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Forever Amber [VHS]

4.2 out of 5 stars 91 customer reviews


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Product Details

  • Actors: Linda Darnell, Cornel Wilde, Richard Greene, George Sanders, Glenn Langan
  • Directors: John M. Stahl, Otto Preminger
  • Writers: Jerome Cady, Kathleen Winsor, Philip Dunne, Ring Lardner Jr.
  • Producers: Darryl F. Zanuck, William Perlberg
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, HiFi Sound, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox
  • VHS Release Date: October 5, 1994
  • Run Time: 138 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (91 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6303102476
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #176,849 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

VHS Movie

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: VHS Tape
One of the most infamous "trash" novels of the 1940s was Kathleen Winsor's Forever Amber, the story of a beautiful but poor young woman (though of noble birth) who sleeps her way up the social ladder until she becomes mistress of King Charles II of England. Her heart, however, belongs only to the roguish Bruce Carleton, who continues to elude her at every turn.
When 20th Century-Fox announced they were going to film the book, howls of protest emerged from the Catholic Church and other organizations devoted to film censorship. Undeterred, Fox went ahead with the film--and what emerged was, surprisingly, a lavish, witty, and bittersweet look at a daring young woman tripped up by her romantic heart.
Originally, the lead role was to have been played by the young British actress Peggy Cummins. (And actresses as diverse as Maureen O'Hara and Angela Lansbury have admitted they had hoped to win the role.) After filming began, however, Cummins was replaced by Linda Darnell, playing her first lead role in a big-budget, prestigious picture. Darnell--a native of Texas and nearly a ten-year veteran of the screen in 1947, although she was only in her mid-20s--makes a memorable impression in the role. Her bearing is regal, her accent (though not truly British) is cultured--and she is spectacularly gorgeous in the many stunning gowns and hair-dos designed for her.
The technical aspects of the film are also memorable. Director Otto Preminger (he and Darnell never did get along well) makes effective use of a sort of sooty, shadowy Technicolor; certain scenes resemble the paintings of the 17th century. And David Raksin's majestic score is among the finest ever written for a film, period.
I heartily recommend Forever Amber!
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Format: VHS Tape
Forever Amber is one of my favorite trashy great movies. I remember vividly seeing it in original release as a small child in Cleveland Ohio. Even then, the lavishly filmed story, with its memorable theme music, almost accurate costumes and exciting period detail, burned itself into my memory. Darnell was surprisingly good as the "forever under" (a second title when the book came out, among wags) Amber, who's tail was for sale, as the book put it. It is still fun to watch, the theater performance scenes at Drury Lane, among the most fun, as are the Restoration Court balls and of course, who can ever forget George Sanders' regal bearing as Charles II, and his adorable little "children"--the--what else--King Charles spaniels that follow him everywhere. The script is witty, Preminger's direction very daring for this time. By all means watch it if you like a good old fashioned period drama, as only Hollywood could produce them in the days when details were real and not computer generated images. I just wish they would issue a good digitally remastered DVD version with all that murkiness lightened up so it can be seen as it was released! The Great Fire of London sequences, especially when Amber's evil old husband is thrown into the fire by that wonderful Italian giant of a manservant, and the Plague sequences, are also excellently filmed! Watch it soon!
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Otto Preminger has done it again. He directed the film version of the best-selling, scandalous novel by Kathleen Windsor which many thought could not be done in 1947, but learned further with the sumptuous 20th Century-Fox technicolor film, and would become a master showman that used controversy to become one of filmdom's great humanists, despite rumors to the contrary. Linda Darnell they claim did not get along with Preminger, but he cast her numerous times like other actors who later became his customary "whipping post" on each subsequent film that allowed themselves to later join the cast of another Preminger film (notably Tom Tryon who was "destroyed" during the making of "The Cardinal" but appeared several years later in "In Harm's Way.") Faye Dunaway paid to get out of her contract with Preminger to not allow her "misuse" in "Hurry Sundown" to happen again. Perhaps Darnell, the representative of some of Otto's early career did not experience the same vituperate later behaviors. Otto's movie of "Forever Amber" should be seen. They say the movie suffered in the translation to film by what could not be depicted at the time. What is on screen is beautiful. The USA/Region 1 has apparently gone out of print and there are reviewers who claim the transfer from VHS is "murky" and problematic. The Region 2 available from Spain is a beautiful print that is presented without sacrifice for those in America who were fortunate to own a multi-region player and could take advantage being rewarded with this bonus. If your fortune falls this way, go ahead and reward yourself with movie-making of worth.
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By A Customer on September 11, 2002
Format: VHS Tape
The naughty (and controversial) first novel by the much-publicized and photogenic Kathleen Winsor came out in 1944: it was an instant best-seller competing with the likes of Maugham's THE RAZOR'S EDGE & A TREE GROWS IN BROOKLYN by Betty Smith. It became THE top selling book of 1945 and eventually sold a total of over 3 million copies in both hardback and paperback versions. Linda Darnell plays Amber St. Clair, a poor English lass who sees promiscuity as the only way to wealth and happiness. Amber bed-hops her way through lovers Wilde, Russell and Langan and eventually winds up as the favourite concubine of Sanders, who plays King Charles II. But promiscuity has its price...The lavish 7 million dollar budget (which included lush Technicolor) was a sort of consolation prize: the film suffers from its inability to detail the eroticism of the source material - which gave the novel its distinction. Originally the English actress Peggy Cummins was cast (and partially filmed) as Ms. St. Clair, but it was decided that she wasn't quite right for the role. Regretfully, the beautiful Darnell was somewhat miscast as well: her performance is rather lacklustre and her naturally lovely looks were altered for the part by bleaching her raven-black hair an unsuitable blonde (they would do the same thing to Elizabeth Taylor - in 1949 - when she portrayed Amy in LITTLE WOMEN: neither actress looked particularly convincing as a blonde, somehow).
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