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The venomous and amoral wife of a wealthy architect tries, any way she can, to break up the blossoming romance between her husband and his new mistress; a good-natured young widow who holds a dark past.
Brian G. Hutton
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When Fran gets off work at Desert Inn at beginning of film, her walk home makes no geographical sense. She is strolling past hotels, chapels and casinos miles apart and in completely opposite directions. See more »
This rarity, the last film to be directed by the great George Stevens (Shane, Giant) was shown on Turner Classic Movies (TCM).
Typically of the sort of talky romantic mush that Taylor did at this point in her career, it's set in Las Vegas. She's described as being a chorus girl (a 38 year-old one, if my maths is correct) and Beatty, a handsome club piano player, who happens to have a history of gambling woes.
He wants enough money to leave this town of temptation and bad memories, she wants him. And, when 5 year standing flame, the older, and married Charles Braswell, comes back to her, saying he's now divorced and wants to whisk her off to England, cue battle of words, emotions - and the usual. So, who will win her heart? Obviously, neither are suitable but this Hollywood!
It's largely set-bound and often argumentative; Beatty is charismatically watchable but Taylor is just doing the same act and routine, whilst Braswell, intentionally cast as the solid, boring one, is just that. Being (I guess, I couldn't find an age rating) a PG certificate, there's no sex or swearing, both of which, frankly would have added a bit of 'life' into the mix. A jazz score by Maurice Jarre does add atmosphere, though, with melancholic saxophone solos wailing into the night, which helps.
Whilst never quite slipping into tedium, the near two hour running time hardly helps but at least it looks good, with good colour and production values. There are a few casino scenes for those that like such. It's based on a play by Frank D Gilroy, who also adapted it and like so many similar dramas from theatrical sources, you can't help feeling that it'd work better on stage.
So, is it worth watching? If it comes on TV or if you know someone with a copy, yes; you won't see anything new but Lizzy Taylor still is Elizabeth Taylor and Beatty keeps it ticking over nicely. But otherwise, unless you hold a special interest in any of the actors, or the play, then, it's hardly worth pursuing.
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