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Top Five Elizabeth Taylor Performances

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53 minutes ago, LawrenceA said:

Unfortunately, I did not. 

One of the things I remember about The Sandpiper was some of the gawd-awful dialogue, eg "He had carnal knowledge of me."

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WHY was there no Eliz. Taylor night the first week of March? I just noticed this.

Never mind! I see they are doing it all in one week! I HATE when they do that. Oddly, her ex, Burton got the same treatment last year.

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6 minutes ago, Thenryb said:

One of the things I remember about The Sandpiper was some of the gawd-awful dialogue, eg "He had carnal knowledge of me."

LOL. Who wrote the screenplay? I've forgotten........

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As much as I love La Liz, it might be easier to choose her five worst performances.  I'd go with The Driver's Seat, Hammersmith is Out, X, Y and Zee, Secret Ceremony, and of course, Cleopatra.  Don't get me wrong, there's something beautiful about Liz when she's awful.  Almost as much so as when she's good.

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I wish I could see Hammersmith is Out and Driver's Seat to judge. Never shown on TCM! :(

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1 hour ago, Hibi said:

LOL. Who wrote the screenplay? I've forgotten........

Per Imdb Martin Ransohoff (story) and Irene Kamp (adaptation). Wikipedia also lists Louis Kamp, Michael Wilson and Dalton Trumbo as screenwriters.

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Yeah, I looked it up later. Too many cooks......

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1 hour ago, alleybj said:

As much as I love La Liz, it might be easier to choose her five worst performances.  I'd go with The Driver's Seat, Hammersmith is Out, X, Y and Zee, Secret Ceremony, and of course, Cleopatra.  Don't get me wrong, there's something beautiful about Liz when she's awful.  Almost as much so as when she's good.

Dont forget BOOM!

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BUtterfield 8

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

National Velvet

Suddenly Last Summer

Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

Next 5 would be: Giant, Reflections in a Golden Eye, The VIPs, Ivanhoe, The Mirror Crack'd (even if Kim Novak overpowers her in their two scenes together...)

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Let's face it, two time Academy Award winner or not, Elizabeth Taylor will always be best remembered for her striking beauty and tabloid fodder lifestyle. When you think of Taylor how soon afterward do you think of Burton?

Having said that I thought she did give two outstanding performances, the same two many others here have already sighted, in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and Cat On A Hot Tin Roof.

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Taylor, reeling from the death of Mike Todd, at a real peak in her career as Maggie the Cat. I never thought she looked lovelier, though this shot in Suddenly Last Summer comes awfully close. This film has my third favourite Taylor performance, by the way.

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I'll admit that Elizabeth Taylor isn't my favorite actress, she seems very up and down for me.  Sometimes she's good and other times, she's meh.  I prefer her adult career over her child one, only because as a child, she seems too overly polite or something.  Not sure how to describe what I'm trying to say, she seems fake.  Though I do like National Velvet.  I saw part of another one of her younger film roles where she sings and it was painful.  I can't even remember what movie it was.  

As a child of the 90s, before I really started getting into old films, I mostly knew Elizabeth Taylor from her "White Diamonds" commercials and her friendship with Michael Jackson.  I also remember hearing about her marriage (and subsequent divorce) from husband #100 in the 1990s as well. Then for years, I kept hearing about how she was in bad health, and then all of a sudden, she would pop up on an award show looking fine.  It was sad when she truly was in bad health, looked feeble and finally passed away. 

Now that I've seen more of Liz's films, I'd say that my favorite performances of hers are:

1) Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.  She's fantastic in this film and deserved to win the Oscar.  I think this is one of her best performances.

2) Suddenly Last Summer.  This film is a little weird, but I enjoy it, and I thought the whole cast: Montgomery Clift, Katharine Hepburn and especially Elizabeth Taylor, did an excellent job with this story.  Lobotomies were a timely topic in the discussion of treating mental health issues in the time that the story takes place.  I believe by the time the 1959 film came out, lobotomies were on their way out. Doctors began to think, "hmm. Maybe removing part of someone's brain isn't a good idea after all." 

3) A Place in the Sun.  She had such great chemistry with Montgomery Clift and it shows in this film.  I loved her as the rich socialite who steals Clift away from Shelley "Keep me away from the water" Winters who is carrying Clift's child.  

4) National Velvet.  Probably the only child-Elizabeth Taylor movie I like, but I thought she was great here and even Mickey Rooney didn't annoy me.  Child-Elizabeth Taylor is probably the best part of Little Women (1949) as well. 

5) Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Even though I'm not a big fan of Burton (much like Laurence Olivier, I think he's better suited for the stage and not for the screen.  Burton and Olivier are just too much).  I really liked this movie, despite Sandy Dennis, and despite the fact that Burton and Taylor basically spend the whole film screaming at one another.  And much like Dennis and husband George Segal, you want to look away, you want to leave, but can't.  It's a trainwreck and morbid curiosity makes you want to see how it's going to end.  My favorite part is when they go to to the bar and Liz forces Segal to dance with her.

 

Has anyone read Furious Love about Burton and Taylor? I picked up the book at a used book sale awhile back, but I haven't read it yet.

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And, although I have not seen it yet, I am rather intrigued by the sounds of The Only Game in Town, which stars her with Warren Beatty and was the final effort of George Stevens. It airs late Friday night.

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13 hours ago, laffite said:

If you have a fine performance but it is overshadowed by others in the cast, then it doesn't count---according to some.

And of counting or not, does anyone think that Life With Father counts? I don't have a top five---at least at the moment---but if and when I do it's unlikely that LWF will make the cut, but she was pretty good in that. Or was that just fluff?

She's fluff in LIFE WITH FATHER but that's OK - William Powell and Irene Dunne are the stars of that delightful film and she's not going to outshine either of them.

She's pretty good in NATIONAL VELVET and FATHER OF THE BRIDE.  She is absolutely gorgeous in A PLACE IN THE SUN and starting to really show some acting maturity.  i love, love that white dress - a timeless design.

Her brows go well with her eyes.  I think she's very good in GIANT.

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Some cite "GIANT" as her best work, but I gotta' go with "Virginia Woolf?"

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9 hours ago, speedracer5 said:

I'll admit that Elizabeth Taylor isn't my favorite actress, she seems very up and down for me.  Sometimes she's good and other times, she's meh.  I prefer her adult career over her child one, only because as a child, she seems too overly polite or something.  Not sure how to describe what I'm trying to say, she seems fake.  Though I do like National Velvet.  I saw part of another one of her younger film roles where she sings and it was painful.  I can't even remember what movie it was.  

As a child of the 90s, before I really started getting into old films, I mostly knew Elizabeth Taylor from her "White Diamonds" commercials and her friendship with Michael Jackson.  I also remember hearing about her marriage (and subsequent divorce) from husband #100 in the 1990s as well. Then for years, I kept hearing about how she was in bad health, and then all of a sudden, she would pop up on an award show looking fine.  It was sad when she truly was in bad health, looked feeble and finally passed away. 

Now that I've seen more of Liz's films, I'd say that my favorite performances of hers are:

1) Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.  She's fantastic in this film and deserved to win the Oscar.  I think this is one of her best performances.

2) Suddenly Last Summer.  This film is a little weird, but I enjoy it, and I thought the whole cast: Montgomery Clift, Katharine Hepburn and especially Elizabeth Taylor, did an excellent job with this story.  Lobotomies were a timely topic in the discussion of treating mental health issues in the time that the story takes place.  I believe by the time the 1959 film came out, lobotomies were on their way out. Doctors began to think, "hmm. Maybe removing part of someone's brain isn't a good idea after all." 

3) A Place in the Sun.  She had such great chemistry with Montgomery Clift and it shows in this film.  I loved her as the rich socialite who steals Clift away from Shelley "Keep me away from the water" Winters who is carrying Clift's child.  

4) National Velvet.  Probably the only child-Elizabeth Taylor movie I like, but I thought she was great here and even Mickey Rooney didn't annoy me.  Child-Elizabeth Taylor is probably the best part of Little Women (1949) as well. 

5) Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Even though I'm not a big fan of Burton (much like Laurence Olivier, I think he's better suited for the stage and not for the screen.  Burton and Olivier are just too much).  I really liked this movie, despite Sandy Dennis, and despite the fact that Burton and Taylor basically spend the whole film screaming at one another.  And much like Dennis and husband George Segal, you want to look away, you want to leave, but can't.  It's a trainwreck and morbid curiosity makes you want to see how it's going to end.  My favorite part is when they go to to the bar and Liz forces Segal to dance with her.

 

Has anyone read Furious Love about Burton and Taylor? I picked up the book at a used book sale awhile back, but I haven't read it yet.

Ever see the remakes pf "Cat...?"

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Originally Ava's role in "Night of the Iguana" was meant for her

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10 hours ago, CinemaInternational said:

And, although I have not seen it yet, I am rather intrigued by the sounds of The Only Game in Town, which stars her with Warren Beatty and was the final effort of George Stevens. It airs late Friday night.

Looking forward to seeing that, as I've never seen it. It was a box office and critical flop at the time, but I'm hoping I might like it........It was set in Las Vegas, but except for a few exteriors it was all filmed in Paris studios due to tax reasons (hers).

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4 hours ago, spence said:

Some cite "GIANT" as her best work, but I gotta' go with "Virginia Woolf?"

I think Liz is very good in Giant,  but  I still view the film as only so-so. 

 

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30 minutes ago, jamesjazzguitar said:

I think Liz is very good in Giant,  but  I still view the film as only so-so. 

It's too long. Too "epic."

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18 hours ago, TomJH said:

Let's face it, two time Academy Award winner or not, Elizabeth Taylor will always be best remembered for her striking beauty and tabloid fodder lifestyle. When you think of Taylor how soon afterward do you think of Burton?

Having said that I thought she did give two outstanding performances, the same two many others here have already sighted, in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and Cat On A Hot Tin Roof.

00efa8d629c6f1268929e167e938a1bf.jpg

Taylor, reeling from the death of Mike Todd, at a real peak in her career as Maggie the Cat. I never thought she looked lovelier, though this shot in Suddenly Last Summer comes awfully close. This film has my third favourite Taylor performance, by the way.

rs-106958-ac48a845861cc05ac7b0b35ebd80fa

But that pic on the right is from Butterfield 8........

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3 hours ago, jamesjazzguitar said:

I think Liz is very good in Giant,  but  I still view the film as only so-so. 

 

My sentiments exactly. She gives a great performance in it, but the film itself doesn't quite live up to its reputation for me.

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I agree with your Top 5 plus Raintree County.  She should have gotten an Oscar nod, in my opinion, for Giant.  It's my favorite actresses' performance and my top film of 1956.  Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf is clearly her masterpiece.  She's my 6th favorite all time actress.

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If I say Taylor's greatest performance was in National Velvet, would TCM Canada actually show it?

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I like the ones where she wears her hair long. I can't stand it when she had that short hair style in the 60s movies. What a terrible style. :( 

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I agree.  Seems many of her movies in that period were mostly showcases for her latest hairstyle and to show off her wardrobe.  I place THE VIPs in that category. 

Sepiatone

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