5.3/10
545
13 user 12 critic

Ash Wednesday (1973)

Barbara Sawyer (Dame Elizabeth Taylor) gets secret plastic surgery in Switzerland in an attempt to save her marriage to Mark Sawyer (Henry Fonda), but he doesn't seem interested in meeting ... See full summary »

Director:

Larry Peerce
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. See more awards »

Photos

Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Elizabeth Taylor ... Barbara Sawyer
Henry Fonda ... Mark Sawyer
Helmut Berger ... Erich
Keith Baxter ... David
Maurice Teynac Maurice Teynac ... Doctor Lambert
Margaret Blye ... Kate Sawyer
Monique van Vooren ... German Woman
Henning Schlüter Henning Schlüter ... Bridge Player
Dino Mele ... Mario
Kathy Van Lypps Kathy Van Lypps ... Mandy
Dina Sassoli ... Nurse Ilse
Carlo Puri Carlo Puri ... Paolo
Andrea Esterhazy Andrea Esterhazy ... Comte d'Arnoud
Jill Pratt Jill Pratt ... Simone
Irina Wassilchikoff Irina Wassilchikoff ... Silvano del Campo
Learn more

More Like This 

Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

Mentally disturbed spinster Lise (Dame Elizabeth Taylor) experiences a series of bizarre encounters in Rome as she searches for someone to murder her.

Director: Giuseppe Patroni Griffi
Stars: Elizabeth Taylor, Ian Bannen, Guido Mannari
Night Watch (1973)
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Ellen Wheeler (Dame Elizabeth Taylor), a rich woman, is recovering from a nervous breakdown with the help of her husband and a good friend. One day, while staring out the window, she ... See full summary »

Director: Brian G. Hutton
Stars: Elizabeth Taylor, Laurence Harvey, Billie Whitelaw
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Passengers on a European train have been exposed to a deadly disease. Nobody will let them off the train. So what happens next?

Director: George P. Cosmatos
Stars: Sophia Loren, Richard Harris, Martin Sheen
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Senate investigation into the President's newly nominated Secretary of State, gives light to a secret from the past, which may not only ruin the candidate, but the President's character as well.

Director: Otto Preminger
Stars: Franchot Tone, Lew Ayres, Henry Fonda
Crime | Film-Noir | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A ruthless college student resorts to murder in an attempt to marry an heiress.

Director: Gerd Oswald
Stars: Robert Wagner, Jeffrey Hunter, Virginia Leith
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

The Faust legend retold (loosely) and applied to a mentally disturbed patient in a hospital run by a doctor (Sir Peter Ustinov) of dubious sanity. The patient (Richard Burton) offers the ... See full summary »

Director: Peter Ustinov
Stars: Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Peter Ustinov
Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A director hires an alcoholic has-been and strikes up a stormy relationship with the actor's wife, who he believes is the cause of all the man's problems.

Director: George Seaton
Stars: Bing Crosby, Grace Kelly, William Holden
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

On a Sunday, Eileen Tyler, still a virgin, leaves Albany to visit her airline pilot brother in New York but a chance encounter with a man on a city bus threatens to derail her upcoming marriage to boyfriend Russ.

Director: Peter Tewksbury
Stars: Rod Taylor, Jane Fonda, Cliff Robertson
The Big Combo (1955)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A police lt. is ordered to stop investigating deadly crime boss Mr. Brown, because he hasn't been able to get any hard evidence against him. He then goes after Brown's girlfriend who despises him, for information instead.

Director: Joseph H. Lewis
Stars: Cornel Wilde, Richard Conte, Jean Wallace
Divorce His - Divorce Hers (TV Movie 1973)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

The story of the breakup of an eighteen-year marriage, as seen from the points of view of both the husband and the wife.

Director: Waris Hussein
Stars: Richard Burton, Elizabeth Taylor, Carrie Nye
War | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.8/10 X  

How World War II affected the lives of a German family and an American family, both of whom had sons and fathers fighting in the war.

Director: Umberto Lenzi
Stars: Helmut Berger, Samantha Eggar, Giuliano Gemma
X, Y and Zee (1972)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

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.

Director: Brian G. Hutton
Stars: Elizabeth Taylor, Michael Caine, Susannah York
Edit

Storyline

Barbara Sawyer (Dame Elizabeth Taylor) gets secret plastic surgery in Switzerland in an attempt to save her marriage to Mark Sawyer (Henry Fonda), but he doesn't seem interested in meeting her. She checks in to a ski resort to wait for Mark, and begins getting attention from young men. Her daughter tries to warn her that even though she has had the surgery it might be too late for her marriage, but she clings to the hope that Mark will come back once he sees her new look. Meanwhile, she must decide whether or not have an affair with a young man she's met. Written by Ed Sutton <esutton@mindspring.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Surgery took years off her face. But can it save her marriage? See more »

Genres:

Drama | Mystery

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Dame Elizabeth Taylor and Dino Mele appeared in The Driver's Seat (1974). See more »


Soundtracks

The Nearness of You
Written by Ned Washington (as Washington) and Hoagy Carmichael (as Carmichael)
Performed by Jerry Wright
See more »

User Reviews

 
Valentine to a Fabulous Dame!
28 May 2013 | by jery-tillotson-1See all my reviews

"Ash Wednesday" from l973 marked Elizabeth Taylor's last glamour movie. After winning her Oscar for "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolfe", Taylor was urged by new husband, Richard Burton, to take on more quirky roles that downplayed, and thus damaged, her phenomenal movie career as a legendary beauty. When she accepted the role of Barbara, an aging middle-aged socialite who goes to Switzerland to have a body lift, Burton was enraged that she would take such a "dumb" role. We have to laugh. Burton by now was notorious for picking roles that resulted in box office bombs, like "Exorcist II," "Bluebeard," "Under Milkwood", "Staircase," etc. "Ash Wednesday" was filmed at the luxurious resort village of Cortina d'Ampezzo in Italy. Here we see a stunning Elizabeth Taylor--at last--clothed in knockout fashions from the hands of Edith Head. Beautiful gowns, robes of velvet, furs galore, hairstyles from Alexandre of Paris, rapturous photography by Ennio Guarnieri and best of all a one-of-a-kind white ermine costume to wear at the movie's mardi gras. Taylor's co-star was nearly as beautiful as she: Helmut Berger. Burton was convinced the two were having a real affair. Everyone laughed because it was known that the gorgeous Berger was the lover of Italian movie director Luchino Visconti. Taylor looks phenomenal throughout, with numerous loving closeups that show why the world had fallen in love with her. We have a beautiful musical score by Maurice Jarre but the biggest casting error is a glum, grim Henry Fonda who portrays her dull-as-dishwater husband. That male beauty, Rod Taylor of the '70s, would have been ideal. Producer Dominick Dunne wrote in his memoirs that there was more drama behind the scenes of this movie than in front it. Taylor and Burton had operatic confrontations over who was sleeping with who. He tried to physically prevent her from appearing on the set. The actress was often late, sometimes never showed up for work, overdosed several times--yet, none of this shows up on screen. "Ash Wednesday" is a movie to be treasured by Taylor fans--and we are in the millions--or anyone else who wants to see a fabulous beauty making her swan song to old-style glamour. She would never appear so uncannily beautiful again.


4 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 13 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 November 1973 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Die Rivalin See more »

Edit

Box Office

Gross USA:

$1,027,170
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

Your Next Binge Watch Awaits

Looking for something to watch? Check out IMDb's "What to Watch" series to find out what's really worth watching.



Recently Viewed