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United Kingdom 1965
Directed by
John Schlesinger
127 minutes
Rated M

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
2 stars


A  kind of re-working of Joseph Mankiewicz’s 1954 Hollywood satire, The Barefoot Contessa, Darling gives the idea of excoriating the glitterati a distinctively English Swinging Sixtes treatment as it tells the story of Diana Scott (julie Christie) a bed-hopping London model who delusionally believes that the rich and famous are happier than ordinary folk, ends up marrying an Italian prince and, of course, finds out otherwise.

The film too superficially appropriates the fashion of the time (although for retro 60s lovers this is good news) and hooking it to a glib moral message does nothing to help our investment in it. Dirk Bogarde as Diana’s first lover is mis-cast but Laurence Harvey does a more effective job as the next rung on her ladder.  It's greatest achievement is probably that it made a star of Christie who won an Oscar for her portrayal of the vacuously aspirational Diana and who would become the pre-eminent female face of British film of the era.




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