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Miss Taylor was dead set against playing Gloria Wandrous. She felt was a deliberate play by M.G.M. to capitalize on her recent notoriety in the Liz-Eddie-Debbie scandal. Also, she was anxious to move on to her first ever million-dollar role in Fox's Cleopatra. She was told by M.G.M that if she did not fulfill her contractual obligation to her home studio for one final film on her eighteen year contract that she would be kept off the screen for two years and miss making Cleopatra all together. She swore to the producer Pandro S. Berman that she would not learn her lines, not be prepared and in fact not give anything more and a walk through. Mr. Berman knew her better than she suspected. In the end Elizabeth Taylor turned in a professional, classic old style Hollywood performance that ranks at the top with the best of her work. She brings a savage rage to live to her searing portrait of a lost girl soaked through with sex and gin. A woman hoping against all hope to find salvation in yet one last man. Weston Leggett, a man who is worse off than she is in the self-esteem department. In her frantic quest for a clean new life Gloria finds that the male establishment will not allow her to step out of her role as a high priced party girl. She is pigeon holed by her past and the narrow mores of the late 50's are not about to let her fly free. Not the bar-buzzards of Wall Street, not her best friend Steve who abandons her at his girlfriend's insistence. Not even her shrink Dr.Read more ›
BUTTERFIELD 8 is the story of Gloria Wandrous (Taylor), a hard-drinking, sexed-up, bed-hopping dress model who gets her kicks by seducing and then dumping men according to whim--until she encounters an unhappily married man just as hard and disillusioned as she in Weston Liggett (Laurence Harvey.) Although the production code was still somewhat in force, it had loosened up quite a bit since the days of NATIONAL VELVET, and while scenes stop short at the bedroom door they have plenty of sizzle while they walk up to it; moreover, every one in the film talks about sex so much you'd think it had just been invented. Taylor is on record saying that she considers the film a piece of trash, and she swears she has never actually seen it, that she would rather die than ever see it.
But something weird happened as the camera rolled.Read more ›
That said, I found B8 to be a wonderfully entertaining and surprisingly moving film. The delicious dialogue is full of memorable lines (like the one I used for the title of this review). The characters zap each other with some biting insults. A typical exchange between two characters: "Oh mother, don't be vulgar." Response: "Vulgarity has its uses."
The entire cast is solid, but this is undeniably Taylor's film. She takes what could have been a campy caricature and instead gives Gloria real depth and humanity. By the end of the film I was really engrossed in Gloria's personal journey. B8 may not be a great Hollywood classic, but it's a great showcase for the legendary Taylor.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I love the movie but I sent it back because I couldn't play it on my equipment and I am still waiting for my refundPublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
Elizabeth Taylor has always been a favorite movie star of mine. Butterfield 8 was one of her shining moments in her movie career.Published 1 month ago by Elizabeth
Not Cat On A Hot Tin Roof...but Taylor...what more is there to say.Published 5 months ago by Scott W Perez
I have seen the movie at the theater and on broadcast TV. I like the movie but was a little disappointed that it didn't look better in Amazon's stream. Read morePublished 6 months ago by MediaStreamer
Watched this movie after getting into the Elizabeth Taylor biography type shows - good for cultural and time references, but sort of hard to follow as far as the plot, overall... Read morePublished 9 months ago by Lauren Lucas
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