April is looking like it’s going to be a pretty busy month on TCM, especially if you’re interested in the Civil War. TCM will be celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Civil War by playing movies about the Civil War every Monday and Wednesday this month. There will also be lots of Ray Milland to look forward to since he will be the star of the month. The Lost Weekend, The Major and the Minor, Dial ‘M’ For Murder, all his best movies are in there. There’s even a night full of real rarities that I’m very much looking forward to.
Where do you even begin when talking about someone like Elizabeth Taylor? Everybody will remember her for something different: her movies, her glamour, her perfumes, the numerous marriages, the diamonds, her humanitarian work. No matter what you best remember her for, there’s no denying that she was a completely unforgettable woman. She was one of the last true legends of classic Hollywood and was truly a one of a kind lady. One thing’s for sure: the world just got a lot less glamorous. I think Paul Newman gave the best tribute to Elizabeth that I’ve ever seen:
TCM will be paying tribute on Sunday, April 10th, 2011 with 24 hours of her movies:
6:00 AM – Lassie Come Home
7:30 AM – National Velvet
10:00 AM – Conspirator
11:30 AM – Father of the Bride
1:15 PM – Father’s Little Dividend
2:45 PM – Raintree County
6:00 PM – Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
8:00 PM – BUtterfield 8
10:00 PM – Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
12:30 AM – Giant
4:00 AM – Ivanhoe
And now, on a lighter note, a couple of my favorite funny pictures of Elizabeth and her short but sweet appearance on one of my favorite episodes of The Simpsons:
It’s August, and that can only mean one thing: Summer Under the Stars! Like 31 Days of Oscar, Summer Under the Stars never disappoints and I’m definitely excited for this year’s schedule. There are plenty of days dedicated to showcasing some SUTS mainstays like Katharine Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor, and Henry Fonda. But this year they’re really mixing things up and spending nearly half the month focusing on people who have never been part of SUTS before, including John Gilbert, Ethel Barrymore, and Gene Tierney. Not only are there lots of stars who are new to SUTS, there are also tons of movies being premiered this month. I counted a grand total of 54 TCM premieres in August, 19 of which are on Thelma Todd day alone.
Here is a complete list of the stars featured this month. To get the complete schedule, you can download a copy here.
BUtterfield 8 is a portrait of two people eager to start their lives over again. Elizabeth Taylor plays Gloria Wanderous, a model with a reputation for being, as she so succinctly puts it, “the slut of all time.” Laurence Harvey plays Weston Liggett, a wealthy man who has been forced into working for his wife’s family’s company in a position that’s all title, no work. Weston channels his frustration into alcohol and women, which leads him to Gloria. One night, while his wife is out of town, Weston meets Gloria and they spend a drunken night together. When Gloria wakes up in the morning, she finds her dress torn and that Weston has left $250 for her. Insulted that he left her money, she refuses to take it and simply borrows his wife’s mink coat so she doesn’t have to go home in her slip. When she leaves Liggett’s apartment, she visits her best friend Steve Carpenter (Eddie Fisher) to ask him to get his girlfriend to loan her a dress. He agrees, but isn’t happy about it. His girlfriend is very jealous of Gloria and tells Steve that either Gloria goes or she does. Steve is also tired of Gloria showing up at his place “boozed up, burnt out, and ugly,” but he sees her as a sister figure and has a difficult time saying no to her.
Vanity Fair has done it again and published another intriguing article that fans of classic films are sure to want to read. This time around, they’re shedding new light on the biggest Hollywood mega-couple of all time: Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. Their adulterous affair was so sordid and scandalous that it was condemned by both the Vatican and in the U.S. House of Representatives. Everything about them was obscenely over the top and extravagant, from their movies such as Cleopatra to the gifts Richard loved to shower upon Elizabeth, most notably the infamous 69-carat diamond now known as the Burton-Taylor Diamond. On screen, the two of them became so powerful that at one time, it was believed that 50% of money earned by the American film industry was brought in by movies starring them together and separately. However, between Richard’s drinking problem and media pressure, their relationship eventually collapsed under its own weight.
Unfortunately, the article isn’t available on the Vanity Fair website, but if you’re a fan of Taylor, Burton, or Liz and Dick the couple, then you’re going to want to take a trip to the newsstand to pick up this issue. The article outlines the life and times of the infamous couple from their first meeting and the beginnings of their affair while shooting Cleopatra through the last letter Richard ever wrote to Elizabeth. What makes this article so unique and fascinating is the fact that it features excerpts from Burton’s own diaries as well as some of the countless letters he wrote to Elizabeth both during and after their marriages. This marks the first time Elizabeth Taylor has made any of these letters available to the public. The letters reveal just how much Richard truly worshiped and adored Elizabeth, even long after they were divorced. Without a doubt, they were the love of each others lives. We don’t get to actually read the last letter Richard wrote to Elizabeth, but the story behind it is very touching. It was written and sent just days before Richard died of a cerebral hemorrhage. He wrote to tell her that the times he was happiest were the times he was with her and asked if there was a chance that they might get back together again. Elizabeth didn’t receive the letter until after she returned from his memorial service in London. To this day, she keeps that letter next to her bed and considers it her most treasured possession. The article is a great read, it’s just too bad Elizabeth Taylor has to share the cover with the mention of an article about Twilight.