Thursday, March 24, 2011

THE END OF THE 20th CENTURY - part one

1932 - 2011

Before it gets all out there, and too, too cliche'd, " The Last Movie Star ". There were others... I mean the Lady was in the public eye for SEVENTY YEARS, but, she really was the brightest. Call it genetic or what ever , the fandom came really really early. If you were a little inside boy in the mid and late seventies, she WAS the headline, the cover, the gossip. But let's start where it started " just us, the cameras, and those wonderful people out in the dark " . YES, I know, not her movie, not at all her life.. but it fit.
My Highlights
there are LOTS of movies

  • Lassie Come Home - 1943. Can not tell you how many times I have watched this ( let's go with it was on a loop in College Park...).. Most people think this was her first, it was really her second.. the first being more of a walk on. Bit part.. I mean the star was the dog, but the presence ( and eyes ) was there. ( don't get me started on the old folks house when it was time for Lassie to leave...) The start of her life long friendship with Roddy McDowall.
  • National Velvet - 1944. A star is born. She seems so much older in this one than the Lassie movie. This is when most folks saw her. She cuts her hair, and Pie wins....

  • Father of the Bride/Fathers Little Dividend - 1950/1951. Love these two, a total time capsule. Post war, booming America and the start of the rat race. The cloths, the drama, the furniture... the caterers. She married husband one during this movie.
  • A Place in the Sun - 1951. The best of the 50's soapy movies, Montgomery Clift at his prettiest, she about to explode, but sad, poor Shelly... 
1956 - 1966
Queen of the Universe
Giant - 1956. My FAVORITE Sunday morning movie, of all time. Liz, Rock and Jimmy Dean... If you live under a rock and have never seen it, run, don't walk.Ms. Taylor's footprint in the mud is one of my all time favorite movie scenes. She is woman, hear her roar..... very odd ending, I've never read the Ferber novel.. I should. Jet Rink..... all there was to say.
  • Cat on a Hot Tin Roof - 1958. Sex on a stick. Very VERY late 50's sort of re-write. I think I think I have blogged about my WAY over the top fascination with Brick and Skipper..... It really was a little bit of a stretch to think of the hottest the world had to offer NOT having sex, and Brick getting all manly there at the end.. but still, the top of every ones game. A must see.

  • Suddenly Last Summer - 1959. Freaky deaky! and some kinky sex to boot, 1959, this had to raise eyebrows. Katharine Hepburn, more Montgomery Clift and Liz : Lobotomies can be fun. Whats not to like about a little boy on man cannibalism ??
  • Butterfield 8 -1960. Callgirl with a  hear to gold. Oscar #1, which really, was for the past three movies, and having died for a few minutes
  • Cleopatra - 1963 . The end of old Hollywood. She did not want to make this movie.. and said  " sure, I'll do it, for a million dollars " knowing it would never happen. It did.....I love this movie, even thought it is a lot of look. An early memory is a two night ABC Sunday/Monday night at the movies... a very young Kyle. Watch it, just to see her at the peak of her power... a force of nature. There have been movies made about the making of this film.. and it was the birth of Burton - Taylor.
  • The V.I.P.'s - 1963. really a throw away, but keep an eye on TMC and watch it just for the cloths....
Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf - 1966. The violet eyes in black and white, and smokey all over. BOOZY, BRAWLEY and just all out fun.. from a distance. Oscar #2.

Lots and lots after, but these were the Golden Age.


    Nineteen freaking eighty five... NO ONE was standing up for AIDS victims, and she came out, as the Queen of Old Hollywood.... the exact same crowd that lied about homosexuality for all those years , and was in your face. Rock Hudson had just died.... fighting until the very end to keep it " in the closet" and Elizabeth Taylor blew the doors of a million closets. 
    Through amfar and her personal aids foundations she raised hundreds of millions of dollars . More that that she was a face, a presence, a warm body when the rest of the country was staying away from public water fountains. She testified before Congress many times, was there until the end. She saved many lives...

    (Hey, some of us marry not date)

     1.) Conrad Hilton, Jr. (1950–1951)
    2.) Michael Wilding (1952–1957)
    3.) Mike Todd (1957–1958)
    4.) Eddie Fisher (1959–1964)
    5 & 6.)Richard Burton (1964–1974, 1975–1976)
    7.)  John Warner (1976–1982)
    8.) Larry Fortensky (1991–1996)


    The big two
    (The BIG two)

    The Taylor-Burton Diamond

    Yeah, she had a diamond with her name on it.
    69.42 carats in a pear shape.

    The Krup Diamond
    ( she wears it every day )
     33.19 Carats, just deal with it
    at the time she bought it - or it was bought for her-
    it was the most ever paid for a single diamond

    She also owned the famous Price of Wales Feathers, previously owned by the Duchess of Windsor

    some of the highlights
    there are MANY MANY more:
    some emeralds

    some diamonds and pearls
    some sapphires

    the famous La Peregrina Pearl
    La Peregrina  pearlsAfrican slave who found it at Pearl Islands in the Gulf of Panama, to Europeankings and queens. Most recently, the pearl belonged to Elizabeth Taylor.
    mary 1st of England, 
    wearing the pearl-really

    A life most well lived. She had FUN.. big fun.. not namby pamby 2011 fun, but BIG ASS close down all of Rome or Paris or New York City, drink, dance, fall in love, BIG love. Beauty beyond compare with talent to match -  AND she did damn good work, for people that no one would even touch.....
    The planet is a lesser place with her loss.


    b said...

    Hey, thanks for this. I have only seen about 3 of these movies. Maybe I'll rent some this weekend -- Janie says she's coming for a sleepover!

    b said...

    and she was really married to Conrad Hilton?