Elizabeth Taylor and good movies

Did she ever make one as a star?

And I don’t mean did she ever participate in good movies. I don’t mean she was no a talented actress. She was. She was also one of the most beautiful actresses that ever graced the screen.

What I mean is did she, as an adult, make a movie that you want to watch again and again with her as the star.

I like “Giant.” I like “A Place in the Sun,” but I’m not sure she was the featured draw in those movies.

I know she was acclaimed and awarded for “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,” “Butterfield 8” and Virginia Woolf, but who wants to watch those time and again?

Just asking.

She co starred with Robert Taylor in Ivanhoe, and I watch it again and again.
Certain Norman Knights!
:slight_smile:

I’ve enjoyed Virginia Woolf and Cleopatra several times. Actually, I’m pretty much down to watch those any time.

Liz was one of the last Hollywood actors to have that sultry Mid-Atlantic accent. She had great chemistry with Richard Burton!

Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf was her high point as an actress and star; her later films were generally lousy. I think her star persona overwhelmed her and made it impossible for her to find roles; she was so larger than life that she didn’t look right. She also had trouble identifying good projects.

It may have been Cleopatra that ruined her. She didn’t want to play the role at all and when she was asked about it, she facetiously told her agent, “I’ll do it for a million dollars” (an unprecedented amount back then). When the producers agree to pay her that, she was committed.

And once she was able to command a high fee like that, she was locked into big budget projects. Because she was paid so much, other things had to be scrimped on – things like the script. With no special effects to fall back on (how a big budget film with a terrible script survives these days), the films flopped.

She was great in A Place in the Sun, though.

Well, I hated Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, and that’s the only thing I’ve really seen her in. I guess I’ll have to give A Place in the Sun a try.

I like Taming of the Shrew a lot.

…Virginia Woolf was probably her greatest role but the film isn’t on anybody’s list of Feel Good Films You Watch Again & Again. She did quite well in other films–even ones not Destined For Greatness (like Ivanhoe.)

And I hadn’t realized how she priced herself out of many films after Cleopatra.

My personal favorite of her movies after A Place in the Sun would have to be Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, and I can’t accept the ratings of the movies to apply to her performances in the ones listed at Filmography by rating for Elizabeth Taylor.

But I must submit for its trivia value the fact that both Liz and Sophia had uncredited roles in Quo Vadis (1951) and I’ve got to mention the bathing suit in Suddenly, Last Summer and the music in The Sandpiper.

Looking at her IMDB page, it seems that her movie career pretty much evaporated after 1979. In the past 30 years she only had two theatrically-released feature films to her name, “Young Toscanini” and “The Flinstones.”

OK, I know you asked about “good” movies, but I’ll just toss out one bad movie that’s a curiosity:

Once when I was watching late-night weekend movies in the late 1970s, one came on that featured Liz. I didn’t catch the name, but it struck me as just kinda weird. Twenty years later I find the title, and also find that it had not been released upon any home video format at that time. However, some years later it was, and 35 years later, I was finally able to see Boom! (1968). This was apparently based on a seldom-seen Tennessee Williams play. If it follows the movie closely, it’s not a big loss.

If you really want to test that theory, try your hand at http://www.sporcle.com/games/Aqquila89/elizabeth_taylor_movies

I didn’t bother with the clues given, just ran through my mental list. I got fewer than half of them, mostly from the 50’s and 60’s, and still scored in the 95th Percentile!! Liz did some forgettable acting, and that’s for sure.

One of my favorite movies as a kid!!! It should be required viewing for anyone who wants to have led a full life. :smiley:

I don’t think any of her adult roles were in feel-good films. She leaned toward heavy (and often pretentious) drama. After Virginia Woolf, she just never had anything that worked out, and budget became an issue, both due to her salary and her health (she was often sick, delaying production).

The Hollywood Hall of Shame had a section called “The Elizabeth Tayor Wing” for her tendency to star in high-budget flops (they listed Cleopatra, Boom! and The Only Game in Town for full reviews).

I doubt you’ll regret it. Really a fine film. It’s Monty Clift’s movie, of course, but LIz shines so brightly and is so lovely … you have no trouble believing Monty would do the things he does, because he’d end up with her.

Speaking of The Only Game In Town … wasn’t that with Beatty? And didn’t they basically build a Las Vegas set in Paris, of all places, because that’s where Liz insisted they shoot the film? No wonder it cost so much.

Yep. There’s no movie I’d watch just for Liz, not like I watch for Bette Davis and Paul Newman. I think any movie she was in would have been just as well served with a different gorgeous actress. (Except for Virginia Woolf.)

But I’m so entranced with her looks, I don’t pay attention to her acting. :slight_smile:

I just adored her in Taming of the Shrew, didn’t much like her other movies. The chemistry between her and Burton just made Shrew fantastic.

Yes. Directors were crazy to get Liz and were willing to go crazy just to get her. Since she was a star, they accommodated her whims (in this case, she didn’t want to leave Burton, who was shooting a movie there). That wouldn’t have been so bad, except that she got sick and needed an emergency hysterectomy, shutting down production until she recovered. The delay allowed her original co-star – Frank Sinatra – to back out. Beatty was a last-minute replacement. The film cost an estimated $11 million and only earned back $1.5 million.

I’d rather see Sinatra than Beatty in a film…am I an old guy?