Otto Preminger’s 1947 Technicolor opus, Forever Amber, which was subjected to censorship cuts and then three decades later, destruction of the Fox Technicolor library, arrives via Twilight Time, and gives us an inkling — and not much more — of the original beauty of the production.
One can only watch the work of Leon Shamroy, and wonder what might have been. To place things in perspective, over eighty productions were destroyed.
Magnificently mounted by Fox, it’s the tale of a young girl making her way through the court of seventeenth century England.
Linda Darnell is in the lead, with a superb supporting cast — Cornel Wilde, Richard Greene, George Sanders, Jessica Tandy and Fox stalwart, Anne Revere.
Strangely, Miss Darnell, who in this film, survived the London fire, lost her life in 1965 due to a house fire in Illinois.
While audio seems fine, imagery is much like many other Fox Technicolor productions, with decent color (albeit contrasty and dupey) in daylight, falling to quite unacceptable where elements are thinly exposed.
Bottom line. It is what it is, and without spending far more than might be worthwhile, will not get any better.
As a film, it’s a superb entertainment, with a great score by David Raksin, offered isolated by Twilight Time.
Image – 2.5
Audio – 4.5
Pass / Fail – Pass
Upgrade from DVD – Yes, with limitations acknowledged