Legendary acting duo and husband and wife, 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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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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Kathryn Walker
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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)
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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

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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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2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Goofs

Whilst showing a shot of Broadway, there is a clear billboard of the characters "Will & Grace". 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

 
They couldn't be together but they couldn't be apart
17 October 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The DVD of this BBC film for television is yet to be released in the US so the first introduction to what is actually a very fine film was presented to the American audience in piece meal fashion on the BBC network: 7 minutes of story then 4 minutes of commercials then 7 more minutes of story, etc - for 2 hours. It grows wearisome to see two character studies so well sculpted cut up into a puzzle by commercialism's greed. The uninterrupted DVD should correct that flaw and will likely be a stunning experience. Richard Laxton directs a screenplay by William Ivory (no, not THAT Ivory family...), but the kudos for the success of this film go to Helena Bonham Carter and Dominic West who manage to reincarnate Li and Dick with consummate skill.

Elizabeth Taylor (Helena Bonham Carter) invites her ex-husband - twice married, twice divorced in one of the last century's most tempestuous and media focused couplings - Richard Burton (Dominic West) to her fiftieth birthday party where, as a recovering alcoholic, he refuses to get drunk with her. She obviously still retains her obsession and passion for him and suggests that they star in a stage revival of Noël Coward's play Private Lives that Liz is to produce. The agreement and announcement causes gossip with the press who speculate a possible 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 rehearsals: Taylor has not even read the play before day 1 of the rehearsals. The play opens to a critical trashing but is extremely popular with audiences because they want to see Liz 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. Richard and Elizabeth go their separate ways, but they did sort out their differences and remain friends, and apparently they only communicated by telephone and letter, until his death in 1984. Taylor died in 2011.

The supporting cast, especially Lenora Crichlow as Liz' dresser Chen Sam and Stanley Townsend as the play's director Milton Katselas, is strong for the small amount of time they are on screen. The spectacle is the obsessive relationship between two very strong characters and fortunately both actors give excellent impersonations and recreations. We are allowed to see and understand their differences and frustrations.

Grady Harp


5 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Burton and Taylor vs. Liz + Dick jdandtex-338-717921
Does this appeal to people who aren't Burton/Taylor fans? gtrgrl89
Good, but,,,, FieryJack
Significant Factual Flubs mfinbh
Entertaining, but not my favorite of the three films MsGemini
It could have been shorter chinaskee-418-613225
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