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Ash Wednesday (1973)

Barbara gets secret plastic surgery in Switzerland in an attempt to save her marriage to Mark, but he doesn't seem interested in meeting her. She checks in to a ski resort to wait for Mark,... See full summary »

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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Mark Sawyer
...
Erich
...
David
Maurice Teynac ...
Doctor Lambert
...
Kate Sawyer
...
German Woman
Henning Schlüter ...
Bridge Player
...
Mario
Kathy Van Lypps ...
Mandy
Dina Sassoli ...
Nurse Ilse
Carlo Puri ...
Paolo
Andrea Esterhazy ...
Comte d'Arnoud
Jill Pratt ...
Simone
Irina Wassilchikoff ...
Silvano del Campo
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Storyline

Barbara gets secret plastic surgery in Switzerland in an attempt to save her marriage to Mark, but he doesn't seem interested in meeting her. She checks in to a ski resort to wait for Mark, and begins getting attention from young men. Her daughter tries to warn her that even though she has had the surgery it might be too late for her marriage, but she clings to the hope that Mark will come back once he sees her new look. Meanwhile, she must decide whether or not have an affair with a young man she's met. Written by Ed Sutton <esutton@mindspring.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Barbara Sawyer and her beauticians. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Mystery

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1 November 1973 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Die Rivalin  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Contains footage from actual facelift operations, which repulsed many viewers when it was originally released. See more »


Soundtracks

How Can I Tell Her
Written by Jay Livingston (as Livingston) and Ray Evans (as Evans)
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User Reviews

 
Valentine to a Fabulous Dame!
28 May 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"Ash Wednesday" from l973 marked Elizabeth Taylor's last glamour movie. After winning her Oscar for "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolfe", Taylor was urged by new husband, Richard Burton, to take on more quirky roles that downplayed, and thus damaged, her phenomenal movie career as a legendary beauty. When she accepted the role of Barbara, an aging middle-aged socialite who goes to Switzerland to have a body lift, Burton was enraged that she would take such a "dumb" role. We have to laugh. Burton by now was notorious for picking roles that resulted in box office bombs, like "Exorcist II," "Bluebeard," "Under Milkwood", "Staircase," etc. "Ash Wednesday" was filmed at the luxurious resort village of Cortina d'Ampezzo in Italy. Here we see a stunning Elizabeth Taylor--at last--clothed in knockout fashions from the hands of Edith Head. Beautiful gowns, robes of velvet, furs galore, hairstyles from Alexandre of Paris, rapturous photography by Ennio Guarnieri and best of all a one-of-a-kind white ermine costume to wear at the movie's mardi gras. Taylor's co-star was nearly as beautiful as she: Helmut Berger. Burton was convinced the two were having a real affair. Everyone laughed because it was known that the gorgeous Berger was the lover of Italian movie director Luchino Visconti. Taylor looks phenomenal throughout, with numerous loving closeups that show why the world had fallen in love with her. We have a beautiful musical score by Maurice Jarre but the biggest casting error is a glum, grim Henry Fonda who portrays her dull-as-dishwater husband. That male beauty, Rod Taylor of the '70s, would have been ideal. Producer Dominick Dunne wrote in his memoirs that there was more drama behind the scenes of this movie than in front it. Taylor and Burton had operatic confrontations over who was sleeping with who. He tried to physically prevent her from appearing on the set. The actress was often late, sometimes never showed up for work, overdosed several times--yet, none of this shows up on screen. "Ash Wednesday" is a movie to be treasured by Taylor fans--and we are in the millions--or anyone else who wants to see a fabulous beauty making her swan song to old-style glamour. She would never appear so uncannily beautiful again.


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