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Forever Amber (1947, Linda Darnell, Cornell Wilde)

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Forever Amber was adapted from Jerome Cady’s rollicking novel. Cromwell is dead and Charles II – played by George Sanders – is on the throne in this lavish costume drama. Cornel Wilde and his noble friend Richard Greene, on their way to London to claim rewards from the king for services rendered, stop at a country inn where Darnell sets her cap at Wilde and asks him to take her with him to London. When he refuses, Darnell runs away from the home of her lowly foster-parents and takes up residence at a tavern where she knows Wilde will stay.

Her cunning plan works when Wilde makes her his mistress but trouble is round the corner when under the patronage of Charles he becomes a privateer and goes off on an expedition, leaving Darnell with his money. Losing this in a swindle and hauled into debtors prison a highwayman prisoner, John Russell, helps her to escape with him and she begins works as his decoy. When Russell is killed, Darnell becomes the mistress of Captain Glenn Langan, who places her in the theatre where she enjoys the King’s protection. Her son, by Wilde, is born and when he returns from sea, he kills Langan in a duel before heading off again leaving Darnell free to marry elderly Earl Richard Haydn. For Darnell her career upward continues eventually becoming the King’s mistress until Wilde returns from his success in America, their son electing to return to the New World while Darnell finds herself jilted by the King and without a position at Court.

Time magazine described the film as, ‘an account of Slut’s Progress’ and this is indeed a fabulous opulent epic drama from low life to high life and down again.

production details
USA | 138 minutes | 1947

Director: Otto Preminger
Writers: Philip Dunne, Ring Lardner Jr, adaptation by Jerome Cady, from the novel by Kathleen Winsor

cast
Anne Revere as Mother Red Cap
Jessica Tandy as Nan Britton
Ellen Corby as Marge
George Sanders as King Charles II
Edmund Breon as Lord Redmond
Cornel Wilde as Bruce Carlton
Norma Varden as Mrs. Abbott
Will Stanton as Deadeye
Edith Evanson as Sarah
Leo G. Carroll as Matt Goodgroome
Linda Darnell as Amber St. Clair
Richard Greene as Lord Harry Almsbury
Glenn Langan as Capt. Rex Morgan
Richard Haydn as Earl of Radcliffe
John Russell as Black Jack Mallard
Jane Ball as Corinne Carlton
Robert Coote as Sir Thomas Dudley
Natalie Draper as Countess of Castlemaine
Margaret Wycherly as Mrs. Spong
Alma Kruger as Lady Constance Redmond
Billy Ward as Little Bruce
Alan Napier as Landale