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Burton and Taylor (2013)

Legendary acting duo and married couple Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor prepare for a 1983 theatrical production of the play "Private Lives".

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, (extracts from the play "Private Lives") (as Noel Coward) | 1 more credit »
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4,327 ( 273)

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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 2 wins & 16 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
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Zev Bufman
Jeff Mash ...
Journalist
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Journalist
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Chen Sam
Isabella Brazier-Jones ...
Maria Burton
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Liza Todd Burton
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John Cullum
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ASM (as Jess Doherty)
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Mike
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Reporter (as Martin T Sherman)
Cassie Raine ...
Sally Burton
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Storyline

Film star Elizabeth Taylor invites her ex-husband - twice over - Richard Burton to her fiftieth birthday party where, as a recovering alcoholic, he refuses to get drunk with her. He does however consider her suggestion that they star in a stage revival of the play 'Private Lives'. As they announce the project the press speculate on a romantic reconciliation. With a new girlfriend and the prospect of playing king Lear Burton is not happy with the project, especially with Taylor's pill-popping and her lack of stage experience, which causes problems at rehearsal. The play opens to a critical trashing but is popular with audiences, chiefly, again to Burton's chagrin, because they want to see Taylor and, when she is ill, numbers dwindle and the show is put on hold. After a two month run , with a projected tour, the curtain comes down and Taylor tells Burton she has always loved him and still does. A year later however his old life-style catches up with him and he is dead. Written by don @ minifie-1

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Biography | Drama

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Details

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Release Date:

16 October 2013 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Burton e Taylor  »

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Robert Hardy, a veteran character actor and an old friend of Burton, described West's performance as "hopeless", saying he "wasn't tough enough, he wasn't dangerous enough, he wasn't Welsh enough". However, he appreciated Bonham-Carter's performance, saying she was "brilliant, absolutely brilliant" because she "got the spirit of her and sounded like her". See more »

Goofs

Elizabeth Taylor's "beauty spot" was on the right side of her face, whereas on Helena Bonham Carter's it appears on the left side. See more »

Quotes

[Elizabeth is being escorted out of her room, sobbing hysterically]
Richard Burton: What's going on? Elizabeth!
Chen Sam: Leave her. She's poorly. We're getting her straight back to the apartment.
Richard Burton: There's nothing wrong with her.
Chen Sam: She's sick.
Richard Burton: Really? Well if she is, take it from one who knows: she's got it from a bloody bottle!
Chen Sam: Can you blame her? You treat her like shit! She finds out you're married from a newspaper article; you criticize her as an actress...
Richard Burton: What?
Chen Sam: You!
Richard Burton: I have NEVER criticized her as an actress, she is ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Featured in 20th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Love to Love You Baby
Written by Pete Bellotte, Giorgio Moroder, and Donna Summer
Performed by Donna Summer
Courtesy of The Island Def Jam Music Group
Under license from Universal Music Enteprises
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Requiem for Two Great Stars
21 May 2014 | by (London) – See all my reviews

In 1983 Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor appeared together on stage for the first and only time in Noel Coward's comedy PRIVATE LIVES. Although critically panned, it sold out for its entire run on Broadway, with audiences flocking to see the sight of two legendary figures bickering with one another. William Ivory's screenplay tells the story of that theatrical performance, focusing in particular on Taylor's (Helena Bonham Carter's) gradually disintegrating state of mind, as she realizes that Burton (Dominic West) has abandoned her for good in favor of his new wife Sally Burton (Cassie Raine). Bonham Carter gives a creditable impersonation of Taylor, even though she lacks that mysterious quality that kept Taylor in the public eye for so many years; in this performance, Taylor comes across as a bit of a hopeless drunk with a penchant for upstaging Burton. West's Burton seems like a dedicated actor; despite his love of money and the Hollywood high life, he never lost his professionalism, even in an obvious turkey like this PRIVATE LIVES, in which Taylor seldom knew her lines and often consciously departed from the script, in full knowledge that the audience didn't give a fig. So long as she appeared on stage, then the houses would remain packed; if she was absent, the box-office suffered as a result. In the end, however, both of them seem rather pathetic figures, mere shadows of their former selves at the height of their popularity during the mid-Sixties. We can't help feeling sorry for two actors who were so fond of the limelight that they never knew when to give up: Burton kept wanting to play King Lear, even though he was both physically and mentally ill-equipped to do so. BURTON AND TAYLOR seems like a requiem for two great stars reduced to mere museum exhibits.


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