I was so glad to find this film thoroughly believable. That and the fact that it tugged at the heart of this movie fan who loves the history of film and appreciates the place that the Burton-Taylor relationship holds within it.


Wisely the script does not give us the tumultuous relationship from the set of Cleopatra forward through two attempts at marriage and countless films together. Mostly forgettable. Instead the movie from director Richard Laxton and screenplay writer William Ivory focuses on the pair reuniting in 1983 for a Broadway run of Noel Coward’s Private Lives. The duo can’t help but dredge up the past as Burton wants to find tranquility and Liz just wants to have Burton.

Helena Bonham Carter plays Liz and Dominic West gets the Burton role.

carter and west

Both had me looking past the fact that they were actors playing the two legendary performers. They were acting, not imitating which of course would have spelled disaster. Carter seemed to capture the Liz Taylor spirit and I wonder if she took a certain amount of pleasure at being cast as what many have called the most beautiful woman in the history of film.

Mr. West as well does a fine job as Burton even channeling Burton’s command of the English language at times who is continually at odds with Liz behind the curtain. It’s the classic love-hate relationship till the end.

This was released as a TV Movie by the BBC in 2013 if you are inclined to give it a look.


In the beginning………………….


Then came the rest.


Check out fourth billing……. did you know about that bit of casting?


Liz claims an Oscar….

virginia woolf

Liz joins Richard for a bit of Shakespeare.


“Was this the face that launched a thousand ships and burnt the topless towers of Illium? Sweet Helen, make me immortal with a kiss! ” as only Burton could say.


Love the art work meant to bring in the fans.

the comedians

Can you not hear Burton’s voice when reading lines like these? “In Xanadu did Kubla Khan, a stately pleasure-dome decree. Where Alph, the sacred river, ran through caverns measureless to man down to a sunless sea. ”


Still to come were Under Milk Wood, Hammersmith is Out and a TV Movie, Divorce His – Divorce Hers.

For a gag they should have included Liz in Bluebeard where Burton was “offing” numerous leading ladies.

Bogie and Bacall, Liz and Dick will always hold that special something in Hollywood romances …….. Brad and Angelina? Not likely.