame at Universal. She gives one of her most gorgeous, impeccable performances, but I must admit Marisa Pavan in the supporting role almost steals the picture from her and should have been at least nominated for an Oscar. Her portrayal of the "other woman" requiring a full spectrum of emotions that fosters both good and bad audience reactions toward her is magnificent!

Also making it definitely worthwhile, as pointed out by other reviewers, are the breathtaking costumes designed by Walter Plunkett of "Gone With the Wind" wardrobe fame, and of course the always brilliant Miklos Rozsa music score. BUT, what really struck me the most are the final few minutes of the movie with an unexpected little added nuance that is so touching it has to be one of the tenderest heart-tugging endings of all time!
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Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
Before beginning a review of this movie, I must give plaudits to reviewer Sam A. Juliano III for his recognition of Miklos Rozsa's beautiful score. From the main theme, which is Diane's, to the various supporting themes that, for example, underscore the wizard-like presence of Sir Cedric Hardwicke, the machinations of Henry Daniell, and the emotional state of Marisa Pavan as Catherine de Medici, this film is an aural as well as visual feast. Both the movie and score were highly underrated at the time. This was Hollywood, NOT precise history - but was close enough.

Lana Turner as Diane displays both intellect and beauty. She captures the fancy of the King of France who appoints her tutor to his youthful second son played by Roger Moore in his first screen appearance. After awhile, they become lovers - a poorly kept secret. But Moore must marry, and so he is betrothed to a very young and innocent Catherine de Medici whose family has secret plans for her future. Catherine consults a Nostradamus type seer in the form of Hardwicke who predicts a trio of sons in her future. More ominous is the vision of a young boy who accompanies Hardwicke; he sees a fatal tragedy in the future that involves "a cage of gold and a wild boar". After Catherine leaves H, he tells his companions that her husband who will become king is destined to be killed by his best friend. Shortly afterward, Moore and his bf go wild boar hunting. The forest of birch trees in which the boar is to be hunted takes on the appearance of "a cage of gold" in the eyes of Moore's friend. As the hunt continues, Moore is surprised by the boar and is gored but does not die. The prophecy is apparently averted. Moore recovers and his affair with Diane continues unabated.
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