Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments

Darling (1965)


Written by Tim Dirks

Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions
Darling (1965, UK)

In director John Schlesinger's shocking and cutting edge film in its day with scenes involving loose sexuality, betrayal, bisexuality/transvestism, serial bed-hopping and infidelity, age difference, pregnancy and abortion:

  • in a flashbacked life story titled "My Story" told (in partial voice-over) during an interview for an article being prepared for IDEAL WOMAN, a women's magazine, jet-setting Italian princess Diana Scott (Best Actress Oscar-winning Julie Christie) described how she had an upper middle-class upbringing, and grew up spoiled because she was always considered a beautiful "darling." She was currently living at an Italian villa after marrying a prince. When she was younger, she had a failed marriage, various sex partners and a number of affairs:
  • earlier in her life in the 1960s, the carefree, hedonistic London Swinging 60s amoral fashion model and playgirl Diana was first discovered on the street by a TV reporter. The cool, emancipated beauty was involved in a failing marriage to immature Tony Bridges (Trevor Rowen). He sought an official divorce in the midst of her infidelities. She became involved in affairs or flirtatious flings with two older men, one of whom was the TV reporter:
    • Robert Gold (Dirk Bogarde) - a married, cultured, hard-working television journalist
    • Miles Brand (Laurence Harvey) - a dissolute public-relations agent, advertising executive and well-connected playboy
Beginnings of an Affair with Robert - Sleeping Together in Hotel Room
  • during Diana's secretive affair with Robert, they arranged to book a hotel room together. She felt breaking up his family was "repellent," although she went ahead with it. She pondered: "It should be so easy to be happy, shouldn’t it?" He told her before they had sex: "It's the first time I've felt real for a long time." Robert left his wife Estelle (Pauline Yates) and children and moved into a London apartment with her to live together for some time. After awhile, Diana became enamoured with Miles Brand, who first discovered her and named her the "Honeyglow" Girl. He helped her to get an audition with the Glass Corporation, and she was selected to play the title role in a trashy B-horror film titled Jacqueline.
  • while she was involved with Miles Brand, Diana became pregnant with Robert's child - and quickly decided to abort: ("I realized it was going to be the ruination of my career, messing up people's lives: you know, mine, Robert's, everybodys. I just began to realize I couldn't go through with it"). Rather than return to the apartment with Robert, she separated from him briefly while recuperating in the country with relatives, and then returned to him, due to boredom. But the vain, narcissistic and self-centered Diana also found herself unfulfilled in her relationship with the detached and depressed workaholic Robert. She told him: "I don't want anything to do with sex again as long as I live."
  • to relieve her boredom, Diana left the apartment when Robert expressed how he didn't want to be distracted from his work. She looked up playboyish Miles and promptly had sex with him in his apartment (although appeared to take discomfort as he performed oral sex on her). Juxtaposed to her slight distaste was her overdue car parking meter outside registering "EXCESS CHARGE" and "PENALTY." Upon her return, she lied to Robert about how her car was towed away, causing her delay.
An Implied Scene of Oral Sex with Miles
  • soon after, she accompanied Miles as a jet-setter to Paris for one of his wild decadent parties with his weird and slightly repellent transvestite cross-dressing friends (the participants played a wild strip-dance "truth game" - dancing in a circle in the light of a projector, while disrobing).
  • When she returned to London, possessively-jealous Robert was angered by her lying and infidelity, and told her in the film's most famous line: "Your idea of fidelity is not having more than one man in the bed at the same time. You're a whore, baby, that's all. Just a whore."
  • he also insultingly demeaned her: "You bitch, you filthy little bitch!...I have every right to call you everything." She shouted back that he didn't have any rights over her, since they weren't married. He retorted that she was "trivial and shallow." She admitted: "I've stuck it out just about as long as I can," and he quipped: "And yes, just about as often as you can." She claimed she felt like a prisoner in the apartment, and also violated when he spied on her goings-on. Shortly later, he packed a few things and walked out on her. Diana was not emotionally prepared for Robert to break up with her and move out.

Robert to Diana: "You're a whore, baby..."

"You bitch, you filthy little bitch"

The Ultimate Break-Up
  • she platonically partnered with homosexual photographer Malcolm (Roland Curram), becoming the "Happiness Girl" - promoted by Miles for a Glass Corp. advertising campaign for a chocolate company. Soon, she was traveling to Italy, filming candy company commercials at the villa (palazzo) of refined Italian widower Prince Cesare Della Romita (José-Luis de Vilallonga), a rich yacht owner with seven children.

Platonic Relationship with Malcolm

In Italy

With Prince Cesare
  • during her stay in Italy, she went on a brief holiday to Capri with Malcolm, and cautioned him after they both glanced at a handsome male waiter at an outdoor cafe: "We are not complicating our holiday with any disgusting sexcapades." She also confided in Malcolm: "I could do without sex. Don't really like it that much. If I could just feel - complete." However, they both had separate one-night flings with the waiter who picked each of them up on his Vespa. While on vacation at Capri, the widowed Prince arrived on his yacht and vainly proposed marriage to her, but she declined ("I can't give up my life").
  • after her return to London, she quickly became disillusioned by her past life there - she broke her sleazy association with the promiscuous Miles and his friends (after calling him a "bastard" and telling him: "I just hate your guts"). She also insulted him as "impotent in every way except in bed." In the middle of things, Robert arrived to see Diana at an inopportune time and left ("If only Robert had come a half hour later" - she mused). She backtracked and decided to accept the Prince's marriage proposal. She became a "NEW ENGLISH PRINCESS" - but it was ultimately an unfortunate decision.
  • after her marriage, the Prince announced a banking-related business trip to Rome (he would stop to see his mother the night before - a mistress perhaps), and she felt abandoned and alone. She found her loveless, affluent and lonely married life in his vast villa utterly boring and frustrating - she walked through the many rooms of the palazzo to her bedroom, tossing off her clothes and stripping as she went (viewed nude from the backside), and unhappily threw herself bare-naked on her bed. [Note: It was the first Oscar-winning performance for an actress that included a nude scene.]
Married to an Italian Prince

Diana's Nude Backside

Alone and Abandoned

Frustrated, and Throwing Herself Naked on Bed
  • Diana contacted Robert and returned to London one last time to sleep with the "easily seduced" love of her life. She fancifully told him after love-making: "It's a miracle. We're still a couple...Thank God it's never too late. Two people really belong to each other. Doesn't matter what happens...We both learned our lesson and won't make any more mistakes. I know we can be so happy."

"We're still a couple"
Returning to London Briefly to Reunite with Robert - A Failed Endeavor
  • she proposed moving to the country to reestablish themselves. But he dashed her dreams of reuniting - and admitted it was slight revenge for the past: "We're not going back to anything, you know. This was just for old times' sake." He rejected her profession of love and her request for "one more chance." He phoned to purchase a ticket to Rome for her that afternoon, insisting: "You are going back to Rome." They exchanged accusations: Diana: "You used me." Robert: "You used me. It's a moot point."
  • she begged him to reconsider and vowed her love for him, but he was indifferent to her entreaties to just spend a week together as a trial. As he drove her back to the airport to return to her life as a Princess in Rome, she half-heartedly threatened to commit suicide by throwing herself from the moving car: "If I can't be with you, I don't want to be alive," but then, she resumed her princessly-duties upon arrival at the airport and afterwards. Robert watched her from an observational walkway as she posed and smiled for cameras before boarding her plane back to Rome.
  • the film ironically ended with a return to the film's beginning - her life story on the cover of IDEAL WOMAN magazine, seen on sale at corner news-stands in London

"My Story" An Interview: For 'Ideal Woman' Magazine

Street Interview with TV Reporter Robert Gold (Dirk Bogarde)

Diana's Early Failing Marriage to Young and Immature Tony Bridges - Ending in Divorce

With Playboyish PR Agent Miles Brand (Laurence Harvey)

Movie Role: Jacqueline

Recuperating From Out-of-Wedlock Pregnancy and Abortion

Diana Bored After Returning to Apartment and Detached Workaholic Robert

Diana's Participation in Decadent Strip-Dance Party Game with Cross-Dressing Males in Paris

Kissing Miles During Party in Paris

Diana as the "Happiness Girl" with Photographer Malcolm (Roland Curram)

To Malcolm - Diana Admitted About Sex: "Don't really like it that much."

Marriage Proposal from the Prince

Saying Goodbye to the Prince After Declining Marriage

New English Princess

Threatening Suicide on the Way to the Airport with Robert

End of Flashback - Cover Story for IDEAL WOMAN


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