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33 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars At Last DARLING LILI in It's Complete Roadshow Version
Thank you Paramount UK for finally giving us this beautiful film in it's entirety. Living in the US, I was extremely disappointed by the butchered 2005 release of this gem in my country. But now I have it, even though I have to watch it on a multi-region DVD player. The transfer and sound are gorgeous. Better than you would ever expect for a film of this age. Here...
Published on 25 Mar 2007 by D. L. Jones

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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great in the air, but more awkward on the ground
Long forgotten by almost all but Julie Andrews fans, Darling Lili was the box-office disaster that not only nearly killed Andrews and director Blake Edwards' careers but nearly destroyed Paramount as well (grossing only $5m against a then massive $25m budget) and even inspired two films - Blake Edwards' thinly-veiled version of his side of the film, S.O.B., and, of all...
Published on 11 Jan 2009 by Trevor Willsmer


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33 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars At Last DARLING LILI in It's Complete Roadshow Version, 25 Mar 2007
By 
D. L. Jones - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Darling Lili [DVD] (DVD)
Thank you Paramount UK for finally giving us this beautiful film in it's entirety. Living in the US, I was extremely disappointed by the butchered 2005 release of this gem in my country. But now I have it, even though I have to watch it on a multi-region DVD player. The transfer and sound are gorgeous. Better than you would ever expect for a film of this age. Here for all to see are the musical numbers, complete and unedited. You can also enjoy the complete seduction scene in the country inn and appreciate Julie's impeccable comedic timing. I just wish they had included the production short, "Darling Julie," prepared at the time of this film's production. Also, a still gallery would have been nice. For you American's reading this, owning this treasure is worth every penny of your investment in buying a multi-region DVD player. For you Brits, run out and buy this beauty. And, can anyone explain to me why Paramount released a cut version to the US and the complete version to Europe?
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Surprisingly Superb Film, 15 July 2007
By 
W. Strutte (England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Darling Lili [DVD] (DVD)
Forget the critical condemnation of this film. It really is special. I first saw it at it's UK original release at the Odeon in the Haymarket, London. At the time Julie was totally out of fashion. No doubt her none appearance at the UK premiere of STAR! at the Dominion Cinema did little to help. She was too busy filming Darling Lili in Ireland. A poor excuse and one that led to her disappearance from the screen for quite a few years. Her film career was ruined. But Darling Lili is well worth seeing. It is beautifully produced and very fine entertainment.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great in the air, but more awkward on the ground, 11 Jan 2009
By 
Trevor Willsmer (London, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Darling Lili [DVD] (DVD)
Long forgotten by almost all but Julie Andrews fans, Darling Lili was the box-office disaster that not only nearly killed Andrews and director Blake Edwards' careers but nearly destroyed Paramount as well (grossing only $5m against a then massive $25m budget) and even inspired two films - Blake Edwards' thinly-veiled version of his side of the film, S.O.B., and, of all things, The Godfather Part III (it seems the studio were partially baled out by investors who turned out to be, ahem, friends of Italian opera and who were particularly difficult to dislodge). Part of the last burst of absurdly expensive epic musicals that followed in the wake of the Sound of Music's success, it was never originally intended to be an all-out musical - instead, Edwards saw it as a period romantic comedy vehicle for his wife. Unfortunately, since his wife was Julie Andrews, the studio thought it might be a better investment to turn it into a musical - her character is a musical hall singer who moonlights as a spy for the Germans in the First World War after all. The film ended up spending more than a year-and-a-half in post-production as new scenes and musical numbers were added (it's not too difficult to spot them, since Hermes Pan's staging is far more confident than Edwards', who tends to be unsure of quite how to showcase Andrews at times, though a bizarre burlesque striptease number seems spectacularly out of place) and various lengths were tested before a 143-minute roadshow version opened to much derision or indifference. Edwards subsequently re-edited the film for US TV to one of the few director's cuts that's substantially shorter than the theatrical one, in the process turning it from a misfired musical romantic comedy to a slightly darker misfired romantic comedy with a few songs instead.

The biggest problem is that not only is there no chemistry between Andrews and Rock Hudson (who reportedly loathed each other) but they share surprisingly few actual scenes - much of the early stages of their romance are played out in montages while he has little dialogue in many of their scenes: not altogether surprising with Andrews' husband directing. Indeed, for much of the first half of film, the badly photographed and made-up Hudson barely registers as the air ace she's assigned to uncover military secrets from only to find herself falling in love with him. He's fine when he actually gets something to work with, but that's not until a lengthy failed seduction scene also involving a pair of bumbling French detectives watching from a rainy rooftop before inevitably falling unnoticed from a great height (something of a signature Blake Edwards gag).

Unfortunately, Edwards' and William Peter Blatty's script never really provides enough laughs to compensate for the lack of sparks between the leads. The film gets particularly messy at the end, with the final scene unbelievable in all the wrong ways even as fantasy (no-one on the Allied side seems to mind in the slightest that she was a German spy), but there are compensations en route. The eternally typecast Jeremy Kemp does his best urbane German aristocrat routine again and, a few clumsily inserted back-projection shots aside, Anthony Squire's aerial sequence boasts some truly remarkable dogfight footage that puts films like Flyboys to shame. Shot in Ireland with many of the planes collected for The Blue Max, it's both beautifully shot and boasts some remarkable `for real' stunt sequences. On the balance the film is more good than bad, but not quite good enough.

While the Region 1 NTSC DVD is the shorter 107-minute director's cut with some (but not all) of the deleted scenes included as extras, the Region 2 PAL DVD is the roadshow version complete with overture. Boasting a decent widescreen 2.35:1 transfer, the only extra is a teaser trailer largely made up of still photos.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Blue Max - The Musical Version, 2 May 2008
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B. C. Swinbank "barry" (Surrey, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Darling Lili [DVD] (DVD)
Okay,okay you're saying I'm nuts well maybe I am, but if you enjoyed the film The Blue Max you have to have this film, if simply for the flying.These are directed by Anthony Squire, the man behind the flying in Blue Max. Many of the same aeroplanes and locations are used. There is at least one full size replica SE5a,plus about four 3/4 size replica SE5s, with odd markings, however to me, they work suprisingly well. To be honest there is a real world of difference in seeing real planes on film and seeing CGI, as in Flyboys, which just looked like a Combat Flight Simulator game....As for the rest of the film,the colour and print is mostly very clean and bright. Rock Hudson is too old really for a pilot, but with the songs and light drama least the wife might watch it too. I'd have beefed up the drama and not gone for the comedy, but there we go.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A brief review.., 4 Sep 2012
By 
Dave Moffatt (Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Darling Lili [DVD] (DVD)
I'm bias, I had to give the film five stars because I love it so much... I watched it with my great Gran (also called Lily) years ago and she gave me the wrong title to look for.. I was just a kid at the time, so I didn't remember the name of the stars, just that it was set in ww1 and had a lot of music hall scenes and some dogfights with the old biplanes. Watching this film again brought back a very happy memory !

My first copy was defective, but I told Amazon and I was very happy and surprised to see that they posted me my replacement immediately- it arrived the next day.

If you like musicals & a romantic story the film delivers, if you're interested in WW1 and like scenes with aerial combat, espionage and old motor cars it also delivers. I think this is a superb family film that is suitable for all.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars csabrendek, 30 Mar 2011
This review is from: Darling Lili [DVD] (DVD)
A very well constructed story and with superb actors like
Juli Andrews.
The film should be seen by those, who love a high quality entertainment, as well as a good story behind it.
The acting of Juli Andrews is special, as in any films of her.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How Did It Flop? Much Worse Stuff Earn Today!, 15 Feb 2009
This review is from: Darling Lili [DVD] (DVD)
How much more lovely this film is than I had any expectation of! One might suspect that a war thriller such as this one was only forced to have songs in it because of Julie Andrews's presence, rendering it a patchy musical thriller. What a misgiving that is; it's not a musical in any sense, doesn't try to be, and as far as thriller goes it clearly does not aspire to be one saturated with mystery either.

It really is a romance set in the time of war, with romance first and war as the circumstance. It is not the sweetest love story ever told, but it is crisply told. Granted, the writing is not always of the highest quality, but it fairly consistently is. It quite clearly is intent on not being a war suspense story, but it is not completely void of intrigue, and whatever there is certainly left me wondering, neither alternative glaringly patently the truth. In fact the film never (or did I miss it?) reveals what Operation Crepe Suzette is at all, and how was Major Larrabee passing any vital military information through Lili to the German when everything we see him telling Lili is verified as lies in the film?

If you want masculine suspense thriller then "Darling Lili" is not the place to look for it. It's the tangle with wartime espionage that the romance between Lili and Larrabee gets into that is the heart of this film. I regret that I find Julie Andrews too radiant a match for Rock Hudson, and although Dame Julie is completely natural as a lover Hudson seems wooden - neither convincingly sophisticated nor subtle. Once again Dame Julie Andrews really does literally carry the film. I think she was a little too old by this time for the strip-tease scene - but if you hadn't done it before it'd be better not to leave it until too late no?

The music instrumental or vocal is, simply put, unbelievably gorgeous. Some authentic WWI songs are featured, adding authentic touches of historical atmosphere to the film. The new songs written for the film feel strangely tame when one identifies Dame Julie with supple and effortless vocal acrobatic, but nonetheless sparkle. All musical numbers, if you can call them that at all, except one, as in "Star!", appear in the context of performance. Only the film's main theme song, "Whistling Away the Dark", which becomes Lili's theme music (much more so than the more superficial eponymous theme "Darling Lili"), really has direct pertinence to the main story. For musical haters the presence of songs should not matter; neither are songs used to tell the story nor are they draggingly long. They are not staged in the grand manner of musicals, the uncluttered instrumentation plenteously spacious to showcase Dame Julie's performance and the choreography never gets larger-than-life. They add to the atmosphere of the film and Dame Julie performs as well as at any other time.

Visually the film serves up some very beautiful pictures. The set is consistently beautiful. The same costume designer as for Dame Julie's wardrobe in "Star!" worked for this film, and the period costumes are just as dazzling and nostalgic, only more subdued. Their colours certainly are employed to the best result in the chromatic dynamic of the film's visual. The three most beautiful - very different - sequences (well actually four) that come to mind are the music hall performances of "Whistling Away the Dark" at the beginning and the end of the film, Lili's waking up to a house of red roses and when Lili and Larrabee join a school of children walking hands in hands in crocodiles singing a patriotic-sounding French songs in the French countryside. On the whole the air fight scenes are the most dire, the action generally feeling dragged and the scenery looking uncannily British for battles that are supposed to be taking high above the fields of Flanders.

I felt the film could do very well without its Pink-Panther-esque comic, especially of the two French Army Intellingence officers, which, however slight, leaves the film lacking in the grit that would make it so much better. However, noone should allow that to dissuade him from this neat little weaving of a war romance.

The DVD doesn't come with much, just a trailer. Yet I commend its neat and clean design throughout - the case, the menus. The naming of scenes is really a nice little thing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great film., 17 Aug 2008
This review is from: Darling Lili [DVD] (DVD)
Darling Lily is a film that I remember fondly. I saw it in 70mm on first release and loved it then and I still do on seeing it again on DVD. Not the US cut version but this the complete original release version. My only complaint is why is the intermission not there. The film runs straight through. But that's just a little hiccup that doesn't in any way take the enjoyment out of this great film.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A MUST FOR JULIE ANDREWS BUFFS LIKE ME., 18 Mar 2014
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This review is from: Darling Lili [DVD] (DVD)
Loved the plot - Lili can sing - good to see Julie escaping from the Von Trapp images - people forget that Julie can do sexy rolwa as well. Good to see the widescreen version.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great film, 30 April 2013
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This review is from: Darling Lili [DVD] (DVD)
Darling Lily
I received this within a couple of days, the film is really entertaining with elements of humour and thriller. Of course, Julie Andrews is always a great actress
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Darling Lili [DVD]
Darling Lili [DVD] by Blake Edwards (DVD - 2007)
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