Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Thursday's thirteen: Thirteen Elisabeth Taylor Movies

In honor of Elisabeth Taylor's passing, I'm posting thirteen must see of her movies.

1. "National Velvet" (1944)

A preteen Taylor starred as Velvet Brown in this classic horse film, opposite Angela Lansbury and Mickey Rooney. In "National Velvet," based on Enid Bagnold's novel, a girl aspired to win the prestigious Grand National horse race. Disguised as a jockey, Taylor's character entered the race.

2. "Little Women" (1949)

Little Women Poster

Based on Louisa May Alcott's novel, this film featured. Mary Astor as, a Massachusetts mother raising four daughters, while her husband fought in the Civil War. Taylor played one of the girls in a cast including June Allyson, Leon Ames, Peter Lawford, Janet Leigh and Margaret O'Brien.

"Little Women" was remade in 1994 with Winona Ryder and Susan Sarandon.

3. "Father of the Bride" (1950)

Father of the Bride Poster

Taylor stars as an eager bride in this comedy, with Joan Bennett and Spencer Tracy playing her parents. The film earned Oscar nods for Best Actor and Best Picture, but did not win. By 1951, "Father's Little Dividend" followed, with Taylor's character giving birth.

"Father of the Bride" was remade in 1991 with Steve Martin, Diane Keaton, Kimberly Williams-Paisley,Martin Short and Kieran Culkin.

4. "Raintree County" (1957)

Raintree County Poster

Adapted from a book by Ross Lockridge, Jr., "Raintree County" offered Civil War epic drama. with Montgomery Clift, Lee Marvin and Eva Marie Saint. Critics panned it, but Taylor earned an Oscar nomination for her Southern belle.

5. "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" (1958)

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof Poster

Taylor sizzled in "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" as Maggie "The Cat" Pollitt, vamping wife to Paul Newman's debauched "Brick" in the Tennessee Williams drama. The cast included Burl Ives and Jack Carter.

Elvis Presley, James Dean, Ava Gardner, Marilyn Monroe, Grace Kelly and Lana Turner were rumored to have considered starring roles. In the end, Taylor grabbed a BAFTA and an Oscar nomination for her turn.

6. "Suddenly Last Summer" (1959)

Suddenly, Last Summer Poster

Melodrama and intrigue surround this tale of 1930s psychiatry and family dynamics. Based on a Tennessee Williams play, "Suddenly Last Summer" stars Taylor, Clift and Katherine Hepburn. Taylor was nominated for a Best Actress Oscar and won a Golden Globe for this movie.

7. "Butterfield 8" (1960)

BUtterfield 8 Poster

Taylor won the Academy Award for Best Actress as a socialite call girl in a love affair with a married man. Eddie Fisher and Dina Merrill also starred in "Butterfield 8."

8. "Cleopatra" (1963)

Cleopatra Poster

A costly critical flop, "Cleopatra" is a popular Taylor favorite. Playing the Nile Queen, Taylor starred opposite Richard Burton, Rex Harrison, Martin Landau and Roddy McDowell. The Egyptian epic, receiving four Oscars, became legendary for Taylor and Burton's meeting.

9. "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" (1966)

Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Poster

This film adaptation of Edward Albee's Broadway smash set Taylor against Burton in a close-up look at a tumultuous 20-year marriage. Sandy Dennis and George Segal joined the cast. Taylor picked up an Oscar, a BAFTA and a Golden Globe nomination.

10. "The Taming of the Shrew" (1967)

The Taming of the Shrew Poster

This adaptation of William Shakespeare's Renaissance comedy starred Taylor and Burton, squaring off as Kate and Petrucio. The supporting cast included Michael Holden and Michael York. Taylor received a BAFTA nomination for "The Taming of the Shrew."

11. "Life with Father" (1947)

William Powell is a tower of comic strength as Clarence Day, the benevolent despot of his 1880s New York City household. Irene Dunne co-stars as Day's wife Vinnie, who outwardly has no more common sense than a butterfly but who is the real head of the household. The anecdotal story, encompassing such details as the eldest Day son's (James Lydon) romance with pretty out-of-towner Mary (Elizabeth Taylor), is tied together by Vinnie's tireless efforts to get her headstrong husband baptized, else he'll never be able to enter the Kingdom of God. Each scene is a little gem of comedy and pathos, as the formidable Mr. Day tries to bring a stern businesslike attitude to everyday household activities, including explaining the facts of life to his impressionable son.

12. "Elephant Walk" (1954)

Elephant Walk is a 1954 Paramount Pictures film, directed by William Dieterle, and starring Elizabeth Taylor, Dana Andrews, Peter Finch and Abraham Sofaer.

Colonial tea planter John Wiley, visiting England at the end of World War II, wins and weds lovely English rose Ruth and takes her home to Elephant Walk, Ceylon, where the local elephants have a grudge against the plantation because it blocks their migrating path. Ruth's delight with the tropical wealth and luxury of her new home is tempered by isolation as the only white woman in the district; by her husband's occasional imperious arrogance; by a mutual physical attraction with plantation manager Dick Carver; and by the hovering, ominous menace of the hostile elephants. The elephants end up destroying the plantation in a stampede along with a fire.

13. "Lassie Come Home" (1943)

The original adventure of a boy and his dog is considered by many as the best. Young Roddy McDowall stars as a boy whose poor family is forced to sell their beloved collie, Lassie.

What's your favorite movie starring Liz Taylor?


Shelley Munro said...

The only one of her movies that I saw was National Velvet. She was certainly a beautiful woman.

Bratty said...

I don't know. I haven't watched that many of her movies, nor did I understand them when I watched them. It was quite a different era....

Janice said...

Hi Shelley,

Yes, she was quite beautiful and she had the most amazing violet colored eyes.

Hi Bratty,

Yes, most of her movies are from a different era but not all.


Adelle Laudan said...

We are on the same wavelength this week. I enjoyed your list.
Happy T13!

Paige Tyler said...

I've never seen any of her movies!


My TT is at

Alice Audrey said...

I haven't seen a lot of these, which is kind of a reliefpr as it leaves me with something to look forward to still.

A. Catherine Noon said...

She sure was a pretty woman. Her friendship with Michael Jackson, I felt, was a black mark, but other than that she's an interesting lady!

Skylar Kade said...

Great list! I need to update my Netflix queue with some of these. Happy T13!

Janice said...

Hi Adelle,

Thank you. I'll have to check out your thirteen too.

Hi Paige,

Your poor deprived child, go rent one today.

Hi Alice,

Good. I've seen most of them but not all. So I'll be looking for them on Netflix.

Hi Catherine,

Yes, she was very lovely.

Hi Skylar,

Thank you. It nice to see someone new here.

Happy TT to everyone.


Heather said...

I'm sure I've seen more of her movies, but the only one I truly remember is National Velvet. WordTrix

Maddy Barone said...

It is tremendously hard to pick a favorite Elizabeth Taylor movie. But tonight I'm watching national Velvet. Thanks for the memories.

Janice said...

Hi Heather,

National Velvet is a winner. It got Liz Taylor attention and launched her career. A very memorable film.

Hi Maddy,

Enjoy your movie. That a good movie pick.


Savannah Chase said...

She was so amazing...I've not see all of her movies Great T13....

Darla M Sands said...

Great TT! I will always love "The Taming of the Shrew" with Richard Burton.

Janice said...

Hi Savannah,

I haven't either. And she will be missed.

Thank you.

Hi Darla,

I don't think I've seen that one. But I have loved her other movies.

Happy TT everyone.


Jennifer Leeland said...

I was just saying my favorite Taylor movies are "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" and "Elephant Walk" are my favorite movies.

Janice said...

Hi Jennifer,

I remember both. They're good movies.


Turtle Guy said...

You nailed it with "Taming of the Shrew" - I saw it in grade 12 English class (along with four or five other adaptations - including the Moonlighting version!

All made me laugh, but I think Taylor brought a dignity to the character that no other actor did.

(BTW, the "awful word verification thing" you speak of handed me "cowionas". Sounds Latin... I dunno...)

Janice said...

Hi Dave,

I saw Taming of the Shrew so long ago that I don't really remember it.

I'm glad you have good memories of Liz Taylors movie.

As for the word verification thing. I have no control of it. The words are just kind of random. *shrug* But it can be amusing sometimes.