5.1/10
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12 user 12 critic

Ash Wednesday (1973)

Barbara gets secret plastic surgery in Switzerland in an attempt to save her marriage to Mark, but he doesn't seem interested in meeting her. She checks in to a ski resort to wait for Mark,... See full summary »

Director:

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

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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
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Storyline

Barbara gets secret plastic surgery in Switzerland in an attempt to save her marriage to Mark, 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:

Barbara Sawyer and her beauticians. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Mystery

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 November 1973 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Die Rivalin See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Elizabeth Taylor's husband at time, Richard Burton, thought the film was horrible and damaging to his wife's career, according to letters released for auction in 2004. "I sit here vulgarised by the idea that my wife is doing; violently against my 'taste'; a f - - - lousy nothing bloody film," he wrote in a 1973 letter to two employees. He continued "[Taylor's] singular acceptance of this film is because she wants to remain a famous film star. What the stupid (occasionally) maniac doesn't realise is that she is already immortalised (as a film person) forever." See more »


Soundtracks

Snow Rock
Written by Shire
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User Reviews

 
Elizabeth Taylor plays...
3 October 2000 | by lostngone4everSee all my reviews

Elizabeth Taylor plays Barbara Sawyer, wife to Henry Fonda (who shows up late in the film) for 30 years who has not aged well (to say the least). She goes to Europe and receives plastic surgery in an attempt to save her marriage. Will her restored youth appeal to her husband or will she have to start life over and be strong enough to do so? This is the premise of Ash Wednesday, a syrupy soap opera in the ugly duckling to beautiful swan tradition. Maybe you're a fan of Liz Taylor and sought this movie out, or maybe you just managed to catch it on late night cable and there was nothing else on. Either way you probably realized that this movie wasn't exactly high caliber. But in humble defense I will praise an excellent musical score, beautiful on location scenery, and elegant Edith Head designed fashions. The premise of the movie is a good one and it could have made for a very interesting film had the screenwriter or director had any amount of talent. But the dialogue and direction are both flat. Certain scenes seem pointless and unfulfilled. However, the main point of the movie is to show loving close ups and profiles of 41 year old Taylor looking beautiful again. And, yes, with a lot more make-up and just the right camera angle, we the audience, are transplanted back to those fabulous 50's movies when Taylor didn't have to act or even speak to transfix your gaze upon her and hold it rapt. Rating for Ash Wednesday for any viewer. **(out of 4) For Liz Taylor fans. ***


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