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Burton and Taylor (2013)

TV Movie  -   -  Biography | Drama  -  16 October 2013 (USA)
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Legendary acting duo and husband and wife, Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor prepare for a 1983 theatrical production of the play, "Private Lives".



, (extracts rom the play "Private Lives"), 1 more credit »
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Title: Burton and Taylor (TV Movie 2013)

Burton and Taylor (TV Movie 2013) on IMDb 6.5/10

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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 2 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »
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Complete credited cast:
Zev Bufman
Chen Sam
Isabella Brazier-Jones ...
Maria Burton
Liza Todd Burton
Kathryn Walker
John Cullum
ASM (as Jess Doherty)
Reporter (as Martin T Sherman)
Cassie Raine ...
Sally Burton


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


Biography | Drama


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Release Date:

16 October 2013 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Burton e Taylor  »

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


The movie is set in 1983 when "Private Lives" ran for 63 performance on Broadway. Yet an establishing shot early in the film shows New York's Times Square with billboards for "The Who's Tommy" and the revival of "Guys and Dolls." These shows were playing on Broadway from 1993 to 1995, ten to twelve years after the film's setting. See more »


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


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User Reviews

There must have been more to Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor than that
29 November 2013 | by (Tunbridge Wells, England) – See all my reviews

Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor were the cinema's official Golden Couple of the sixties. Even today, two years after Taylor's death and nearly thirty after Burton's, they still live on in the popular imagination as one of the most famous and glamorous couples of the twentieth century, outdone in that respect possibly only by John and Jackie Kennedy and King Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson. This film, made for the British TV channel BBC Four, does not tell the full story of their relationship (there is a great film to be made on that subject!) but concentrates on their last joint acting venture in 1983, seven years after the second of their two divorces.

The venture in question was a theatrical production in New York of Noel Coward's play "Private Lives", a production advertised under the slogan "Together Again!" On the one level, that slogan could be taken as a reference to Coward's principal characters Elyot and Amanda, a former husband and wife who meet several years after their divorce and realise that they still love one another. The theatre management obviously realised, however, that their advertisement could also be taken as referring to Burton and Taylor themselves, another former husband and wife meeting several years after their divorce. The production was not a great hit with the critics, but was very popular with the theatre-going public who loved the parallels between Elyot and Amanda and the actors portraying them. There was even a curious coincidence in the fact that Elyot's new wife in the play is named Sybil- the same name as Burton's first wife whom he left for Taylor

The fictitious Elyot and Amanda might end by rediscovering their love, but this does not quite happen to their real-life equivalents. Certainly, the film implies that Elizabeth Taylor was still very much in love with her ex-husband and was hoping to marry him for the third time. (If a second marriage can be described as the triumph of hope over experience, what does that say about a third marriage, especially a third marriage to the same party?) Burton, however, was less keen, partly because he had fallen in love with Sally Hay, who became his fourth wife (and does not appear in this film), and partly because the reunion with Taylor reminded him forcibly of just why they split up. By this stage of his life Burton, once one of Hollywood's most notorious hellraisers, was now recovering from alcoholism, whereas Taylor was still drinking as heavily as ever. The two clash repeatedly during the production, largely because Burton believes that Taylor is not taking the play seriously, deliberately overacting and playing to the gallery.

Making filmed biographies of the great actresses of the past, particularly those who were famed for their beauty, can often be a thankless task because of the difficulty of finding a modern actress who bears sufficient resemblance to the woman she is portraying. Helena Bonham Carter, although a very attractive woman, would probably not rank very highly in an Elizabeth Taylor lookalike contest. Her voice, mannerisms and gestures, however, are sufficient to convey an impression of Taylor's personality, an impression convincing enough to persuade us to overlook the lack of any real resemblance. (Michelle Williams was able to perform a similar feat with her impersonation of Marilyn Monroe in "My Week with Marilyn").

Dominic West, however, is unable to do the same for Richard Burton. Part of the reason is that he looks far too young. It is not just the disparity in their chronological ages; West is 44, whereas Burton would have been 58 in 1983. By this stage in his life Burton was ageing and in poor health, looking older than his 58 years. He may have fought gallantly to overcome his alcoholism, but years of excess had taken their toll, and he only had another year to live. (He was to die in August 1984). There is no real hint of this in West's performance, and he comes across as a healthy, vigorous and youthful-looking man in early middle age (despite a few grey hairs). It also does not help that he looks very different from Burton and lacks his deep, mellifluous voice.

I felt that "Burton & Taylor" would have been more interesting if it had tried to tell the whole Burton/Taylor story, using the "Private Lives" production as a framework and relating the story of their life together in a series of flashbacks. Perhaps BBC4 (a fairly small network) lacked the resources to try something so ambitious. The film we actually have, telling no more than a small postscript to that story, is too static and dominated by talk. The sight of Bonham Carter and West getting into yet another blazing argument may occasionally be entertaining, but we are left with the feeling that there must have been more to Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor than that. 5/10

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Good, but,,,, FieryJack
their voices and mannerisms were amazing luv_imdb
Does this appeal to people who aren't Burton/Taylor fans? gtrgrl89
Significant Factual Flubs mfinbh
Burton and Taylor vs. Liz + Dick jdandtex-338-717921
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