Original Australian Daybill Movie Poster Darker Than Amber
Darker Than Amber is a 1970 film adaptation of John D. MacDonald's mystery/suspense novel, Darker Than Amber. It was directed by Robert Clouse from a screenplay by MacDonald and Ed Waters. The film starred Rod Taylor as Travis McGee, the protagonist of a series of successful novels by MacDonald. Other actors considered for the role of Travis McGee were Jack Lord and Robert Culp. John D. MacDonald pushed for Steve McQueen or Vic Morrow. Darker Than Amber and The Empty Copper Sea (adapted as the film Travis McGee (1983) starring Sam Elliott) remain the only McGee novels adapted to the big screen as of 2017. The film also marked the final onscreen appearance of actress Jane Russell prior to her death in 2011, with the exception of a documentary appearance in 2007. Critical reception to Darker Than Amber was positive. The film was considered graphically violent for its time, especially the fist fight scene that ends the film. Darker Than Amber now enjoys a cult following due to its scarcity. It is almost never shown on broadcast or on cable TV.