Daisy Miller (1974): Bogdanovich Artistic and Commercial Flop

A huge artistic and commercial flop.

Peter Bogdanovich’s version of Henry James’ famous novel is most disappointing, not least because of the casting of Cybill Shepard (the director’s girlfriend at the time) in the lead.

At the center of the tale is a naïve, yet independent American girl whose encounter with nineteenth century Europe proves challenging and then disastrous.

The supporting cast is much better, with good work from such vets as Cloris Leachman, Mildred Natwick, and Eileen Brennan (some of whom had worked with Bogdanovich on his 1971 masterpiece, “The Last picture Show”).

Lavishly mounted, the production gets a nice look from art director Ferdinando Scarfiotti and costumes by John Furness, who was nominated for an Oscar (see below).

 

Oscar Nominations: 1

 

Costume Design: John Furness

 

Oscar Awards: None

 

Oscar Context:

 

The winner was Theoni V. Aldredge for “The Great Gatsby,” also a bad adaptation of a famous literary source, directed by Jack Clayton.

Paramount Release (Directors Company production)