Grace Kelly: Lost Tapes of a Princess, review: you won't find the truth behind the fairy tale here
Grace Kelly was featured in footage from the Family Archives - Channel 4
"You won't be able to take your eyes off the radiant beauty of Grace Kelly," Rear Window advertised in 1954 and, boy, were they right. It was a feeling that ran through Grace Kelly: Lost Tapes of a Princess (Channel 4). Whether in home theater footage or archive news, she was breathtaking.
We know the Grace Kelly story: born into a gifted family with a father who made high demands on her - he was a three-time Olympic champion - and found her desirable; the Oscar-winning film career; Then she turned her back on Hollywood at the height of her fame at the age of just 26 to marry Prince Rainier of Monaco. The documentary began with a newsreel in which she set off for Europe from New York, with thousands of fans queuing to wave goodbye.
Other films have tried to look under the fairytale glow. In a Channel 5 documentary earlier this year, she claimed she paid $ 1 million of her own savings as a dowry to the Grimaldi House and had dropped to her last $ 10,000 when she died. A 2014 biopic (admittedly a terrible one) starring Nicole Kidman featured an unflattering portrait of Rainier. And there have been rumors for decades that the marriage was unhappy.
All of this helps to explain the existence of the Lost Tapes, as it was an airbrush production that was officially approved. Kelly's son, Prince Albert, gave the filmmakers access to the family archives and their childhood home in Philadelphia (which he now owns). It suggested that Kelly was a complex character and made certain sacrifices. But it insisted that she was satisfied, apart from the discomfort of being scrutinized so closely by the media.
As extraordinary as it sounded, the film stated that 1,800 journalists were in attendance at their wedding. The Duchess of Cambridge famously copied Kelly's wedding dress, and the idea of an actress marrying into royalty was reminiscent of a specific California-based couple, but the strongest parallels were with Diana, Princess of Wales.
Any dissatisfaction was only touched upon briefly, for example when Kelly's cancellation of a comeback role in Hitchcock's Marnie: "She realized very quickly that this was not really compatible with her role and her duties here," said Albert, and that was it. We were told that sometimes "fatigue" overwhelms them, but that was not explained: Depression? Or just the stress of your role? The film blamed every misfortune at her father's door.
The story was strangely stilted. But Kelly looked happy in the home videos. And couldn't you contemplate her loveliness all day?
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