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After his teenage daughter Danny is arrested for the murder of his ex-wife's current lover, Luke Miller recalls his marriage to Valerie Hayden and the subsequent events which led to the tragedy. The lurid story seems to have been suggested by the real-life Lana Turner/Johnny Stompanato/Cheryl Crane murder scandal of six years earlier when Lana's daughter Cheryl stabbed her mother's boyfriend (Stompanato) to death in the bedroom of Lana's Beverly Hills home.Written by
During lengthy flashback sequence taking place 20 years earlier, none of the three leading characters look any younger than they do in present-day story set in 1964 nor do their Edith Head designed clothes or hairstyles reflect styles of two decades in the past. See more »
The team of Paramount Pictures, author Harold Robbins, and director Edward Dmytryk scored a big box office success with The Carpetbaggers in 1964 at the box office and so Paramount decided to keep the team going and adapted another of Robbins's novels for the big screen, Where Love Has Gone.
Unlike The Carpetbaggers which employed a bunch of old Hollywood names for a story about an older era of Hollywood, this film was located in San Francisco. But the story is unmistakably modeled on the infamous Johnny Stompanato murder from 1958 where Lana Turner's daughter Cheryl Crane killed her mother's mobster boyfriend with a butcher knife. Although our protagonist here is a sculptress, no mistaking where Harold Robbins got his plot from.
Sculptress Susan Hayward the daughter of wealthy San Francisco dowager Bette Davis has her live-in boyfriend killed in front of her by her daughter Joey Heatherton. The boyfriend of Hayward who was living with both of them was also doing both of them. He was on the books as Hayward's manager, but he was better at double entry housekeeping than double entry bookkeeping. The arrest is a scandal and the family gathers to protect Heatherton, a call goes out to Phoenix, Arizona where her father Michael Connors has been living for years out there making a success at his profession of architecture. Lawyer George MacReady wants to see a supportive family in the picture.
It's a pretty sordid story and Where Love Has Gone has a long flashback detailing the marriage of Hayward and Connors and the constant meddling of Davis in their lives. He took to drink and she went back to her former hobby of promiscuity.
The story sticks pretty close to the events as unfolded in the Stompanato homicide, but the ending that Harold Robbins has for his characters is all his own.
The main attraction of Where Love Has Gone is the one and only teaming of screen divas Bette Davis and Susan Hayward. In fact way back when Hayward had a small bit in Davis's film The Sisters, but now they were both legends. And like David and that other legend Joan Crawford, she and Hayward didn't become bosom buddies and there were some flareups according to books about both actresses, but nothing on the line of the grand feuds that Davis had with such folks as Joan Crawford and Miriam Hopkins back in the day.
As for Lana Turner she remained closemouthed about the book and movie of Where Love Has Gone, but you have to believe there were some hurt feelings there.
Where Love Is Gone is trash, it doesn't pretend to be anything else. And the chance to see Hayward and Davis sharing a screen and spitting fire should not be missed.
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