Thursday, April 7, 2011

This 'n That Thursdays: My Elizabeth Taylor Movies

Elizabeth Taylor (February 27, 1932 - March 23, 2011) appeared in numerous films, on both the big and small screens.  She is probably best known and admired for her earlier films from the 1940s and 1950s.  While I do not own all of her works, the seven that I do have are among my favorite movies of all time.  Not all of them were critical or even box office successes, but to me her performance in each of these films is memorable.  Here is a list and short description of Ms. Taylor's role in each movie:

"Jane Eyre"
From Strictly Vintage Hollywood

"Jane Eyre" (1944)  As Helen Burns, the orphan girl who befriends the title character, Elizabeth Taylor's uncredited appearance was brief, but her girlish beauty lit up the screen -- she stole every scene she was in.

From The Daily Grand and Sundry

"Ivanhoe" (1952)  Taylor plays Rebecca, a young Jewish woman who falls in love with the knight Sir Ivanhoe in this medieval tale, even though she knows this love can never be shared.  In my opinion Ms. Taylor was at the height of her beauty in this film, and you have to wonder how Ivanhoe could possibly resist!

"Elephant Walk"

"Elephant Walk" (1954)  This movie was discussed earlier in the week.  Ruth Wiley, Ms. Taylor's character, is a young Englishwoman who marries a wealthy tea planter and moves to Ceylon, only to encounter much strife.  Even though she had just given birth a mere seven weeks before beginning work on this film, Taylor again illuminates the screen, more than doing justice to the gorgeous wardrobe she is given to wear.

From Young Hollywood

"Giant" (1956)  To see Elizabeth Taylor age from a young woman barely out of her teens to a matronly grandmother in the course of this epic movie is truly something that should not be missed.  Her acting is solid as well, and she even holds her own with James Dean.

"Cat on a Hot Tin Roof"
From rising waters entertainment

"Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" (1958)  I think this is probably my favorite Elizabeth Taylor movie.  She and Paul Newman sizzle on the screen together, in spite of the fact that their characters are at odds until the very end of the movie.

"Suddenly, Last Summer"
From HubPages

"Suddenly, Last Summer" (1959)  This rather quirky and eccentric movie has a very dark undertone, but with a cast that includes a sexy Elizabeth Taylor, imperious Katharine Hepburn, and serious Montgomery Clift the acting is superb, which makes the story mesmerizing in a rather macabre way.

"The Taming of the Shrew"
From Heart-of-England

"The Taming of the Shrew" (1967)  The last of the Elizabeth Taylor movies that I own, this adaptation of the Shakespeare play was not exactly faithful to the original, but watching Taylor and then-husband Richard Burton chew the scenery is a lot of fun.  To my mind this Shakespearean comedy is rather outdated and out of touch, so the only way to approach it is with broad humor and a bit of irony, which the pair has done to perfection.

Dog and horse lover that I am, I consider it a serious gap in my film collection not to own "Lassie Come Home" (1943) or "National Velvet" (1944).  I hope to remedy this situation soon!

"Lassie Come Home"
"National Velvet"
From Top Popular

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