The only son of wealthy widow Violet Venable dies while on vacation with his cousin Catherine. What the girl saw was so horrible that she went insane; now Mrs. Venable wants Catherine lobotomized to cover up the truth.
Joseph L. Mankiewicz
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A two-part film, actually two concurrent stories, that reveals the dissolution of an 18-year marriage from two points of view. The stories are set in Rome, where the wealthy Martin and Jane Reynolds meet by chance after a two-year separation. In the first of the two stories, Martin has returned to Rome on business, representing an African managerial firm. Martin remembers his marriage as a rather sado-masochistic union. Part two examines the marriage from Jane's point of view, focusing more on the family life, on how the children have been scarred by the crumbling marriage. Written by
Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton (as Jane and Martin Reynolds) star in a two-part TV movie, showing their characters' marriage crumbling into divorce. Mr. Burton's "Divorce His" aired February 6, 1973. Ms. Taylor's "Divorce Hers" aired February 7, 1973. Carrie Nye (as Diana Proctor) and Gabriele Ferzetti (as Turi Livicci) play the "other woman" and "other man". The children outperform their illustrious elders.
This sure sounded like a good idea -- divorce told from the differing husband/wife points of view; with notorious divorcées, and terrific performers, Taylor and Burton in the lead roles. The result is startlingly dull. There are few reasons to care whether the couple divorces, or not. The differing perspectives are slight, and uninteresting. And, don't expect any boozy "Virginia Woolf"-type arguments.
Although it's highly irrelevant, or should be, it must be said that Taylor looks very beautiful in many scenes. Since the effort to display her beauty is so obvious; I will mention she was, in my opinion, most alluring in the scene when she was in bed, in the blue nightgown, talking on the telephone.
** Divorce His (2/6/73) Waris Hussein ~ Richard Burton, Elizabeth Taylor, Carrie Nye
** Divorce Hers (2/7/73) Waris Hussein ~ Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Gabriele Ferzetti
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