Vintage 1975 documentary about the life of movie queen Elizabeth Taylor hosted by Peter Lawford, and featuring appearances by actors Roddy McDowall and Rock Hudson, directors Richard Brooks...
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Vintage 1975 documentary about the life of movie queen Elizabeth Taylor hosted by Peter Lawford, and featuring appearances by actors Roddy McDowall and Rock Hudson, directors Richard Brooks and Vincente Minnelli, Elizabeth's mother Sara Taylor, costumer Helen Rose, and producer Sam Marx. Included on the "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" 2-DVD set. Unfortunately the only survivor of this group as of 2006 is Elizabeth. Written by
Peter Lawford hosts this 1975 documentary about Elizabeth Taylor. There is some wonderful footage and interviews with her mother Sara, dress designer Helen Rose, Roddy McDowall, Vincente Minnelli, Richard Brooks, and Samuel Marx, the man who ultimately discovered her.
The previous reviewer mentioned "macho" men like Rock Hudson and Roddy McDowall being interviewed. They were truly her good friends, and one reason was, they didn't hassle her the way straight men would have. I thought their interviews were fine; all of the interviews were conducted in a relaxed atmosphere, and I found Peter Lawford not sloshed but congenial.
Most interesting were the interviews with Richard Brooks and Samuel Marx. Marx explains how he came to "discover" her, adding that if it hadn't been him, it would have been someone else, as her family was interested in getting her into films. Brooks talks about filming Cat on a Hot Tin Roof during the time that her husband, Mike Todd, died.
Elizabeth Taylor comes off as a woman who was used to publicity and tried not to let it bother her. She was a loyal and generous friend. She had a complicated love life (this we knew). All in all, she sounds absolutely lovely, and this documentary dovetails beautifully with an article in Vanity Fair written by someone who befriended her during Cleopatra -- that she cared about humans and animals and didn't mind handing producers a big fat bill for dinner.
There was so much more to her life, but since this is from 1975, you won't hear it. Still, it was fun to watch. Somehow, as beautiful as she was, people could relate to her because of the warmth she exuded and how amazingly human someone that gorgeous could be.
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