Remembering Elizabeth Taylor.

True Classics is saddened to hear of the death of Elizabeth Taylor, age 79.  She was extraordinarily famous for her personal life, as well as her acting. Sometimes, it may have even seemed that her larger-than-life persona overshadowed her talent, but her talent was considerable. She made numerous famous movies, including Cleopatra, Father of the Bride, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Butterfield 8, and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

One of my personal favourites (which I have already reviewed on this blog) is National Velvet, where she plays a young girl who adores a horse. She takes the horse (The Pie) to a very prestigious steeplechase, and becomes his jockey (girls were not jockeys). She catapults to national fame as a brave young girl who loves her horse. Her performance in this film was innocent, endearing, and genuine. Not only did she capture the rapturous adoration a young girl can have for a horse, but the nature of a girl growing up in a small area, her perceptions of the world, and her grand dreams.

On the other side, she had a stellar performance in Suddenly, Last Summer— a performance many may not often consider. The next Therapy Thursday post will review this film in more detail, but for now, I’d like to mention how compelling her role was.  She plays the widowed wife of the son in question (with Katharine Hepburn playing the mother). She’s fairly quiet throughout much of the film, as it focuses more on the mother’s version of the truth, but later, we see her in her full glory, particularly in her monologue. Finally, she is asked what happened on that fateful day, and she relates the story in an incredibly portrayed monologue. You see the full range of emotion, her impeccable tone as she remembers the story. It’s one of the best film monologues, although it may not come to mind as quickly as some more famous scenes–and it’s a crucial piece for the plot, so her selling it so brilliantly makes it an incredible adaptation of the Tennessee Williams play.

We wish you peace, Ms. Taylor.

–Carrie

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6 thoughts on “Remembering Elizabeth Taylor.

  1. A great post, Carrie. Suddenly, Last Summer was one of Elizabeth’s best films, and she knew it, too. She always said that she felt her first Oscar for Butterfield 8 (a movie she claimed was “terrible”) was actually a delayed reward for her performance in Summer. Watching her performance, I’m inclined to believe it!

    People throw around the term “end of an era” a lot, but this really does feel like the end of something big. Page is right: it is a sad day, indeed.

  2. Lovely tribute, thank you so much for sharing. A truly sad day for Hollywood. She is more than a ‘star’– she is very much a part of our cultural fiber.

    I eagerly look forward to your Suddenly Last Summer post– a complex role that she executed simply superbly.

  3. Carrie – I enjoyed your tribute much and it brought many thoughts and memories to mind about the incredibly beautiful and terribly talented Elizabeth Taylor. My favorites of her films are “A Place in the Sun,” “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” and “Father of the Bride.” I sometimes wish she’d had the Ava Gardner role (tho Ava was fabulous in it and apologies to Ava) in “The Night of the Iguana” just to see her work with (sigh) Richard Burton again. Carrie Fisher has likened Elizabeth & Richard then to Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie today…hardly! The one film that captured both “Liz & Dick’s” great talents at the same time was “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” – she got her deserved Oscar…he was robbed (Paul Scofield was just fine in “A Man for All Seasons” but…really. Burton’s only competition was Michael Caine in “Alfie” – but Burton’s George was a more demanding role)!

  4. Nice remembrance.

    In 1968, when we were all still ga ga for Taylor and Burton, they got together in the Tennessee Williams film “Boom!” (originally, “The Milk Train Doesn’t Stop Here Anymore”). I got a sudden yen to see it again, but Netflix doesn’t list it. 😦

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