Review

  • A sincere melodrama that has the look and feel of a TV movie, although it played in theaters around the U.S. between 1971 and 1975. The religious-themed story attempts to show how alcoholism and drug addiction nearly claims the life of a bored socialite (Liz Adams, well played by Anne Baxter), and how Liz via the encouragement of her son and a friendly pastor comes to know God as she embraces a new, sober life. While the film's message is upbeat, THE LATE LIZ is most successful in its more sensationalized first half, as we watch the excessively drunk Liz go through two husbands, alienating one of her sons in the process and hitting all the stereotypical step-downs into a life of degradation and an overdose. The profound change that comes over her mid-movie seems rather pat and all too quick in comparison, although Liz is happily in a much better place. The uneven supporting cast includes a sour looking Steve Forrest as Liz's angry plastic surgeon husband, a cameo appearance by Jack Albertson as the pastor, Bill Katt who is good as Liz's more accepting son who also finds God as a soldier in the Vietnam War; and several familiar faces acting faux drunk at Liz's many high class parties. Foster Brooks, who was well-known in the 1970s as a comic drunk character, scores in a dramatic scene at one of the parties.