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The Only Game in Town
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The Only Game in Town (1970) More at IMDbPro »

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Frank D. Gilroy (play)
Frank D. Gilroy (screenplay)
View company contact information for The Only Game in Town on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
21 January 1970 (USA) See more »
Dice was his vice. Men hers.
Fran walks into a piano bar for pizza. She comes back home with Joe, the piano player. Joe plans on winning $5,000 and leave Las Vegas. Fran waits for something else. Meanwhile, he moves in with her. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
(4 articles)
Twilight Time 4th Anniversary Promotion Through April 3
 (From CinemaRetro. 30 March 2015, 5:09 PM, PDT)

Blu-ray Release: The Only Game in Town
 (From Disc Dish. 28 May 2013, 1:38 PM, PDT)

Producers Guild of America 2013 Awards Posted Here
 (From Alt Film Guide. 26 January 2013, 9:13 PM, PST)

User Reviews:
La Liz last round as a young babe See more (20 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Elizabeth Taylor ... Fran Walker

Warren Beatty ... Joe Grady
Charles Braswell ... Lockwood
Hank Henry ... Tony
Olga Valéry ... Hooker (as Olga Valery)

Directed by
George Stevens 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Frank D. Gilroy  play
Frank D. Gilroy  screenplay

Produced by
Fred Kohlmar .... producer
Jean Yaakov Szniten .... associate producer (uncredited)
Original Music by
Maurice Jarre 
Cinematography by
Henri Decaë  (as Henri Decae)
Film Editing by
John W. Holmes 
William Sands 
Pat Shade 
Art Direction by
Herman A. Blumenthal  (as Herman Blumenthal)
Auguste Capelier 
Set Decoration by
Walter M. Scott 
Jerry Wunderlich 
Makeup Department
Alexandre .... hair stylist: Mrs Taylor (as Alexandre de Paris)
Claudie Ettori .... hair stylist
John Jiras .... makeup artist: Mr. Beatty
Frank La Rue .... makeup artist: Miss Taylor (as Frank LaRue)
John Jiras .... hair stylist (uncredited)
Production Management
Christian Ferry .... unit production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Robert Doudell .... assistant director
Robert Swink .... second unit director
Sound Department
Joseph de Bretagne .... sound (as Jo De Bretagne)
David Dockendorf .... sound
Visual Effects by
L.B. Abbott .... special photographic effects
Art Cruickshank .... special photographic effects
Ted Grossman .... stunts (uncredited)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Mia Fonssagrives .... costumes: Elizabeth Taylor
Vicki Tiel .... costumes: Elizabeth Taylor
Music Department
Bobby Bryant .... musician: flugel horn solo
Maurice Jarre .... conductor
Michel Mention .... orchestrator
Ernie Watts .... musician: alto saxophone solo
Kenneth Hall .... music editor (uncredited)
Other crew
John Springer .... unit publicist
Alan Arnold .... unit publicist (uncredited)
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
113 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Westrex Recording System)
Finland:S | Netherlands:18 (1970) | Sweden:Btl | USA:PG | USA:M (original rating) | West Germany:16 (f)

Did You Know?

Richard Burton was standing behind the camera while Beatty and Taylor filmed their bedroom love scene and made taunting remarks between takes. The actors wore towels under the blankets.See more »
Errors in geography: When Fran gets off work at Desert Inn at beginning of film, her walk home makes no geographical sense. She is strolling past hotels, chapels and casinos miles apart and in completely opposite directions.See more »
But Not for MeSee more »


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7 out of 9 people found the following review useful.
La Liz last round as a young babe, 21 October 2005
Author: Chricke-2 from Malmö, Sweden

So I finally have gotten to see this film again after 22 years. It is interesting in so many ways I don't know where to begin; First thing: It stars one of the most beautiful and sexiest woman ever on the big screen; no one less then la Taylor. But she has some serious problems with portraying the lead role of Fran Walker, she is very badly cast as a young, single, chorus girls, as so many of the previous commentators have mentioned. The audience at this period was used to see la Taylor plump and alcoholic, playing characters that were badly faded beauties in their late 40s or even 50s; Martha in Wolf and Sissy Goforth in Boom. Here, she is supposed to be not many years older than the young girl la Taylor portrayed in the late 1940s, contemporary to the "old" movies the character Fran Walker watches. This is indeed one of her last "babe"-parts in movies. And her male co-star, is played by a then an up- and coming actor who is five years younger, even more highlights the miscasting. With face covering hairdos, soft focus close-shots, and clever cinematography things get somewhat plausible and under control. She must have crash-diet, and stopped half-way, she has slender legs, but not a dancer's sturdy legs, moves youngish and feminine (she's eating her pizza like a shy princess), but she is still somewhat top-heavy and double-chinned, maybe because of the heavy medication she was on at the time, as described in Burton's memoirs. Or maybe because of the strange fluffy dresses she wears that make her body look like "an apple balanced atop of two toothpicks" to quote a contemporary reviewer. In some scenes though, especially when filmed from a distance, she does still manage to look petite and delicious. And even though it is absurd to think of Taylor as a struggling working-class girl who needs to count every dollar and dime to balance the payments, she really tries hard here to convince us, and sometimes she actually succeeds. Or is it that the film is cleverly cut? We never really know, since Taylor's larger-than-life image interferes and blurs our judgment on her true talent as an actress. Still, she surprises by transcending a low-key and insecure appearance, which I guess was the intention of the original play writer Gilroy.

Second thing: Her co-star is the charming Warren Beatty, who here has some very effective scenes in which he makes his character Joe Grady very much authentic and believable. He resembles a combination of both (as one commentator pointed out before) Frank Sinatra's wit and style and Brad Pitt's Irish charming bad-boyishness. In contrast to Taylor, he is in my opinion very well cast. I sometimes wonder what it would be like, to be Warren Beatty, in Paris in autumn 1968, fresh from the huge success of "Bonnie and Clyde". According to the gossip that Taylor picked up, and reached the ears and notes of Burton, Warren was courted by so many beautiful Parisian women that Taylor hardly got a look of him off the set. Still some years to go before being "outed" by Carly Simon as being "So Vain", here in Paris he was evidently everybody's darling.

Third interesting point: The last star needed the presence of her beloved husband (and unfortunately heavy boozing partner) in order to be able to cope with this film, or anything else for that matter. Mr Burton was at this time busy shooting a farce with Rex Harrison, "Staircase", in Paris, which by the way was set in a grayish London. Maybe the married celebrity couple both needed the Parisian location to evade the US/UK taxes? Hence, a movie whose main plot is nothing less than one of the most American themes one can think of (quest for the big break), had to be shot in…Paris! Nowadays the stars of Hollywood earn enormous amount of money, but they can hardly make any demands such as those of la Taylor, and get through with it. It is therefore a pure pleasure to watch the streets and buildings, knowing at least some of them, are entirely build for la Taylor in Paris (if we don't count some scenes that had to be made in Las Vegas very quickly in early Spring of 1969).

Four: The score of Maurice Jarre. Great late 1960s early 1970s feel to it, jazzy and bluesy, in a stylish blend, the very definition of Easy listening.

Fifth: A lushly filmed Hollywood picture like this needs elements that make it "touch the ground". We, as an audience, must still be led to believe that the story enfolded before us could be real. Bathroom and bedroom scenes that are not obviously over-sty. Warren's character IS supposed to be a fly-guy dreamer, who painfully lands in reality after excesses at the casinos. The fairytale needs to touch the audience in-between all its awe and amaze, and technically Stevens and the editor have managed the task.

Sixth and last point I come to think of: In spite of this extravaganza, which is not apparent on the screen if one is not aware of that we are looking at a mini-Vegas built in Paris, this movie apparently flopped painfully when it premiered in 1970. It is since forgotten, overlooked, and its print doomed to deteriorate slowly somewhere in the 20th century Fox archives (in Burbank?). But is the plot of the film dated? I think not. Today, whenever the X-and Y-generation have problems of sorts to deal with, like for instance gambling, we are inclined to make it a pathology that must be treated with therapies and counseling. Couldn't this film be re-dusted as a lecture in how painful and destructive addictions to gambling really is? It deserves it. In spite of all the "half-ways" of this film it is cute and sympathetic lesson in love.

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