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Entries in Liz Taylor (48)

Friday
May122017

Today's 5: Carrie, Snatched, Blowup, and more...

Today's 5 mood boosting assignments from showbiz history...

2017 oh wait that's today! New in movie theaters today: Goldie Hawn returns to the cinema in the Amy Schumer comedy Snatched; Uneven but sometimes really exciting director Doug Liman unveils the sniper drama The Wall (starring Brit Aaron Taylor-Johnson with a twangy accent); Guy Ritchie anachronistically Ritchifies the King Arthur legend with Charlie Hunnam and Jude Law; Demian Bichir stars in Lowriders; and Diane Lane takes a road trip with Arnaud Viard in Paris Can Wait when her husband Alec Baldwin bails on her for business.

In their honor: Go see a movie this weekend. Pick a title any title. If you don't want to see one of those catch up with The Lovers or Lost City of Z. Both are good flicks.

1988 The infamous stage musical version of horror classic Carrie opens. It will close five days later. The off Broadway revival in 2012 did significantly better but still closed at a loss

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Friday
Mar102017

On This Day: Globes for two goddesses. Plus a non-jolly green giant

On this day in history as it relates to showbiz...

1892  One of Old Hollywood's most undersung but talented 1930s directors Gregory La Cava is born. Classics include Stage Door and My Man Godfrey
1913
 Famed abolitionist and American hero Harriet Tubman dies of pneumonia. So glad she's getting biopic treatment soon. And twice over!
1938
The 10th annual Oscars are held with The Life of Emile Zzzzzola winning Best Picture and Louise Rainer taking her consecutive Best Actress prize but the most enduring anecdote was of course the theft of Alice Brady's Oscar for In Old Chicago.
1958 Sharon Stone is born in Pennysylvania

The 1959 Golden Globes (and more) are after the jump...

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Monday
Mar062017

The Furniture: A Scenery Buffet for the Battling Burtons

Editor's Note: "The Furniture" is our weekly series on Production Design. We strongly suggest going forward that you click on the images to see them in their more detailed large glory. Many older films were of course designed for giant screens, not thinking of their eventual home as phones or small TV set. 

by Daniel Walber

 Franco Zeffirelli is not a man of subtle tastes. When he’s lucky, his opulent excesses achieve camp status. But when he’s not, it rolls over the audience like an 18-wheeler full of circus elephants. This has generally been the rule for his theatrical productions, some of which have nonetheless become war horse mainstays at major opera companies.

And so it may come as something of a surprise that the director’s overzealous artistic passion actually works quite brilliantly in his film version of The Taming of the Shrew, which opened 50 years ago this week. It turns out that his style is perfect for the frenetic madness of William Shakespeare’s screamiest comedy, heightened to a fever pitch by the deafening roars of Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton.

The setting is Renaissance Padua, introduced by way of a delightfully pastoral matte painting. Not content simply with a city in the rain, Zeffirelli showcases a rainbow. Two-dimensional sheep mingle with their three-dimensional, breathing brethren...

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Friday
Nov042016

Wake up unashamed!

The weekend is beginning so have fun. Since today is BUtterfield 8's 56th anniversary, let Liz's "Gloria Wandrous" be your spirit guide. Whatever you're planning for tonight, wake up unashamed tomorrow!

More On this Day in Showbiz History goodies after the jump

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Friday
Jul152016

Beauty Break: Vintage 1977 - Magazine Covers

Liz, and Liza and Halston, Oh my!

Reminder. At the end of the month the Smackdown returns with a look at the Supporting Actress Race of 1977 (The Turning Point, Julia, Close Encounters, The Goodbye Girl, and Looking for Mr Goodbar so get to watching so you can vote!).

To get you in the mid to late 1970s mood, if you lived through them, or just to engage your curiousity if you didn't, a collection of magazine covers from the year in question. Naturally we'll start with two Best Actress winners and then hit the general collections of showbiz covers...

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Sunday
Jun262016

On this day: Liz & Dick Divorced, Harry Potter Published

On this day in history as it relates to the movies...

 

1819 The bicycle is patented by W.K. Clarkson, Jr. which could be why June has lots of bicycle holidays like "bike to work week" and such. There's even a Bicycle Film Festival happening in NYC this very weekend.
1904 Peter Lorre is born
1922 Underappeciated film star Eleanor Parker is born. Her two best known classics are Caged (1950, her first nomination in one of the all time best Best Actress years) and The Sound of Music (1965, snubbed in supporting actress). Also born on this day is two-time Oscar recipient Dick Smith, an indisputable giant in movie makeup. Among his classics: The Godfather, The Exorcist, Amadeus, and Taxi Driver
1925 Charles Chaplin's The Gold Rush premieres in Hollywood 
1956 Chris Isaak, hot musician and David Lynch favorite, is born
1970 Paul Thomas Anderson is born. We thank him forever for Boogie Nights, Magnolia, and There Will Be Blood, but we wan't to be that excited about one of his movies again. The last two...

Divorced on this day in '74. Remembered by Fall '75

1974 And we were just talking about Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? ! Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton were not Martha and George in real life but their love was volatile all the same. They got divorced on this day in 1974 ten years after their wedding (which followed that globally scandalous Cleopatra affair). But you can't keep Liz & Dick separated for long on or offscreen. The crazy lovebirds got remarried 1 year, 3 months and 14 days later. 
1975 Sonny & Cher divorce. Unlike Liz & Dick they don't get back together.  Meanwhile, in unrelated news on that very same day two FBI agents are murdered on an Indian Reservation. Leonard Peltier is later convicted. The Val Kilmer movie Thunderheart (1992) is loosely inspired by this but with all the facts changed. Very very loosely inspired. Anyone remember that movie? I had kind of a thing for Val Kilmer back then.

1997 J.K. Rowlings first Harry Potter book is published in the U.K. It goes on to become a worldwide phenomenon. Not to horrify but how long until they remake those movies, do you think? (Bitchpleez you know it's going to happen)
1998 Out of Sight hits theaters. That was a goodie
2009 The Hurt Locker opens in theaters. Already an awards presence for '08 (with a Spirit nomination) now it's Oscar eligible & wins Best Picture
2012 Nora Ephron dies. What a loss
2015 The US Supreme Court declares a constitutional right to marriage to same sex couples. Now Jules & from The Kids Are All Right and all the other movie gays can get married - how long until we see gay married couple characters in movies? Twenty years? The movies can be quite slow on this stuff

 

Friday
Jun242016

Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Pt. 4: "The Exorcism"

Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966)
Directed by Mike Nichols | Adapted by Ernest Lehman from the play by Edward Albee
Released by Warner Bros on June 22nd, 1966
Nominated for 13 Oscars, winning 5.

Four-Part 50th Anniversary Celebration
Pt 1 "What. A.Dump!" by Nathaniel R
Pt 2 "Firing Squads & Flop Sweat" by Daniel Crooke
Pt 3 "Get the Guests" by Kyle Stevens (author of "Mike Nichols: Sex, Language, and The Reinvention of Psychological Realism"

...and now the finale 

Pt 4 (Finale) by Chris Feil

Clink.Clink.

1:36:43 Sounds like Martha put her own ice in her drink this time, and not chewed it down. She's also dispensed of her tight "Sunday chapel dress" for looser fits. At only 3 outfits, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? is surely Elizabeth Taylor's fewest costume changes ever on screen.

1:37:32 Nick’s putting his watch on now that their real round of Hump the Hostess is over. By the looks of these two, it wasn’t exactly earth-shattering to say the least.

Martha starts doling advice to Nick on how to take care of a drunk Honey, not unlike George's begrudging earlier attempts. The kind motherly expression on her face makes you wonder if her son has always been blonde-haired and green eyed before tonight.

1:39:00 Nick's pointing fingers as if he's exempt from the night's cruelty and absurdity. Luckily, Martha calls him out on his hypocrisy.

Relax. Sink into it. You're no better than anybody else.

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Wednesday
Jun222016

Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Pt. 2: Firing Squads and Flop Sweat

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of this Oscar-winning classic, Team Experience is revisiting the picture, tag team relay style. In Chapter 1, Nathaniel discussed our first look at George and Martha as they "welcomed" Nick and Honey into their home for a late night boozy marital bout. The first true bomb had just gone off when George realized that Martha had broken their "rules"... we rejoin the party now as George strikes back.

 Pt 2 by Daniel Crooke

My first wallop by Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? was in my early years of high school after developing a formative penchant for emotionally explosive character dramas, iconic Hollywood movie stars, and Mike Nichols’ The Graduate. Once I learned of this film’s existence, I snatched up the first secondhand DVD I could find. It may have proved a bad role model; I shouted and scowled around the house for days, hunched in doorways with a clinking tumbler full of iced tea. The drama was just too magnificent to leave on the screen and, especially in this section, Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton have so much fun spitting poison that their hysterical wickedness becomes infectious.

Through my green teenage lens of inexperience, I thought George and Martha should divorce immediately, move on with their lives, and leave this self-destructive cycle in the rear view. Jesus, can you imagine their Tinder profiles? Now that time and experience have obliterated my preconceptions of the idyllic American relationship, I can plainly see that they need one another to survive. They’ve got an arrangement in their marriage that – however revolting or sadomasochistic it may seem to the outsider – more or less works for them.

32:11 ....As long as they stay within the bounds. [More...]

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