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Diane

Diane(1956)

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Diane (1956)

Lana Turner started at MGM in a sweater and ended in mink, an 18-year run remarkable for a sex symbol of any era. In this, her last picture for her home studio, the 36-year old actress once again plays "the other woman", but with more sympathy this time. Based on the true story of Diane de Poitiers, this royal epic depicts how a wife's loyalty is tested when she's asked to instruct a brash young prince (Roger Moore) on court etiquette -- and more. Director Christopher Isherwood, irritated by the southern California accents of the cast, wanted to do this costume drama "high camp", with British accents for everyone, but his vision was vetoed by studio heads. Still, the end result is elegant and sweeping, with 16th century French gowns complimenting Turner's ageless glamour. While Roger Moore didn't fare well in this picture -- his efforts were so ill-received he was released from his 7 year contract after only 2 years -- Turner did much better. Despite her nervousness about the end of her own contract,she rebounded the next year with 20th Century Fox's Peyton Place (1957), a similar story of extramarital intrigue in a world of rigid manners.

By Violet LeVoit

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