Liz Taylor's Five Most Enjoyably Terrible Movies

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It wasn't always Academy Awards for Liz Taylor.

When her movies were bad, they were truly rotten -- though always in a highly entertaining way thanks to her verve and outfits.

The five most fun stinkers she ever made are:

(5) The Sandpiper. 1965. (Above) Vincente Minnelli directed this crazy tale of aging hippies in Big Sur, but Liz has nice caftans and an illegitimate son, Dick's along for the ride, and "The Shadow of Your Smile" gets played a lot.

(4) Reflections in a Golden Eye. 1967. Another great director (John Huston) gets brought down with a deranged potboiler, though Liz looks amazing in a purple shmatte. As she cavorts, Julie Harris cuts off her nipples with garden shears, Brando anguishes over being a fruitcake, and Robert Forster rides naked on a horse. Author Carson McCullers died the same year. Coincidence?

(3) Secret Ceremony. 1968. Is Mia Farrow the reincarnation of Liz's dead daughter? Is Liz nuts? Is Mia awake? Am I really watching this again and again???

(2) Ash Wednesday. 1973. Liz has a facelift and there's lots of gliding around a Swiss spa and it's all very sleek and beautiful and bizarre, not to mention one of the first attempts to delve into the surgery craze. I'd watch it with Scotch tape holding back my face any day of the week.

And the best worst Liz movie of all is...

(1) The Driver's Seat. 1974. This little seen piece of weirdness based on a Muriel Spark story has Liz running around Rome begging for strangers to kill her. Thank God they don't, so she gets to have an amazing scene where she applies eyeliner for a full minute, then tops it with sunglasses! Andy Warhol cameos.

Runners up:

Boom; X, Y, and Zee; Hammersmith Is Out; A Little Night Music; The Only Game In Town; Night Watch, The Bluebird....


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16 comments
Ranger
Ranger

The Driver's Seat is a true time piece of Hollywood and the fact it stars Liz Taylor makes it wild, crazy and a must see because it is so unbelievable. I saw it decades ago, could not stop watching it and have always recommended it to people when the legend Liz popped up in conversation.I never met anyone who had seen it. Imagine that?I've always thought the movie as very daring, especially for Liz. It is creative and that I like, for it's truly art.

I like the silence in the movie, the colors, the crazy suspense and being shocked from it all!

MikeCzernak
MikeCzernak

IMDb has this user comment about "Hammersmith is Out":

I saw the UK-EC version of this film in 1972. Very funny, well acted and directed and worthy of the awards given it by the Berlin Film Festival. HOWEVER, I took some friends to see it in the States and was shocked to see that some cretin(s) had re-cut this work of art to conform to what they perceived as the sophistication level of the USA audience. This USA release was beyond belief! "They" had changed the entire premise of the movie from a black comedy into an action/thriller cutting out the best comedic efforts of the actors.

Can anyone confirm this?

Rabbit
Rabbit

I saw Night Watch around 1974 in the theater. Living overseas at the time, we had no television, so going to the movies every weekend was an extra treat. All I remember from this one was Liz in a white pantsuit lighting a cigarette - can you guess I was a gay kid? Oh yeah - and a knife was missing from the rack in the kitchen.

Melinda9
Melinda9

Reading through the lists here of her films made me realize that she made a lot of interesting movies - not just the boring old crap movie stars of today make.

Melinda9
Melinda9

I saw Secret Ceremony recently and it held my interest. I nominate the house/mansion they filmed it in (or was it a set?hope not) for Best Supporting House in a Strange Film of the 60s - wish it was my house.

Malone
Malone

Night Watch! I remember seeing this in a theater as a kid! Liz needed some coin, I guess...

Movielover
Movielover

Great recommendations! I'm going to see some of these, they sound fun. I watched Suddenly Last Summer and Virginia Woolf last night in tribute.

Diesel
Diesel

A Little Night Music is the worst, but it's not fun-bad.

Secret Ceremony is torture.

Never heard of Night Watch.

And I am going to get a copy of Driver's Seat. Thanks for the recommendation!

Cinemaxe
Cinemaxe

I'd have to vote for Boom because of the headdress, the bizarre little person, the monkey, and Noel Coward as the witch of Capri.

Musto
Musto

Secret Ceremony actually has two versions, one of which added a narrator to try to make things more coherent. It doesn't help.

Jonster
Jonster

Ha. You're funny. Ash Wednesday. I remember reading that this was Dominick Dunne's last producing job in Hollywood. Liz said something to him like, "You know this is the end for you." They were all drinking a lot. The movie was a mess. And it WAS the end for Dunne. He cleaned himself up outside of Ho-wood and wrote The Two Mrs. Grenvilles. Of course Liz just swanned on to the next bomb. She knew she wasn't going to get kicked out of the industry.

Musto
Musto

Night Watch was based on a Broadway play that starred Joan Hackett, whom I also loved.

Jonster
Jonster

Hi there. It's a real house in London called "Debenham House." You can google it.

Abel
Abel

Yeah, BOOM is wonderful. Absolutely adored it.

Melinda9
Melinda9

Thanks, Jonster. I found out it also co-starred in Wings of the Dove.

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