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Darling Lili

Darling Lili

3.0 3
Director: Blake Edwards,

Cast: Blake Edwards, Julie Andrews, Rock Hudson, Jeremy Kemp

Julie Andrews made a bid to change her squeaky clean image with this elaborately mounted World War I musical. Lili Smith (Andrews) is a popular British music hall singer who is regarded as a femme fatale and has been known to throw a bit of striptease into her act. However, Lili has a secret: she's actually a German spy, and the uncle she dotes upon is really Von


Julie Andrews made a bid to change her squeaky clean image with this elaborately mounted World War I musical. Lili Smith (Andrews) is a popular British music hall singer who is regarded as a femme fatale and has been known to throw a bit of striptease into her act. However, Lili has a secret: she's actually a German spy, and the uncle she dotes upon is really Von Ruger (Jeremy Kemp), a fellow espionage agent and her contact for the Huns. In hopes of gaining valuable information, Lili begins using her feminine wiles on Maj. William Larrabee (Rock Hudson), a top American pilot. However, Lili soon discovers that she's falling in love with Larrabee and can't find the courage to betray him; Larrabee discovers Lili's secret, but he refuses to turn her in. Darling Lili was a notorious box-office disappointment, grossing a mere $5 million on a budget that rose to $25 million due to a variety of production mishaps. Director Blake Edwards (Andrews' husband) was stung by the poor reception, and he later trimmed the 136-minute film to 114 minutes, downplaying its comic elements in favor of a more serious tone.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
Filmmaker Blake Edwards spent a fortune on this opulent World War I epic designed from the first to showcase his talented wife, Julie Andrews. When released in 1970 it was a huge box-office flop, at least partially because it seemed like an unfocused conglomeration of comedy, melodrama, musical, adventure, and war film. Despite lush production values and the best efforts of Andrews, leading man Rock Hudson, and a good supporting cast, Lili came off as a hodgepodge with terrific individual sequences but no real cohesion. Today it’s less of a disappointment and, despite being at least 20 minutes too long, comes off rather well. Andrews does right by her role as a Mata Hari-like spy, performing songs written by Johnny Mercer and Henry Mancini when she’s not trying to elicit secret war plans from American air-squadron commander Hudson, who learns that she’s a spy but loves her anyway. Made at a time when the Hollywood musical was in its death throes, Darling Lili constitutes the last gasp of an expiring genre -- but offers lots of campy fun in spite of that.
All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
Judging from the initial reception afforded Darling Lili, one would have thought Blake Edwards and Julie Andrews had committed a horrible crime by foisting this movie upon the public. Time has helped to correct that judgment, and Lili can now be seen for what it really is: an unfocused and overproduced film with enough assets to make it an entertaining way to spend an evening. Edwards's screenplay is the chief villain; it is a mish-mash of genres -- comedy, drama, spoof, musical, spy film, adventure, epic -- that tries so hard to be faithful to each genre that it never develops a consistency or personality. The changes in tone are frustrating and damage the film, but not fatally, and the film does raise some moral issues which it handles surprisingly well. More importantly, the film showcases Julie Andrews's many talents, allowing her to play a more complicated character than in many of her previous roles while still giving her the chance to let loose with a song in the manner that is uniquely hers. Her performance of "Whistling in the Dark" is especially memorable. There's little chemistry between Andrews and Rock Hudson (whose performance is only adequate), but there's good support from Jeremy Kemp. Edwards's camerawork is exciting (especially in the aerial sequences), and the costumes are period perfect. Lili has been shown in several different forms, each of a different length; the "director's cut" version is the most consistent, stylistically.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
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Special Features

Closed Caption; 19 additional scenes; Theatrical trailer; Widescreen version enhanced for 16:9 tvs; Dolby Digital - English 5.1 Surround - English 2.0 Surround; English Subtitles

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Julie Andrews Lili Smith
Rock Hudson Maj. William Larrabee
Jeremy Kemp Von Ruger
Lance Percival Lt. Carstairs, TC
Mike Witney Youngblood Carson
Jacques Marin Duvalle
Andre Maranne Lt. Liggett
Gloria Paul Crepe Suzette
Bernard Kay Bedford
Doreen Keogh Emma
Carl Duering Gen. Kessler
Vernon Dobtcheff Kraus
Ingo Mogendorf Baron von Richthofen, the Red Baron
Laurie Main French General
Louis Mercier French General
James Lanphier Actor
Niall MacGinnis von Hindenberg

Technical Credits
Blake Edwards Director,Producer,Screenwriter
Reg Allen Set Decoration/Design
Jack Bear Costumes/Costume Designer
William Peter Blatty Screenwriter
Donald Brooks Costumes/Costume Designer
Willard Buell Makeup
Fernando Carrere Production Designer
Owen Crump Producer
Linwood G. Dunn Special Effects
VanDer Veer Photo Effects Special Effects
Russell Harlan Cinematographer
Henry Mancini Score Composer
Mickey McCardle Asst. Director
Johnny Mercer Score Composer
Hermes Pan Choreography
Bob Peterson Special Effects
Lynn Reynolds Makeup
Allan Snyder Makeup
Anthony Squire Cinematographer
Jack Stephens Set Decoration/Design
Guy Tabary Cinematographer
Ken Wales Producer
Rex Wimpy Special Effects
Peter Zinner Editor

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Darling Lili
1. Overture [5:02]
2. Sing the Shadows Away [1:09]
3. Keep Your Eyes Open [1:35]
4. Project Sparrow [5:46]
5. No Man's Land [:28]
6. Purely Inspirational [2:29]
7. How Do You Do? [:33]
8. Watch, Listen, Report [:35]
9. Operation Crepe Suzette [:42]
10. Suspicions [:31]
11. Get Out of My Shower [14:53]
12. Behind Enemy Lines [4:30]
13. Good-Will Ambassador [3:00]
14. Believe It or Not [:48]
15. Military Arrest [1:26]
16. Eliminate Her [:18]
17. If He Really Loves You [2:01]
18. Notorious Spy Sings [1:08]
19. Exit Music [6:35]


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Darling Lili 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Darling Lili is a good picture. It has everything you could want. Music, Comedy and in some places Drama. I don't think you will be disappointed. I enjoyed this film immensley
Guest More than 1 year ago
&quot Our Julie&quot , as always, is superb in this film. The main trouble is that it can't decide whether it is a funny spy spoof, a musical, or a rather pedestrian love story. When the comedy and music are present, it wins. This is Blake Edwards &quot director's cut&quot with some of the music and fun left as outtakes in the Bonus Features section.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was dissapointed in this film. For one thing, they gave it a G-rating but there were several adult sexual elements in the film that deserved a PG-13 rating. The storyline sort of dragged with so much love-making between Julie Andrews and Rock Hudson that there was little time for an interesting story. Andrews dissapointed me with some of her film choices--like Victor Victoria--and though I will ever like her for the Sound of Music, I'm afraid this film should have been sent back to the archives.