Queenie (miniseries)

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Queenie abc miniseries print ad 1987.jpg
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Directed byLarry Peerce
Produced byJohn Cutts
Screenplay byApril Smith
James Goldman (as Winston Beard)
Based onthe Novel by Michael Korda
StarringMia Sara
Joss Ackland
Sarah Miles
Serena Gordon
Kirk Douglas
Leigh Lawson
Gary Cady
Claire Bloom
Music byGeorges Delerue
CinematographyTony Imi
Edited byMichael Ripps
Eric A. Sears (as Eric Sears)
Distributed byABC
Release date
10 May 1987
Running time
232 mins.

Queenie was a 1987 ABC miniseries based on the eponymous novel by Michael Korda. Winston Beard (a pseudonym for James Goldman) and April Smith adapted the novel for television, with Larry Peerce directing.


In April 1985 Korda published Queenie, a roman à clef about his aunt, actress Merle Oberon, who had married his uncle Alexander Korda. In May 1987, Queenie aired in two parts on ABC.


Queenie Kelley (Oberon had been known earlier in life as "Queenie O'Brien" and "Queenie Thompson") is an extremely beautiful girl of Indian and Irish descent, fair enough to pass for white. Growing up in Calcutta, however, Queenie is made all too aware of her "chee-chee" (mixed) background by her enemies, including wealthy, jaded socialite Penelope Daventry.

One of Daventry's lovers, however, is Queenie's uncle, Morgan Jones. Jones and Queenie steal Daventry's expensive diamond bracelet, pawning it to make their way to England. Lost in London, Queenie finds a career as a stripper, Rani. Later, she makes her way to Hollywood, where she is renamed Dawn Avalon. Avalon becomes one of the biggest stars in Hollywood.


Critical reception[edit]

The New York Times criticized the miniseries for not only being "absurd" but also being politically dated: "Even the details show an insensitivity no longer acceptable in today's global village. Why, for instance, when so many Indian actors have excelled in such productions as A Passage to India and The Jewel in the Crown, do we still have to find Indian characters played by British actors using dark makeup and a singsong accent?"[1]


External links[edit]