Original film poster
|Directed by||David Miller|
|Produced by||Edwin H. Knopf|
|Written by||Christopher Isherwood
Sir Cedric Hardwicke
|Music by||Miklós Rózsa|
|Cinematography||Robert H. Planck|
|Edited by||John McSweeney Jr|
|Distributed by||MGM (1956, original) Warner Bros. (2013, DVD)|
Diane is a 1956 American historical film drama about the life of Diane de Poitiers, distributed by MGM, directed by David Miller, and produced by Edwin H. Knopf from a screenplay by Christopher Isherwood based on a story by John Erskine. The music score was composed by Miklós Rózsa, and Robert H. Planck was the cinematographer, who filmed in CinemaScope and Eastmancolor. The exceptionally lavish costumes were designed by Walter Plunkett.
The film stars Lana Turner, Pedro Armendáriz, Roger Moore, and Marisa Pavan, and features Sir Cedric Hardwicke, Torin Thatcher, Taina Elg, John Lupton, Henry Daniell, Melville Cooper and an early film appearance by Stuart Whitman. It was Turner's last film under her longtime MGM contract and thus marked another stage in the decline of the studio star system.
The action is set in 16th-century France.
Diane de Poitiers (Lana Turner) becomes the mistress of Prince Henri (Roger Moore), second in line to the throne. Their liaison continues through Henri's arranged marriage to the Italian Catherine de' Medici (Marisa Pavan). Unknown to Catherine, her Medici relations arrange the death of the Dauphin and Henri's ascent to the throne as King Henry II. The antagonism of the two women, abetted by Medici scheming, eventually results in the death of Henri. Catherine, now ruling as regent for her three young sons, banishes Diane but spares her rival's life in a gesture of mutual respect.
- Lana Turner - Diane de Poitiers
- Pedro Armendáriz - King Francis I of France
- Roger Moore - Prince Henri (later King Henry II)
- Marisa Pavan - Catherine de' Medici
- Sir Cedric Hardwicke - Ruggieri
- Torin Thatcher - Count de Brèze
- Taina Elg - Alys
- John Lupton - Regnault
- Henry Daniell - Gondi
- Ronald Green - The Dauphin
- Sean McClory - Count Montgomery
- Geoffrey Toone - Duke of Savoy
- Michael Ansara - Count Ridolfi
- Melville Cooper - Court Physician
The film was an expensive failure at the box office - according to MGM records it made only $461,000 in the US and Canada and $771,000 elsewhere resulting in a loss of $2,660,000. Christopher Isherwood deplored the treatment of his screenplay, attributing the problems to interventions by the leading lady. Miklós Rózsa created an arrangement of his music called "Beauty and Grace," and his score has been issued on compact discs by Film Score Monthly.
Diane was released to DVD by Warner Home Video on May 28, 2013 via the Warner Archive DVD-on-demand service.
- The Eddie Mannix Ledger, Los Angeles: Margaret Herrick Library, Center for Motion Picture Study.