The Driver's Seat (1974) Poster

User Reviews

Add a Review
28 ReviewsOrdered By: Helpfulness
"IT TAKES ONE DAY TO DIE, ANOTHER TO BE BORN"
MGMboy26 April 2004
Elizabeth Taylor reportedly said those words to her director Griffi when she came on the set the day after she left Burton for their first divorce. So with that mindset she went to work on one of her most unusual, daring and controversial films. From the moment 'The Diver's Seat' begins you know you are in a strange place. In Europe the movie was called 'Idendikit' so, with two names tagged to it thus making it schizophrenic from the first it easily falls into the realm of the ambiguous art film genre of the late 60's and early 70's. It's star, Elizabeth Taylor, appears here in one of her most remote and dangerous roles. She plays Lise a woman who is consumed by insanity and the desire to find the ultimate lover, the be all and end all of boyfriends you might say. As the film opens you are presented with a shattered view of a woman on the edge of something terrible. The camera moves past bald mannequins in a disjointed way. Is this Lise's view of others or is it a reflection of her ultimate fate? Upon being told to take a holiday from work after causing a scene in the office the film opens with her preparations to take flight to Rome. The film jump cuts from past to present as the police in Rome try to reconstruct her final fatal holiday in terrorist gripped Rome. Even Rome comes off as off kilter. This is not the Rome of Audrey Hepburn or Marcello Mastroianni but a city one hardly recognizes from the lack of typical filming locations one associates with 'Made In Rome!' movies. Director Giuseppe Patroni Griffi succeeds in presenting a uniquely Italian cinema verite film of the Muriel Spark novel. This is a unique film and very much of it's day. Its non-linear, experimental, almost documentary style will be hard to get into for any one not used to movies of this sort. But it is well worth the effort. So strange and challenging a film it is that it left the opening night audience at the 1974 Cannes Film Festival in stunned silence. The cast is well chosen and gives some oddly memorable performances. Ian Bannan as the macrobiotic sex-nut who tires to pick up Lise on the plane to Rome seems almost as mad as she is. It is a wickedly off kilter wild-eyed performance. The charming and always wonderful Mona Washbourne is sweetly touching as the woman who befriends the mad Lise and in doing so leads her to meet the man of her dreams. But the glue that holds it all together is provided by Miss Taylor who tops off her short list of insane characters from Susanna Drake to Catherine Holly with this daring and shocking portrait of Lise. She opens up as an actress that at the time would have been unthinkable to most of her contemporaries from the old M.G.M. days. That's one of the wonderful things about her film career. She came from an era in old Hollywood where she was trained and groomed to be glossy and perfect. But as times changed so did she and in doing so became much more than an MGM glamour girl, she became an actress with guts. In 'The Driver's Seat' she shows her chops as an actress and her willingness to accept challenges in her roles and in Lise she found a great one. One stunning image of her is when in her loud madwoman dress and raccoon painted eyes she challenges the airport security to frisk her. In that scene she seems totally there, totally gone, and totally in control as an actress.
36 out of 39 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Liz's Last Great Role
david melville17 December 2003
I confess to being rather bemused by the Muriel Spark novel this was based on, but the Giuseppe Patroni Griffi film is seductive indeed. It offers the last significant role for that most iconic screen presence, Elizabeth Taylor. As in her two late 60s films for Joseph Losey, Taylor in The Driver's Seat is both the apotheosis and the wreck of the grand Hollywood diva she once was. She plays - like Katharine Hepburn in Summertime or Vivien Leigh in The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone - a neurotic middle-aged woman adrift in Italy. Only her goal here is not Sex but Death. She comes in search of a man who will ritually tie her up, stab and kill her.

Cruel fun has been poked at the (admittedly) hideous wardrobe Taylor sports throughout this film. Proof, if any were needed, that film critics on the whole do not read books. Every detail of these garish clothes has been copied faithfully from the novel. Her vile dress sense is meant as an outward sign of Taylor's disintegrating psyche, and her desperate need to stand out form the drab and over-regimented world that she (like most of the film's viewers) is forced to inhabit.

The same is true of the often absurd dialogue. "When I diet, I diet - and when I orgasm, I orgasm!" That's how Taylor fends off an amorous businessman (Ian Bannen) who tries both to lure her into bed and to convert her to a macrobiotic diet. If you watch The Driver's Seat with your eyes open, it becomes clear that the whole film takes place inside a mind that has lost all reason. Realism was never the aim here, so it's poor logic to gripe when Realism is not the result.

Every shot, in fact, is stylised to the level of a dream. The opening - where Taylor prowls through a gallery of naked store mannequins. Her shopping trip with an elderly widow (Mona Washbourne) - which winds through a quasi-surreal labyrinth of mirrors and white walls. The final deadly 'climax' - in a phantom Villa Borghese, conjured out of mist and moonlight. The camerawork by Vittorio Storaro seems to drain all colour out of the landscape, until Taylor and her iridescent shawls are the last remaining sign of life.

It was all too much for critics and public back in 1974. Nowadays, the extreme alienation that oozes from every frame - and a socio-political background of blank-faced consumerism, terrorist attacks and rabid police and airport security - may well strike more of a cord. It's no accident that Andy Warhol turns up as a corrupt diplomat. The Driver's Seat is truly a film for the modern age.
33 out of 36 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
8/10
Underground cult classic
Falconeer21 November 2006
This strange little film has a small but devoted cult following, due to it's haunting atmosphere, obscure storyline, and a hypnotic performance by the Great Elizabeth Taylor. She stars as Lise, a spinster who makes a decision to go on a holiday, a trip that will be her last, to Rome. Dressed in a psychedelic outfit made up of every color in the rainbow, she is a peacock, using colors to attract a certain man. A man that will fulfill her darkest wish. The viewer must wait until the end of the film to find out just exactly what the crazed Lise is looking for. The ending is pretty gruesome, and not expected. But before we get there, Taylor, as Lise, gives us a guided tour of a very different looking Rome, as well as a tour of her own warped and desperate psyche. This film is what art-house cinema is all about. As far away from Hollywood as you can hope to get, there has never been a film quite like this one. Taylor exudes such an intense feeling of loneliness here, so much so, that some will find this to be a somewhat depressing film experience. But this is not a 'feel-good' film, although it is filled with some truly hilarious one-liners that you might find yourself repeating with friends who you watch this with. Some critics call this Taylors worst film, but that is utterly preposterous. It doesn't have the glossy, expensive look of her earlier Hollywood films, but then again this is a much darker and more serious film than say, "Cat On A Hot Tin Roof". Also she isn't as young and beautiful here, but if she were than the tale would not be so sad, and the desperation of this woman would make no sense. 'Identikit' is filled with familiar actors, all in totally memorable performances. Ian Bannon is hilarious as one of Lise's companions. Guido Mannari, a familiar presence in countless Italian exploitation movies is cast here as a lecherous mechanic who attempts to rape Taylor in a car. His performance is over-the-top sleazy. And veteran actress Mona Washbourne is priceless as the impromptu shopping companion of Lise, forever looking for the perfect gift for her nephew. Strangely, the shopping center sequence with Washbourne and Taylor, is one of my favorite scenes in all cinema. I don't know why, but I never get tired of listening to the strange conversation between the two eccentric characters as they wander around that modern-looking Rome shopping mall. And it is fitting that Andy Warhol has a cameo here, as both this film, and Warhol, are bizarre entities indeed. Also worth mentioning is the dark, moody background music, which compliments the feeling of the film perfectly. 'Identikit' is not for people who enjoy mainstream cinema. If 'Pretty Woman' is your idea of a good film, then you will most likely find this dark, murky film deplorable. But for fans of the precisely weird, i recommend this little-known gem. It is available as a 'cheapo' DVD. I paid around $5 dollars for it. Don't expect anamorphic widescreen here. In fact this looks like it was copied directly from a video tape. But for this film, it is somehow fitting. And I am grateful, and surprised that it is available at all. And incidentally... Do you have a gun?? Because if you did, you could shoot me...
17 out of 18 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Great movie but not for everyone
BRAINIAC-229 November 2003
I disagree with the reviewers here whom simply write this off as a bad movie. "Identikit", or as it is known on the deceptively retitled US videotape release, "Psychotic", is a film that requires the viewer to think about what is happening, studying the disjointed events which gradually come to an ambiguous conclusion (which slightly echoes "Blow-Up" I might add). It is obvious that every detail of this film is deliberate and well crafted. Liz Taylor fans used to her more mainstream movies may be a bit put-off. If you like offbeat dramas from this time period that require a little brainwork then you may dig it. If you like having everything spelled out for you then you may find it "bad". I dug it!
24 out of 28 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
10/10
OUTSTANDING FILM...VERY UNDERRATED
yikes7todd23 January 2002
I have been watching and enjoying Elizabeth Taylor films all my life and this is one of her best. I think this film is one of the most underrated films of all time. It is flawless in every aspect...story, directing, set, music, clothes, and of course acting. The beautiful and talented actress Elizabeth Taylor does not walk through this one. She gives it her all, as well as does everyone else involved in this work of Art. This is not a spoon fed piece of sugar, rather a serious and artistic look at the psychology of a "person".
18 out of 21 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Taylor is terrific!
chad4781 March 2001
Elizabeth Taylor gives a stunning performance as a disturbed spinster who is looking for a man, but not for the reasons you may think. It's a bizarre movie, but also a very good one thanks to Taylor's excellent portrayal of a troubled woman about to go over the edge. Based on a novel by Muriel Spark.
14 out of 16 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
6/10
It works on a certain level
Chricke-229 June 2004
This obscure movie, which has been so unfairly panned by the critics of its time, actually manages to deliver what I believe was the intention, a disintegrating world of a psychotic woman. As viewers, we are somewhere in the middle of two layers of realities, the one being the compulsive psyche of the main character, Lise, portrayed by Liz Taylor, and the other one being the absurd and incoherent events in her surroundings. I quite like this film, I had expected a B-movie with second rate production values, but I was at least partly mistaken, the cinematography is effective in painting the psychotic state of mind, example; Lise turning to her right, framed in the left side of the screen, when addressing someone. Another scene, where Lise is attempting to get in touch with a woman she befriended just recently, who may be stuck in the lavatory from some illness, we see Lise at the same time completely absorbed by her own mirror image, disconnected from any real emotional concern over the lady that might be in peril. Maybe some think these are cheap means of making a weird and psychotic setting, still the movie makes the viewer access the process of disintegration of Lise. Furthermore, some scenes are chillingly before its time regarding terror events and crimes; terror do pop up everywhere these days, and maybe a modern day public can better identify themselves with a confused and disintegrating persona as Lise. We can barely understand our own feelings and our driving forces - how can we then understand the complexity of the human society in terms of terror and conflicts?
20 out of 25 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
It wasn't that bad!!!!!!
verna558 October 2000
Elizabeth Taylor stars as a beautiful, but disturbed woman who arrives in Rome to find a lover who will agree to murder her. Based on the novel by Muriel Spark, THE DRIVER'S SEAT is generally considered to be Taylor's all-time worst film, but I disagree, and not just because I'm a huge Elizabeth Taylor fan(which I am), but because this film really has something to say about the hypocrisy, corruption, and violence that exists in our society today. I'm not saying that it isn't exploitative or played for the sensational, because it is and it bites off a little bit more than it can chew, but this movie has some depth and meaning. Taylor really works at her role, and as usual she pulls it off. It's not great, classic cinema, but you could do much worse.
10 out of 12 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
A not so Psychotic review by your average person.
sadie_thompson6 October 2003
Warning: Spoilers
I have yet to understand why this movie would be called "Driver's Seat" or "Identikit." It didn't seem to have anything to do with either of those, but Elizabeth Taylor certainly was "Psychotic." That's what I'll call the film. Or maybe "Rather Disturbing."

That's what I though this movie was. At first viewing one wants to hate it, perhaps because it's difficult to understand. I hated "Terminator 3" because I couldn't comprehend all the senseless violence. I also couldn't comprehend why the people in front of me let their young children stay, even though they were terrified, and why the guy behind me felt he could have a cell phone conversation during the whole film. Maybe I'm prejudiced. Anyway, I watched "Psychotic" and couldn't figure out why the things that happened did. I supposed that Elizabeth Taylor was so starved for some sort of attention that she felt she had to go to desperate lengths. She also had to rat her hair up enormously high and dress like some sort of psychedelic Muppet. I could get past that--she's trying to be noticed, and it works. Everyone makes comments about how bizarre she looks, and she makes such an ass of herself that everyone remembers her plainly. That certainly helps the police in this movie. Then there is the sex angle. Everyone wants to have sex with her, even the security woman at the airport gets grabby. (Of course, we're treated to a close up of Elizabeth's chest, with the security woman sensuously untying her scarf, etc. etc. etc.) For some reason, Elizabeth Taylor refuses to let anyone actually get anywhere. As she tells Ian Bannen, "When I diet, I diet. When I orgasm, I orgasm." He's speechless, as who wouldn't be. Then there's the disturbing scene where the garage attendant tries to get his paws on her, only to have her run down the road screaming hysterically.

It seems that she has to find the right person--when she sees him, she'll know. She sees him at the beginning of the film, but doesn't meet him until the very end. (He sees her and runs away. Literally. She has that effect on some people.) Telling what happens would be considered a spoiler, so I don't guess I'll elaborate on that. I just thought it was somewhat sickening, in a compulsively watchable way.

There were also several little things that made no sense, such as Andy Warhol giving Elizabeth a book, and then refusing to speak to her later. He does say that he must see the sheik. Okay--who are you and why do you need so see him? We'll never know, and I don't think Andy did either. The old lady that becomes friends with Elizabeth, only to vanish completely is another curiosity.

To summarize--I watched it, I may watch it again, but I don't know why.
7 out of 9 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
10/10
Complex, beautiful, funny, and very strange.
dmaxl20 July 2000
Elizabeth Taylor is one of the most beautiful and exciting actresses ever to grace the screen. In this film she exemplifies these qualities, along with her talent for portraying a woman of wild abandon and audaciousness. Her work in this film will remain with the viewer long after the credits roll.

The film is almost impossible to describe. I saw it not long after seeing Luis Bunuel's The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie...and I must say that I sensed some similarities between the two. While Bunuel allows mundane situations to evolve into surreal jokes and absurdities, and injects social commentary, The Driver's Seat portrays surrealism literally, in the form of a psychotic character who appears ridiculous and unintelligible, but in fact mirrors the chaos and violence of the society in which she lives.
6 out of 8 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
One of a Kind
jasonhurd6 July 2004
Those sadly uneducated critics who dub this Liz' worst film have evidently never seen Boom!, based on Tennessee Williams' play The Milk Train Doesn't Stop Here Anymore. I don't believe Boom! has ever been released in any video format; it is unbelievably horrendous. Compared to it, Identikit (or The Driver's Seat) is a work of genius. Liz' rant at the saleslady in the very first scene is worthy of comparison with Mink Stole's opening sequence in Desperate Living. I'm also fond of the scene at the airport, where she shouts at the security people, "You're all so suspicious! SUSPICIOUS! SUS-PI-CIOUS!" Her wardrobe looks like it was designed by a clown(her landlady asks derisively if she's off to join the circus), her hair must be seen to be believed, and I give this piece of vintage Liziana three out of four stars.
7 out of 10 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
I was an extra in the airport scene
jonathan_lippman1 December 2013
You can see me walking behind her for a few seconds in around 22 minutes or so from the beginning and a few other shots of me from behind... she was actually very nice but well she was drinking and her language was a bit "rough" but lovely to see... I did hear her talk about her ending relationship with Mr Burton because they placed me in the airplane sequence in the row of seats in front of her so I heard her conversations with Ian Bannen between takes. She even mentioned that she usually wore her wedding ring in all her films and disguised it with stones during shoots but her ring was bare at this time.... it was a great experience and I even got paid a free lunches for two weeks.. Film barely released in cinemas. A gigantic flopperou
4 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Arty, oddball film has some interesting aspects to it.
Poseidon-321 March 2005
Amusing or alienating as many people as it intrigues, this fragmented psychological drama has some attention-getting elements, but can't quite overcome its limitations. Taylor plays an unusual and deeply troubled woman who heads to Rome, ostensibly to escape from her normal existence, but actually to complete a more deadly plan. Argumentative, demanding, disinterested and yet appalled, she wanders about airports, malls and parks, rather aimlessly awaiting the arrival of a man she feels destined to meet...but she isn't even sure who he is! The story is told in a fractured, flashback and flashforward-laden style. Taylor's intentions aren't spelled out clearly and the film often has a confusing or detached feel to it. This is, however, mostly intentional as her disintegrating mental state is exhibited. Sometimes Taylor's intensity during her episodes of anger and delusion gives the film an unintentionally humorous twist, such as when she resents being searched at the airport, throws a hissy fit over a smudged drinking glass, sprawls on the bed and fondles her own breasts and especially runs and falls after a car-bombing. Her story is punctuated by various encounters with strangers who find themselves in direct contact with someone who will later be the focus of a police investigation. Bannen plays a zealous macrobiotic swinger who wants to wine and dine Taylor. Washbourne is a kindly, but dotty, old lady who accompanies Taylor on a brief trip to a shopping center. Warhol is an austere and mysterious member of political society. She also encounters a skittish plane passenger and a lascivious (but scorchingly sexy) auto mechanic. Taylor, who is buried under a deliberately atrocious costume, huge, back-combed, frizzy hair, thick make up and a few extra pounds of weight, still manages to look beautiful in a few scattered shots. In certain light and at the right angle, she appears as striking as ever, though usually for just an instant or two. Somewhat rare, for her, is the amount of nudity she allows here, at one point standing for a long time with the sheerest of bras barely concealing her breasts. The cheapness of the titles, camera setups, dubbing, background music and lighting detract from the overall impact of the piece. Also, the script isn't coherent enough to really get it's points across. However, there is a certain level of interest in seeing Taylor go through the paces of this disturbed character. It's no classic, but it's unusual enough and striking enough, at times, to hold interest.
4 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
5/10
Fascinatingly terrible...
moonspinner552 October 2005
It would be tempting to write "The Driver's Seat" off as one of the worst movies ever, but it's rather seductive on a slim budget...fascinating in its wrong-headedness. The film has such a loopy, surreal quality, and star Elizabeth Taylor is actually attempting something (rather than just posing), that the weirdness of the entire enterprise becomes compelling. Filmed in Italy, the story concerns a highly troubled, manic woman on the hunt for the perfect man...to be her murderer? Incoherent for the most part, though perhaps that's what keeps you watching. Taylor is all dolled up, but she doesn't look her best here--and one can only wonder what she made of this verbose script and her odd, underwritten character. Still in all, I watched to the very end, and I have to say the bizarre finale (with all those chairs) struck me as original, and stylish in a tacky way. Most bad films are boring or uninspired; "The Driver's Seat" is bad, but not for these reasons. It has a certain movie-making fever, but it's been put together by unconventional--dare I say it?--talents who have little idea how to construct and mount a film. ** from ****
5 out of 9 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
5/10
Experimental Elizabeth Taylor vehicle is both fascinating and boring
gridoon201820 January 2013
Warning: Spoilers
It's fascinating, because it's quite unexpected to find one of Hollywood's greatest female stars - an actress who defines "star" - not just peripherally involved, but leading such a shoddy production (even the location filming in Italy feels cheap, plus there seems to be a lot of dubbing). And it's boring, because there are many long, pointless sequences which add nothing to our understanding of this woman's actions. I did like the use of non-linear narrative - it helps you stay with the picture expecting (or hoping) that a major event awaits you at the end of it. But no, the only thing that happens is what you know will happen all along. So ultimately the non-linearity turns out to be much ado about very little. Despite all that, Taylor does still project some of her star power even in a film like this. ** out of 4.
2 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
6/10
I'm not interested in sex. I'm interested in other things.
sol2 March 2009
Warning: Spoilers
***SPOILERS*** Actress Elizabeth Taylor pulls out all the stops in playing the very unstable and self-destructive Lise who's life seems to have been shattered for reasons that's never really explained in the movie.

Lise is on a trip to Rome from her home in London not just to see the sights and go shopping for clothes but also meet the man of her dreams. That man Pierre, Maxence Mailfort, shows up unexpectedly as the person sitting next to Lise on her flight to Rome. Sensing that there's something very wrong with her Pierre bolts from his seat, as the plane was airborne, to get away from Lise who was making a play for him. This leads to another passenger Bill (Ian Bannen), who's a crazed health nut, trying to pick Lise up and take her to his hotel-room to party.

Lise having nothing at all to do with the lecherous Bill has him arrested by the police in having him framed as a drug dealer with his stash or drugs being nothing more then some dozen plastic bags with his favorite rice & vegetable mixture. It's later in the movie, after he was released by the Rome Police, that Bill tries to rekindle his relationship with Lise only, after getting kicked in the groin, to find out that she already has a boyfriend the scared of his own shadow Pierre.

Later in the movie Lise gets involved with this grease monkey Carlo, Guido Mannari, after she was almost killed in a terrorist attack on a visiting Middle-Eastern diplomat. Like Bill Carlo ended up on the short end of the stick in his trying to seduce Lisa, as he was supposedly driving her to her hotel, as well as ending up in police custody-as a suspect- in what he knew about what happened to her later in the movie. As things turned out Lise finally did track down the elusive Pierre through his aunt Mrs. Fiedke, Mona Washbourne, whom she met by chance in shearing a taxicab! Finding Pierre staying at the same hotel that his aunt was it soon became obvious what Lise wanted from the shy and terrified, of her, young man and it had nothing to do with romance!

Looking far slimmer then she looked in years the gorgeous, at age 41, Elizabeth Taylor was never better with or without her clothes on. In fact Miss Taylor showed much more skin in "The Driver's Seat" then she did in her famous wet swimsuit scene in the 1959 sexy and psychological shocker "Suddendly Last Summer". The ending of the movie may well shock many viewers in how sick and deranged Lise really was. The person who was shocked most of all was Lise's dream man Pierre who was both seduced and forced to carry out her bizarre and murderous plan!
2 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
5/10
It makes you want her to die quickly just that the film ends
rodrig5826 April 2016
Another film difficult to follow. The reason? Because it is boring to death. Instead of happening on screen, death, the death of Elizabeth Taylor's character, it overwhelms us, the audience, at least those gifted with discernment. I was in love with Elizabeth Taylor when I was a teenager, just'd seen her in The Taming of the Shrew, when it was at the peak of her voluptuousness woman (she was 35 then...). Here, at age 42, she still has some charm but, thanks to a scenario without a little salt and pepper, we all suffer from it, the actors, the fans, everyone. Giuseppe Patroni Griffi is a good director, he knows his job well(I enjoyed The Divine Nymph (1975) Divina creatura (original title) very much...) but, what can you do with a bad poor script? Not much! There is also a Andy Warhol in it, a small appearance in Klaus Kinski's style but, far from the great talent and personality of Kinski. Only for forever lovers of the unique Liz with those violet eyes .
1 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
8/10
Doesn't Deserve The Rep It's Gotten
dzizwheel24 May 2009
I first saw this movie on VHS with a friend. He used it for comedic commentary and I never really got to see it as it was intended. Years later I found it doubled with Lovers & Liars a Goldie Hawn movie that she made in Italy in the the dollar rack at Target.

Funny thing is, even with my friend's mindless babbling through the whole picture,the movie and very many of it's scenes are still vivid 20 years later.

Watched it again last night for the first time since and found it to be a totally enjoyable, atmospheric, creepy and unsettling movie. And strangely up to date. I don't think I have been so satisfied with the entire package of a movie in a long time. It has a lot more depth and storyline than the critics have given it credit.It doesn't deserve the drubbing it has gotten.

Having seen all three of Liz's "Overseas Adventures Series": "Nightwatch","Ash Wednesday" and now "The Driver's Seat",this one is the most interesting and entertaining of the set.

My first viewing of it was hampered by the performance of my friend trying to turn it into some "camp classic". He obviously believed the reviews and took them to heart.

If you have a preconceived notion of this movie, it's wrong. Watch closely and find out. You can't take your eyes off it and it's impact will linger for a long time after. Sonmetimes even 20 years !!!
2 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
1/10
Very disturbing
HotToastyRag19 July 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Why, oh why, oh why did Elizabeth Taylor read this demented script and say, "I'll do it!" Not only is it a horrible, disturbing film, but for a woman who had experienced stalker issues during her heyday, making a film like this was downright dangerous.

I never like to give spoilers, but I'll just say this: The only person who will like this movie is that one person in the world who actually liked Looking for Mr. Goodbar. No one else should watch it. It doesn't matter that Liz is a beautiful woman. She's made dozens of films for you to choose from if you want to watch her beauty. For the love of God, skip this one.

Liz plays a mentally ill woman who never gives any insight to her character or why she's so messed up. Seriously, I'm not exaggerating. This woman should be in an institution. She's on vacation in Rome and meets several wacky people during her journey, and she purposely gets into incredibly dangerous and stupid situations with some men. If someone starts talking incessantly about how badly he wants to have sex with you, and you've told him repeatedly you don't want to, would you get in his car and let him drive you to a secluded park?

The Driver's Seat is all-around creepy. The movie splices back and forth between Liz's horrifically ominous encounters and police interrogations of the people she's met with. We don't know yet until the end why they're being questioned, but it's obvious from the get-go that something's rotten in Denmark. In the beginning, you'll want to keep watching to find out what the mystery is. Is Liz an escaped lunatic? Has she committed a crime? What's going on?

Please don't stick around to find out. This is an extremely upsetting movie to watch, especially if you actually like the beautiful star. I don't consider this a spoiler, since it's incredibly obvious every time she gets herself mixed up with a man, but there are some very disturbing sexual and violent situations. Unless you are an extremely sick person, you will be very shaken up by this movie, from start to finish. And not in a good way.

Kiddy Warning: Obviously, you have control over your own children. However, due to graphic violence and disturbing sex scenes, I wouldn't let my kids watch it. Also, there may or may not be a rape scene.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
8/10
A Good Subtle "Madness" Drama
Rainey Dawn8 February 2017
The Driver's Seat, aka Psychotic, aka Identikit - of the titles of this film I think Psychotic fits the film best, followed by Identikit. I have to say Elizabeth Taylor is fantastic in this one - the role suited her quite well. Too bad she didn't make more films in this vein.

This is an artful film with subtle and a few quite "out there" psychotic episodes from Lise (Taylor) - not to mention the two men on the plane with her and Andy Warhol. There are some other weird characters too.

It's an intelligent type of "madness" movie that is not for just anyone. Some find the film boring because they don't get the subtle things going on. If you get subtle things in films then you will get this film. I guess you can call this piece of cinema an acquired taste. I get the subtleness so this is my type of flick.

8/10
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
10/10
Elizabeth the Great
wc1996-428-36610121 March 2013
Once again Elizabeth Taylor proves she was the greatest actress of her time. This off-beat,virtually unknown film is a triumph all the way around. But it is Taylor who carries it virtually in every scene. An Italian film with a stunning Italian cast, especially the men everyone of whom is a knockout. Your eyes will dance every which way trying to keep up with the hunks in this film. There is one scene in particular where the stud is wearing overalls that zip right down the front and which are unzipped immediately whereupon the action takes place in the front seat of a car and the windows do steam up fast. Yikes! Only the Italians could create such a sensuous, utterly erotic setting for the likes of Elizabeth Taylor. No American film ever quite make her such an object of desire, but then American films are so kindergarten anyway.
1 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
1/10
ElizabethTaylor's worst movie ever
highwaytourist30 March 2007
My, oh, my, how Taylor's career fell apart. How else could she have been persuaded to appear in this Grade Z Eurotrash? There isn't much that happens in this movie, but it's all preposterous. And what's worse, none of it is interesting, not even enjoyably bad. She plays this spinster who goes out wearing garish clothes that would embarrass a K-Mart shopper and behaves strangely. She meets a lot of nutty people and looks for someone to murder her. If she really wanted to die, she could have watched this movie and died of boredom.

The only reason to see this movie is to see how low even the highest star can fall. Why did she agree to do it? I can't imagine any reason she could find to star in it, unless she was offered a huge salary and a daily All-You-Can-Eat buffet.
3 out of 12 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
1/10
It doesn't get any worse than this...
mark.waltz2 November 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Political intrigue in Europe is the motivation for this trashy excuse for a crude screenplay, a frizzled hairstyle by its leading lady and some of the worst dialog I've heard in the pile of bad 1970's movies. The main problem, other than the confusing narrative (concerning the suicidal self-loathing character played by the legendary Elizabeth Taylor), hideous acting and rancid characters is that the film seems to be taking itself way too seriously without realizing how bad it all is. Like a selfish human being who lives through ego yet lacks any amount of self esteem, it exploits its ridiculousness in the viewer's face and never lets go. The only scene with any sense of depth was a car bombing that results in a realistic scene of mass destruction.

Poor Liz. She hadn't had a good movie in years ("Taming of the Shrew", 1967, being the last one.) This ranks along with "Boom!", "Secret Ceremony", "X, Y, and Zee" and "Ash Wednesday" as one that has to be seen (only once, though) to be believed. Even appearances by Andy Warhol, Mona Washbourne and Ian Bannen are embarrassing, as is such dialog as "When I diet, I diet. When I orgasm, I orgasm. I don't believe in mixing the two cultures." Nobody but Liz was out to destroy her career at this point. No wonder she drank! But la Liz survived, rising back up through turning to the theatre and becoming a major champion in the fight against AIDS so she can be forgiven these cinematic turkeys. The cruel wags of the 70's and 80's would have to find another victim for their vicious barbs.

Save yourself two hours of torture (unless you are like me determined to see every movie every major star has ever done). Liz had bad films that successfully pass the camp quotient, but this one doesn't get that honor, just simple disgust.
2 out of 8 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
3/10
Elizabeth Taylor Goes Shopping
wes-connors14 February 2010
Beautiful and buxom Elizabeth Taylor (as Lise) is looking for something, but it is not sex. She does not want sex, and repeatedly asserts, "I don't want sex!" But, Ms. Taylor invites, "You can do anything you want afterwards, just (censored) me!" Some of the lines uttered by Taylor in this movie are really funny. On a plane, she asks Ian Bannen (as Bill), "You look like Red Riding Hood's grandmother, do you want to eat me?" Unlike Taylor, Mr. Bannen is interested in sex. He tells her he needs an orgasm every day. Taylor talks about orgasms, too. Other men making an impression on Taylor are Guido Mannari (as Carlo) and Maxence Mailfort (as Pierre). And, Mona Washbourne (as Helen Fiedke) is a sleepy shopping companion.

Keep your remote control handy to re-play the opening "dressing room" scene, because you may do a "double-take" upon seeing Taylor looking sexy in a very revealing see-through bra. Also note, the title "Identikit" is a misnomer; while made in Italy, "The Driver's Seat" is basically an English language film.

The main attraction is watching Elizabeth Taylor essay another of her most unusual 1970s roles. She is not entirely successful, and may have abandoned all hope of continuing a serious acting career with this one. Taylor had been, for a solid decade, one of the Hollywood's most respected actresses - but, sometime after "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf" (1966), she began to falter. There were, still, occasional interesting roles and moments; but, the missteps hurt Taylor's reputation. Critics would drool over each new Elizabeth Taylor film project (most with companion Richard Burton) because, frankly, their reviews were an opportunity to be more (perversely) entertaining than the films. Ironically, Taylor put film critics in "The Driver's Seat".

*** The Driver's Seat (5/20/74) Giuseppe Patroni Griffi ~ Elizabeth Taylor, Ian Bannen, Guido Mannari, Mona Washbourne
1 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Strange movie
elle-1011 January 2001
If it wasn't for the fact Liz Taylor is one of the richest women in the world, I would have said she must have been desperate to have taken such a weird part. The depressing background music doesn't help either, but I suppose it's in keeping with the content of the movie. I can't see movie buffs lining up to see this one. As per usual, I got roped in with this movie because I've always been a fan of Liz Taylor's, and the video was on sale for $5.00. The tape had tracking problems I couldn't fix, so right at this minute, I stopped the video and threw it in the garbage bin. I think I've learned a lesson here. A video on sale for that low price is telling me something. Hope it may help others who read this.
2 out of 10 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
loading
An error has occured. Please try again.

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews