These Old Broads (TV Movie 2001) Poster

(2001 TV Movie)


Jump to: Cameo (1)
In 1959, in one of the biggest scandals to hit Hollywood up to that time, beloved couple Eddie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds divorced when Fisher left Reynolds for Elizabeth Taylor. This film marked the first time Reynolds and Taylor had acted in a scene together since before that scandal.
Shirley MacLaine had wanted the title role in The Unsinkable Molly Brown (1964), which ended up going to Debbie Reynolds. Reynolds later wanted to play the character based on herself in Postcards from the Edge (1990), but ended up losing the role to MacLaine.
Shirley MacLaine said of the shoot, "It was my best time ever in making a film." She went on to claim that none of the actresses were ever late to the set, "not even Elizabeth" and they worked from 5 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. every day.
Even with the stars attached, Elizabeth Taylor and Carrie Fisher couldn't get any studios interested in shooting the script as a feature film. Fisher remarked that studio executives believed the only audience the movie would attract is "a group of seniors huddled around the TV at the nursing home".
The finale musical production number took 16 hours to film. According to TV Guide, Shirley MacLaine became annoyed by a buzzing sound, left and refused to return to the set. Eventually she did return to rehearse and soon tripped on the steps and fell. Cast and crew members rushed to her side, except for Joan Collins, who took the break as an opportunity to check her makeup.
The second time Lauren Bacall missed an opportunity to act with Elizabeth Taylor. Bacall earlier walked out on the role of Hedda Hopper in "Malice in Wonderland" opposite Taylor as Louella Parsons.
This film, written by Carrie Fisher, contains one actress who is Fisher's mother (Debbie Reynolds), one who is her ex-stepmother (Elizabeth Taylor) and one (Shirley MacLaine) who played the mother of a character based upon her in Postcards from the Edge (1990) (also written by Fisher).
Screenwriter Carrie Fisher, star Shirley MacLaine and executive producer Laurence Mark attended a party thrown by Elizabeth Taylor. During a conversation about the lack of roles for older actresses, the film was first conceived.
When asked how she felt about being known as an "old broad," Shirley MacLaine told Us Weekly, "I've been a broad since I was 3." Joan Collins seems to have researched her answer more thoroughly, claiming, "The dictionary's definition of broad is babe, chick, dame, dish, doll or tootsie. I don't mind being called any of those!" Debbie Reynolds quipped "I'm not 'broad' in the sense of my rear end, but I do love being an old broad." Referencing costar Elizabeth Taylor Reynolds concluded, "England made Elizabeth a 'dame,' so in America, let's give the title 'broad!'.
Although her co-stars donned fake jewels, Elizabeth Taylor wore her own in the film. Recalled executive producer Ilene Amy Berg, "The first scene she did with her sapphire and diamond bracelet and earrings and wearing the diamond that Richard Burton had given her. By the time we did her last scene the necklace was ready, so she wore that as well".
The role of Addie Holden was written for Lauren Bacall but eventually went to Joan Collins.
Elizabeth Taylor remained seated for most of her performance and was wheeled onto the set in a chair. "I can't walk a long distance so everybody sees me in a wheelchair and thinks I'm sick," she told TV Guide. "If you had broken your back three times, you couldn't stand very long [either]."
Shot in 22 days.
In a story on the film, TV Guide concluded that combined "these women have almost 200 years of showbiz experience."
Elizabeth Taylor's final on-screen acting role.
Gene Barry's final TV production.
Joan Collins is the only one of the film's headlining stars who has never been nominated for an Oscar.


Carrie Fisher:  The screenwriter appears credited as "Hooker" in the prison scene.

See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

Contribute to This Page