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Burton and Taylor (2013)

Legendary acting duo and married couple Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor prepare for a 1983 theatrical production of the play "Private Lives".


Richard Laxton


William Ivory, Noël Coward (extracts from the play "Private Lives") (as Noel Coward) | 1 more credit »
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 2 wins & 16 nominations. See more awards »




Complete credited cast:
Dominic West ... Richard Burton
Helena Bonham Carter ... Elizabeth Taylor
Greg Hicks ... Zev Bufman
Jeff Mash Jeff Mash ... Journalist
Trevor White ... Journalist
Lenora Crichlow ... Chen Sam
Isabella Brazier-Jones Isabella Brazier-Jones ... Maria Burton
Lucille Sharp ... Liza Todd Burton
Stanley Townsend ... Milton Katselas
Sarah Hadland ... Kathryn Walker
William Hope ... John Cullum
Jessica Jones ... ASM (as Jess Doherty)
Michael Jibson ... Mike
Martin Sherman ... Reporter (as Martin T Sherman)
Cassie Raine 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


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »


Official Sites:






Release Date:

16 October 2013 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Burton e Taylor See more »

Filming Locations:

Chiswick, London, England, UK See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Helena Bonham Carter plays Elizabeth Taylor, who was married to a famous Burton [Richard Burton]. In real life, Bonham Carter was in a relationship with another famous Burton [Tim Burton] for over 10 years. See more »


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 »


[last lines]
Elizabeth Taylor: See, I know you, better than you know yourself.
Richard Burton: Yeah.
[they laugh]
Elizabeth Taylor: Wanna say the lines?
Richard Burton: No, not at the same time, no!
[they laugh giddly]
Richard Burton: I'll never do it!
Elizabeth Taylor: You'll be fine!
See more »


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


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

Not the golden couple
3 March 2014 | by Prismark10See all my reviews

Burton and Taylor will forever be Hollywood's golden couple whose turbulent life made headline news but also inspired some dramatic films, none more so than 'Who's afraid of Virgina Woolf.'

The setting for this one off film is 1983, a year before Burton's death untimely death. Richard Burton (Dominic West) and Elizabeth Taylor (Helena Bonham Carter) after their second divorce are reuniting in London for a theatrical play of Noel Coward's Private Lives and enter another spiral of turbulence, bickering, despair and affection. The press announcement creates a storm of interest and speculation in the media as to if they will get back together for a third time.

Taylor still carries a torch for Burton whilst Burton, a man with a reputation as a great stage actor is frustrated by Taylor's histrionics and her unwillingness to rehearse the play properly.

Bonham Carter captures the essence and cattiness of Taylor remarkably well although West seems to struggle with his Burton. Maybe it was a misstep by concentrating in this period of their relationship when there is a more interesting story to be told about this pair as to how they fell in love in the early 1960s and their roller coaster relationship over the next 20 years.

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