Forever Amber

1947, Movie, NR, 140 mins

Review

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Based on the racy novel by Kathleen Winsor, FOREVER AMBER stars Darnell as a beautiful 17th-century English girl born into poverty who sees promiscuity as the only way to wealth and happiness. She bed-hops her way through lovers Wilde, Russell, and Langan, and eventually winds up as the favorite concubine of Sanders, who plays King Charles II. But promiscuity has its price, and Darnell winds up losing the only man she ever really loved, Wilde, who takes their child and moves to America. While the production was surprisingly lavish (the budget was something around $6.5 million), the film suffers from its inability to detail the eroticism of the story (which was what distinguished the novel) due to 1940s censorship. The naughty first novel by the much-publicized and photogenic Winsor came out in 1944, the year that also saw the publication of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn and Somerset Maugham's The Razor's Edge, and became an instant hit, finishing fourth on the year's best-seller list. The following year it continued its torrid sales record and finished as the year's top seller. In all, 3 million copies of the book were sold in hardbound and paperback before sales wound down. leave a comment

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