TCM Greatest Classic Legends Collection: Elizabeth Taylor [2 Discs] [DVD]
- SKU: 5147111
- Release Date: 07/12/2011
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Ratings & Reviews
- Closed Captioned
This dynamic and commanding adaptation of Tennessee Williams' Pulitzer Prize-winning play focuses on a troubled Southern family and the discord over their dying father's millions. Wealthy plantation owner Big Daddy Pollitt (Burl Ives), celebrating his 65th birthday, is visited by his sons, Brick (Paul Newman) and Gooper (Jack Carson). He has cancer, but a doctor has deliberately and falsely declared it in remission. Seemingly perfect son Gooper and his wife, Mae (Madeleine Sherwood), have several children and are anxiously expecting to inherit Daddy's millions. By contrast, Big Daddy's "favorite," Brick, is a has-been football star who's taken to drinking his days away since the suicide of his "best friend" a year earlier. He resents his wife, Maggie (Elizabeth Taylor), because he believes that she had an affair with his deceased friend. As a result, he refuses to sleep with her, although she remains devoted to him. Since Brick and Maggie have failed to produce any grandchildren, Big Daddy is inclined to leave his estate to Gooper, but Maggie attempts to prevent that by telling him that she is pregnant. Big Daddy knows better, yet he recognizes that Maggie loves Brick so much that she would be willing to do anything for him. Although Brick is self-destructive and resentful, unable to come to terms with his losses, it takes Big Daddy's recognition of his own mortality to make Brick change his perspective. Brick's struggle with his sexual identity, and the nature of his relationship with his "friend," had to be toned down for mass consumption, although this intelligently written and acted film covers such topics as infertility, adultery, and alcoholism that were still considered taboo in the 1950s. Newman brings depth and feeling to the role as Brick, while Taylor succeeds brilliantly in portraying Maggie as a passionate and understanding woman despite her own real-life emotional turmoil over the death of her husband at the time, producer Mike Todd. ~ Don Kaye, Rovi
A woman who has long been short on feelings falls in love with a married man in this emotional drama. Gloria Wondrous (Elizabeth Taylor) is a model and party girl who lives for pleasure and is willing to take men for what she can get from them. Gloria bounces from man to man, but feels that she can only truly confide in Steve Carpenter (Eddie Fisher), a longtime friend with whom she shares a close but strictly platonic relationship, though his fiancée (Susan Oliver) suspects otherwise. Gloria becomes involved with Weston Liggett (Laurence Harvey), a wealthy but emotionally cold man who is married to Emily (Dina Merrill). Weston shows Gloria precious little respect or kindness at first, but as they share a few bouts with the bottle, they discover that both are desperately lacking in self-confidence and have little happiness in their lives. As Gloria and Weston reveal more about themselves to one another, they fall in love, but Gloria isn't sure if she can commit to one man, while Weston has to decide if he can leave Emily behind. Based on the novel by John O'Hara, Butterfield 8 earned Elizabeth Taylor her first Academy Award (for Best Actress) after four unsuccessful nominations. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi
Father of the Bride
Spencer Tracy received an Oscar nomination for his performance in this classic comedy. Stanley T. Banks (Tracy) is a securely middle-class lawyer whose daughter Kay (Elizabeth Taylor) announces that she's going to marry her beau Buckley Dunstan (Don Taylor). From that point on, everything in Stanley's life is turned upside down. His wife Ellie (Joan Bennett) wants Kay to have the kind of formal wedding that she and Stanley never had, and between meeting his soon-to-be in-laws, the socially prominent Herbert and Doris Dunstan (Moroni Olsen and Billie Burke), his man-to-man talk with the groom, hosting the engagement party, financing the increasingly lavish wedding, and wondering if Kay and Buckley will resolve their differences before arriving at the altar, Stanley barely has time to deal with his own considerable anxieties about his advancing age and how his "little girl" became a grown woman. Director Vincente Minnelli reunited with the principal cast a year later for a sequel, Father's Little Dividend; and the movie was remade in 1991 with Steve Martin and Diane Keaton. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi
Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton -- then Hollywood's most bankable couple -- appeared onscreen together for the third time in this romantic drama shot on beautiful locations along the Big Sur region of the California coastline. Laura Edwards (Elizabeth Taylor) is a free-thinking artist and Bohemian who is raising a her teenage son, Danny (Morgan Mason), conceived out of wedlock, on her own. Laura has issues with conventional teaching methods, and prefers to educate Danny about both intellectual and ethical matters on her own. However, Danny has become something of a problem, and child welfare authorities demand that Danny either be sent to school or become a ward of the state. Rather than send Danny to public school, Laura arranges for him to attend a private academy run by Dr. Edward Hewitt (Richard Burton), an Episcopalian minister. Edward is at first shocked by Laura's embrace of free love and rejection of conventional moral codes, but as he gets to know her better, he finds himself increasingly attracted to her, despite the fact he has a wife, Claire (Eva Marie Saint), and two children. Before long, Edward's desire overpowers his scruples and he begins an affair with Laura. Wracked with guilt over his infidelity, Edward confesses his indiscretion to Claire, which proves to have severe and unexpected consequences. While saddled with poor reviews upon its initial release, The Sandpiper did win an Academy Award for Johnny Mandel's theme song, "The Shadow of Your Smile." ~ Mark Deming, Rovi
Cast & Crew
- Paul Newman - Brick Pollitt
- Elizabeth Taylor - Maggie Pollitt
- Burl Ives - Big Daddy Pollitt
- Jack Carson - Gooper Pollitt
- Judith Anderson - Big Mama Pollitt
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