There’s no doubt everyone will have their favorite movies and performances from Elizabeth Taylor.
Mine was ” Cat On A Tin Roof “. When Paul Newman died I stated then that I thought both he and Taylor had given their best performances in those roles. The others for me considering I thought Richard Burton was the sexiest man I had ever laid my eyes on was ” The Sandpiper “, then a movie that certainly didn’t set any box offices ablaze but I like off beat lunacy and the 1968 movie “Boom!” that also starred Burton provided me with it.
There are certain lines in movies I never forget even when the movie defines drama I seem to find that one hilarious moment. In Cat On A Tin Roof it was Big Momma’s during one scene when she said:
Calm myself……… How could I calm myself with everyone staring at me as if big …… drops of blood had broken out on my face?
I could see this movie a 1,000 times and when this scene comes up I still die laughing.
Another classic line was from the doctor when Goober asks him isn’t there a pill to make the pain disappear and the Doctor Answers: ” I wish I had a pill to make people disappear “.
Taylor should have won an academy award for best actress for this 1958 movie. It was up for Best Picture, Best Actor (Newman), Best Actress (Taylor), and Best Director (Brooks). The film also received nominations for Best Cinematography, Color (William Daniels), and Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium.
It won nothing.
In 1961 Taylor won best actress for Butterfield 8. In my opinion her performance couldn’t match that of Maggie the Cat.
And in 1966 she won again for Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Again starring with husband Richard Burton. But she refused to even show up or Thank the Academy because she felt they had shunned Burton by not giving him the Oscar for best actor.
In 1968s ” BOOM” it was Noel Coward’s line that had me rolling. ” I’m hearing strange things Sissy, that people can’t sleep here because you’re shouting over loud speakers and pressing buzzers all night long “. LMAO…
This whole movie was a riot, I loved it. Poor Richard Burton was starved half to death throughout the film. Playing the ” Angelo Del Morte ” Angel Of Death who only visits women who are going to die.
In classic Elizabeth form another line spews as Richard Burton having gone swimming nude appears and she shouts PUT YOUR CLOSES ON! but while looking at his private parts utters You’ve Got More Going For You Then Your Teeth, Baby!
Boom was a Movie adapted from a Tennessee Williams play, The Milk Train Doesn’t Stop Here Anymore. Williams was quoted as saying that he thought ” Boom! ” was the best screen version of all his plays.
If you’ve never seen it Rent it. To me it was almost like one of those films you sit through and when it’s over you say to yourself, what in the hell was that all about! LOL … Yet it was entertaining. But then you would have had to like the actors in it. Anything Burton was in captivated my mind.
The actors and actresses during this era possessed the real and honest talent along with the glamor that has been missing from this Industry for years.
Peter Ustinov (L), Shirley Jones, host Bob Hope, and actors Elizabeth Taylor and Burt Lancaster pose with their Oscars at the 33rd Academy Awards held in Santa Monica, California in this April 17, 1961,
Today I cannot think of one that matches the stars of the 40s, 50s, & 60s.
That Hollywood has been long gone and very unfortunate.
The movies didn’t have to be filled with constant expletives and naked bodies as today to get a reaction. On the contrary it was what you didn’t hear or see that left us to our imaginations. And that is what enhanced what we saw on that screen, it let our minds play out the rest. If somebody told me you can only have one TV channel in which to watch, it would be Turner Classic Movies because they just don’t make movies like they used to and sadly never will again.
I don’t believe Taylor was the most beautiful, I still think Sophia Loren reigns in that department. But she definitely ranks among the top 5. What Taylor did have was a pure natural ability to work that camera making her one of the most notable actresses giving the best performances of all time. She managed to capture each character and role she played and make them totally her own. And for that alone her craft and beauty will be very much missed.
And personally I always thought that if Richard Burton had not died in 1984 at some point he and Taylor would have re-married for a third and last time until the end of their lives.
So another spotlight goes out on an iconic legend lost. And Thank God for film that allows their talent to forever remain with us to enjoy. Elizabeth Taylor has left the theater but what she left us with will never ever die.
To me ” The Shadow Of Your Smile ” aka “Love Theme from The Sandpiper” was one of the prettiest compositions ever created.
A Genuine Star of Hollywood’s past. Thank You for what you left us with. Your Unmerciful Talent.