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35 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "IT TAKES ONE DAY TO DIE, ANOTHER TO BE BORN..."
"It takes one day to dye, another to be born..." Elizabeth Taylor reportedly said those words to her director Griffi when she came on the set the day after she left Burton for their first divorce. So with that mindset she went to work on one of her most unusual, daring and controversial films. From the moment "The Diver's Seat" begins you know you are in a strange place...
Published on September 2, 2009 by Michael C. Smith

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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A terrible film, but well worth watching
"The Driver's Seat" (a/k/a "Identikit") is indeed every bit as bad as adorian says it is -- but it's still well worth a viewing. From the remarkably pretentious opening titles, which position it as an "art" film from the outset, through the attenuated, almost hallucinatory progress of the movie, it's a spectacle of sorts that gives the impression of Liz and a few of her...
Published on January 29, 2009 by Cody K.


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35 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "IT TAKES ONE DAY TO DIE, ANOTHER TO BE BORN...", September 2, 2009
By 
Michael C. Smith "MGMboy@aol.com" (San Francisco, CA United States) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: The Driver's Seat (DVD)
"It takes one day to dye, another to be born..." Elizabeth Taylor reportedly said those words to her director Griffi when she came on the set the day after she left Burton for their first divorce. So with that mindset she went to work on one of her most unusual, daring and controversial films. From the moment "The Diver's Seat" begins you know you are in a strange place. In Europe the movie was called "Idendikit" so, with two names tagged to it thus making it schizophrenic from the first it easily falls into the realm of the ambiguous art film genre of the late 60's and early 70's.
It's star, Elizabeth Taylor, appears here in one of her most remote and dangerous roles. She plays Lise a woman who is consumed by insanity and the desire to find the ultimate lover, the be all and end all of boyfriends you might say.
As the film opens you are presented with a shattered view of a woman on the edge of something terrible. The camera moves past bald mannequins in a disjointed way. Is this Lise's view of others or is it a reflection of her ultimate fate? Upon being told to take a holiday from work after causing a scene in the office the film opens with her preparations to take flight to Rome. The film jump cuts from past to present as the police in Rome try to reconstruct her final fatal holiday in terrorist gripped Rome. Even Rome comes off as off kilter. This is not the Rome of Audrey Hepburn or Marcello Mastroianni but a city one hardly recognizes from the lack of typical filming locations one associates with "Made In Rome!" movies.
Director Giuseppe Patroni Griffi succeeds in presenting a uniquely Italian cinema verite film of the Muriel Spark novel. This is a unique film and very much of it's day. Its non-linear, experimental, almost documentary style will be hard to get into for any one not used to movies of this sort. But it is well worth the effort. So strange and challenging a film it is that it left the opening night audience at the 1974 Cannes Film Festival in stunned silence.
The cast is well chosen and gives some oddly memorable performances. Ian Bannan as the macrobiotic sex-nut who tires to pick up Lise on the plane to Rome seems almost as mad as she is. It is a wickedly off kilter wild-eyed performance. The charming and always wonderful Mona Washbourne is sweetly touching as the woman who befriends the mad Lise and in doing so leads her to meet the man of her dreams.
But the glue that holds it all together is provided by Miss Taylor who tops off her short list of insane characters from Susanna Drake to Catherine Holly with this daring and shocking portrait of Lise. She opens up as an actress that at the time would have been unthinkable to most of her contemporaries from the old M.G.M. days. That's one of the wonderful things about her film career. She came from an era in old Hollywood where she was trained and groomed to be glossy and perfect. But as times changed so did she and in doing so became much more than an MGM glamour girl, she became an actress with guts. In "The Driver's Seat" she shows her chops as an actress and her willingness to accept challenges in her roles and in Lise she found a great one. One stunning image of her is when in her loud madwoman dress and raccoon painted eyes she challenges the airport security to frisk her. In that scene she seems totally there, totally gone, and totally in control as an actress.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Love me to death, July 28, 2009
This review is from: The Driver's Seat (DVD)
In Euro-made THE DRIVER'S SEAT, Elizabeth Taylor plays an unmarried woman on a quest for her own private Kevorkian. Oddball Andy Warhol cameos here as an oddball Lord/diplomat.

SYNOPSIS--
The highly neurotic Lise (Taylor) arrives in Rome on a mandatory vacation and seeks out in the city's seamier districts a mate willing to love her and leave her... DEAD. Lise desires to be ceremoniously bound and then murdered with a knife. From appearances alone this woman is clearly unbalanced: smeared mascara, a max-tacky wardrobe and wild behavior are an attempt to stand out from the crowd as well as her desperate cry for help.

Macabre atmosphere captured through skilled cinematography, sets and lighting amply give a sense of the insanity that haunt's Lise's conscience. The obvious semi-deranged self-absorption of this character is wonderfully conveyed by Liz in one of her least remembered yet most-difficult roles.

If you're seeking typical popcorn fare you'd do best to try elsewhere, but if a logic-challenging movie with an offbeat performance by one of Hollywood's greats is your goal, then look no further-- cuz you've found it!

Parenthetical number preceding title is a 1 to 10 viewer poll rating found at a film resource website.

(5.5) The Driver's Seat (Italy-1974) - Elizabeth Taylor/Ian Bannen/Guido Mannari/Mona Washbourne/Luigi Squarzina/Andy Warhol
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars HOT ,GENIUS ACTING BY ELIZABETH TAYLOR, February 22, 2010
This review is from: The Driver's Seat (DVD)
Of course few would really appreciate this film. It's too BRILLIANT. It's too much ART. Not bland enough for the average film viewer. Elizabeth Taylor is a freaking genius. You cannot believe it's HER in this film. She plays the most mentally disturbed woman with such genius. There is a scene where she checks herself out in a mirror, one of my favorite scenes just because it was done so deftly and perfectly. No one else could act as brilliantly as Elizabeth does in this entire bizarre film. You have to be CONSCIOUS of the fact that Elizabeth is ACTING to really appreciate the job she does here. All the mannerisms, the look in her eyes, her facial expressions...I don't know how she managed to look and act so insane without over-acting as most other actors would have done. The fact she did not over-act it, the fact she did such a strange job of it shows her immense talent. There will never be another Elizabeth Taylor. Her best films are mentioned the LEAST often...if I ever hear another mention "Father Of The Bride" again I will throw up. And that's what you will get after Elizabeth passes away...nothing but tributes that mention all the same films over and over.... but if you want her at her most brilliant, see THIS film, and see "Night Watch", and she was lovely in "Boom" , she was fascinating in "Secret Ceremony" {and the ending of that movie was excellent,as a creep played by Robert Mitchum got what he deserved}. This film is disturbing but SO WHAT, its one of the most amazing jobs of acting I have ever seen, or will ever see. Its so underrated I could scream. Just look at Elizabeth's face on the cover ! She NAILED IT.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Certainly not for the squeamish!!, January 12, 2011
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This review is from: The Driver's Seat (DVD)
This movie is very disturbing. I don't think I grasped the whole concept of what it was Lise was seeking so avidly, until the very end. Elizabeth is brilliant in her portrayal of the unstable and self-consumed Lise. Her mask of insanity is so subtle that you may miss it if you aren't watching closely. There seems to be a quiet madness brewing perpetually underneath that boring facade. For all purposes, Lise seems like your typical normal next door neighbor until you look closely at her eyes and take in her unimpressive wardrobe. And then there are her explosive tirades. The fact that she is looking for an all consuming love without the sexual aspect is a dead-on of how unbalanced she is.

Ian Bannen's portrayal as a sex-starved man who keeps trying to pick Lise up makes him appear as unstabled as she is. The film left me with a strange sense of distrust and wariness attributable to the bizzare, dark content and the outcome of Lise's illogical and sick desire.

If you're looking for a movie that's not your run-of-the-mill; one that challenges your thinking, get this one.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars don`t expect a glamorous Liz, September 25, 2010
This review is from: The Driver's Seat (DVD)
For those who were spellbound by Liz`s glamour in other films, you probably will be disappointed in this one, not that she still isn`t beautiful. A friend of mine once said it was a low point in her career, I thoroughly disagree. I like mystery and horror, so I was delighted in this off beat psychological story. In my opinion Liz did herself proud in doing a totally different film. By the way this film is available on budget DVDs with good picture quality; glad they let this one slip by.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Liz Not Like Any Other, March 15, 2011
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This review is from: The Driver's Seat (DVD)
This movie absolutely made my jaw drop to the floor. This is a Liz Taylor that really freaked me out. It's one of those artistic movies that makes you want to stop the DVD because of not knowing what the heck is going on, and yet, you just can't stop looking. You get deeper and deeper into it and it takes you to total exhaustion as you study the world of a mentally challenged woman. The ending is brutal and shocking and is not for the squeamish. When the movie was over, I applauded Ms. Taylor for challenging herself in this very morbid and unconventional movie.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Love me to death, July 28, 2009
This review is from: The Driver's Seat (VHS Tape)
In Euro-made THE DRIVER'S SEAT, Elizabeth Taylor plays an unmarried woman on a quest for her own private Kervorkian. Oddball Andy Warhol cameos here as an oddball Lord/diplomat.

SYNOPSIS--
The highly neurotic Lise (Taylor) arrives in Rome on a mandatory vacation and seeks out in the city's seamier districts a mate willing to love her and leave her... DEAD. Lise desires to be ceremoniously bound and then murdered with a knife. From appearances alone this woman is clearly unbalanced: smeared mascara, a max-tacky wardrobe and wild behavior are an attempt to stand out from the crowd as well as her desperate cry for help.

Macabre atmosphere captured through skilled cinematography, sets and lighting amply give a sense of the insanity that haunt's Lise's conscience. The obvious semi-deranged self-absorption of this character is wonderfully conveyed by Liz in one of her least remembered yet most-difficult roles.

If you're seeking typical popcorn fare you'd do best to try elsewhere, but if a logic-challenging movie with an offbeat performance by one of Hollywood's greats is your goal, then look no further-- cuz you've found it!

Parenthetical number preceding title is a 1 to 10 viewer poll rating found at a film resource website.

(5.5) The Driver's Seat (Italy-1974) - Elizabeth Taylor/Ian Bannen/Guido Mannari/Mona Washbourne/Luigi Squarzina/Andy Warhol
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A terrible film, but well worth watching, January 29, 2009
By 
Cody K. (Jamokidence, Rhode Island, USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Driver's Seat (DVD)
"The Driver's Seat" (a/k/a "Identikit") is indeed every bit as bad as adorian says it is -- but it's still well worth a viewing. From the remarkably pretentious opening titles, which position it as an "art" film from the outset, through the attenuated, almost hallucinatory progress of the movie, it's a spectacle of sorts that gives the impression of Liz and a few of her moneyed friends just sort of doing a project together while on vacation -- a vacation in hell, soaked in alcohol and stuffed with drugs.

Elizabeth Taylor is naturally the main course in the film, and without her it would be nothing. From her first tirade in a dress shop because she DOESN'T WANT STAIN-PROOF FABRIC!!! through her absurd misadventures in attempting to find a man who'll kill her, she's just a perfect portrait of a sour, damaged woman with a bad case of terminal ennui. Interest comes from outside the film as the viewer inevitably marvels that this is the same Taylor who'd a decade earlier been one of the brightest stars of the 20th century in National Velvet, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Cleopatra, and so on. The whole thing's a train wreck, and the more so because it's hard to watch it without seeing Taylor and wondering if the wretchedness she portrays might have a lot to do with the conditions of her real life at the moment. Certainly there's a limpid vacancy in her character that doesn't always seem like acting; she just sort of floats through most scenes like a zombie.

There's nothing particularly redeeming in the story, or her character, or any other aspect of the film, although there's sort of a feeling about it overall that links it to the cheesiness of 70's porn and the offhand "underground" films of Paul Morrisey (under the aegis of Warhol, whose momentary and pointless appearance here underscores this). It's at most a lurid period piece, and at least a chapter in the filmic "biography" of one of Hollywood's great, but ultimately all-too-human icons.

As a strange, dark artifact, and considering its low price on DVD, I think it's well worth seeing.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars CINEMAAAAAAAAAAAAAA !!!!, September 17, 2010
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This review is from: The Driver's Seat (DVD)
Another work of art. Elizabeth Taylor is a Diva of the big screen and I'm truly greatfull. She Humbles me!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A slept on gem, April 16, 2012
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This review is from: The Driver's Seat (DVD)
Not a lot of folks know of this movie.its one of her more unusual bizzare haunting melodramas.If you enjoyed her in Sacred Ceremony you'll love this one .
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The Driver's Seat
The Driver's Seat by Giuseppe Patroni Griffi (DVD - 2006)
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