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|Index||25 reviews in total|
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
By 1974, Elizabeth Taylor's career had reached something of a low point. She had been in a string of box office disappointments, and now being in her forties had further reduced the movie offers she was getting. This may explain why she went all the way to Italy to appear in an Italian movie, but the end results reveal she probably would have been a lot better off staying home. This movie is a real head scratcher, not revealing why Taylor's character (who is shrill and obnoxious) is doing what she is doing, and why. With one unexplained scene after the other, pretty soon many people in the audience will get tired and confused pretty quick, and change the channel long before the movie gets to its uninteresting conclusion. The movie does have one bit of interest, however. In this movie, Taylor gets closest to she ever got to having a nude sequence, in one scene wearing a sheer bra that leaves pretty much nothing to the imagination.
*** This review may contain 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.
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.
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
this movie because I've always been a fan of Liz Taylor's,
the video was on sale for $5.00. The tape had tracking
I couldn't fix, so right at this minute, I stopped the video and threw it
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
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