Det Jim McLeod

Top Five Elizabeth Taylor Performances

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She is the star of the month so I thought we could discuss what you think are her best performances. Here's what I think:

1. Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf-She really gives it her all in this brilliant version of the play. She is totally believable as the strident acid tongued wife of a tortured college professor. She won a well deserved Oscar for this.

2. Giant- an excellent performance and showed what she can really do with a great role. She is the outspoken woman in a time and place where that was frowned upon. And it takes her through decades of aging and it still works.

3. Suddenly Last Summer-as the mentally fragile woman with secrets, she has some devastating scenes at the end. Plus she looks ravishing even in the black and white photography.

4. Cat On A Hot Tin Roof- she goes toe to toe with Paul Newman and matches him in every scene as the love starved Maggie the Cat.

5. A Place In The Sun-She has many touching moments as the sweet rich girl and has magical chemistry with Montgomery Clift.

 

What are your top five? 

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You just listed them! :D

Although I might exchange BUTTERFIELD 8 and her childhood role in NATIONAL VELVET with a couple there, but would be hard pressed as to WHICH roles to exchange.

Sepiatone

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I'd move CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF into the number two spot. I'd probably take GIANT off the list, since I feel she's overshadowed by Hudson, Dean and the cinematography. 

I'm a fan of her performance in Zefferelli's TAMING OF THE SHREW.

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15 minutes ago, TopBilled said:

I'm a fan of her performance in Zefferelli's TAMING OF THE SHREW.

It's been years since I have seen that one, but I remember being impressed by it. It definitely is the second best Burton-Taylor film. 

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I know it's not one of her most popular films, but I like RAINTREE COUNTY a lot (with the full footage, not the truncated version). Her character goes a bit mad at the end, when she learns about her heritage. And I thought she did a great job with those scenes. Edward Dmytryk's direction is solid, the supporting cast is exceptional and MGM's lavish budget is in evidence at every turn.

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I know it's generally considered a crappy movie, but she was amazingly good in ASH WEDNESDAY-- perhaps her best performance in the period following Virginia Woolf

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2 hours ago, Det Jim McLeod said:

She is the star of the month so I thought we could discuss what you think are her best performances. Here's what I think:

1. Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf-She really gives it her all in this brilliant version of the play. She is totally believable as the strident acid tongued wife of a tortured college professor. She won a well deserved Oscar for this.

2. Giant- an excellent performance and showed what she can really do with a great role. She is the outspoken woman in a time and place where that was frowned upon. And it takes her through decades of aging and it still works.

3. Suddenly Last Summer-as the mentally fragile woman with secrets, she has some devastating scenes at the end. Plus she looks ravishing even in the black and white photography.

4. Cat On A Hot Tin Roof- she goes toe to toe with Paul Newman and matches him in every scene as the love starved Maggie the Cat.

5. A Place In The Sun-She has many touching moments as the sweet rich girl and has magical chemistry with Montgomery Clift.

 

What are your top five? 

I agree with all of your choices, exception being GIANT (though she was great in that as well). I'd put in NATIONAL VELVET.

Even as a child she showed great dramatic range and believability as Velvet, a girl whose love for her horse inspires her to take him to the top where she feels he belongs. She was such a darling and again, very believable.

I enjoy THE TAMING OF THE SHREW as well, and she made a very beautiful bride in FATHER OF THE BRIDE. Love her scenes with Spencer Tracy, they have such a natural chemistry in their scenes as father and daughter.

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32 minutes ago, alleybj said:

I know it's generally considered a crappy movie, but she was amazingly good in ASH WEDNESDAY-- perhaps her best performance in the period following Virginia Woolf

I have wanted to see Ash Wednesday for so many years. TCM has never shown it. (Paramount again) :(

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I'd replace Giant with Raintree County. And she's also very good in Butterfield 8. Not a great movie by any means, but she makes you forget the films shortcomings......

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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?

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I agree with the top 5 films you chose- plus Raintree County and The Taming of the shrew are right up there.  For pure fun though-not critical acclaim, but very watchable-I'd list Elephant Walk  The V.I.P.s, and The Sandpiper.  Taylor was very good in all 3.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I like it when she's struttin' her gear to the great arteest charles bronson in the sandpiper.

:)

Image result for elizabeth taylor the sandpiper

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28 minutes ago, NipkowDisc said:

...struttin' her gear...

Wow!

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1 minute ago, laffite said:

Wow!

Image result for elizabeth taylor the sandpiper

oh yeah, she's a hot tee from way back.

:)

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Now's the time for me to show up and say that not only can I not think of 5 Elizabeth Taylor performances that I thought were good (and I've seen most of her movies), but I also never found her attractive, either.

Virginia Woolf and maybe Cat on a Hot Tin Roof are the only movies that I thought she did a good job in. She was passable in several others, but I usually thought while watching them how they would have been better with someone else cast in the part. I guess she was decent in National Velvet for a juvenile performance.

However, I haven't seen the aforementioned Ash Wednesday, so maybe that one would change my mind about her. :unsure:

Have a nice day.

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14 minutes ago, LawrenceA said:

...but I also never found her attractive, either.

Maybe you missed The Sandpiper ...

:D

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the only complaint I would make about her extraordinary beauty is that her eyebrows were unfortunately were thick.

 

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1 minute ago, NipkowDisc said:

the only complaint I would make about her extraordinary beauty is that her eye lashes unfortunately were too thick.

 

I wouldn't have any problem getting over that.

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what a fine 50 foot woman she woulda made...

who's afraid of the 50 foot elizabeth taylor?

:)

she's also seriously hot in Butterfield 8.

Related image

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7 minutes ago, laffite said:

Maybe you missed The Sandpiper ...

Unfortunately, I did not. 

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3 minutes ago, LawrenceA said:

Unfortunately, I did not. 

To be honest, as far as Hollywood beauties go, Elizabeth Taylor never scored high with me either. But the gif from The Sandpiper does reveal a maturely beautiful woman with an earthy sensuality and sexual energy that is arresting (if that's the proper word). I hardly remember her otherwise from that movie. The only scene I remember is Richard the priest saying to her, "I love you" in an highly-charged way from across the room and then exiting. That scored with me. I think he says it twice. I probably would have said it three times.

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52 minutes ago, LawrenceA said:

but I also never found her attractive, either.

Even in A Place in the Sun?    Yea,  she didn't age well (but a lot of that has to do with the 60 and 70 fashion style),  but I found her to be stunning in that white dress in A Place in the Sun.

As for my favorite films: I only have 4:  A Place in the Sun,  Woolf, Cat and Suddenly Last Summer. 

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1 minute ago, jamesjazzguitar said:

Even in A Place in the Sun?    Yea,  she didn't age well (but a lot of that has to do with the 60 and 70 fashion style),  but I found her to be stunning in that white dress in A Place in the Sun.

Yeah, I forgot about A Place in the Sun. She was striking in that white dress. 

I should clarify that I don't find her unattractive, she just doesn't do anything for me. I don't find her hideous, except for when the role called for it. And I don't think I would make her appearance as much of an issue if it wasn't for her constantly being referenced as a pinnacle of beauty in various publications and commentaries over the past 70 years or so. 

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