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.
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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
[Richard buys several bottles of vodka, only to pour them down the sink
[he throws the bottles against the wall, destroying them. He slumps into his chair
[quoting King Lear
Thou art the thing itself: unaccommodated man... is no more but such a poor, bare... forked animal... as thou art.
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