28 February 2005 | blanche-2
more high camp than good
Originally, Emma Samms was to play Elizabeth Taylor in a biography based on the tell-all by Kitty Kelly. This fell through for some reason. This particular version, done some years later starring Sherilynn Fenn, uses public domain information. Therefore, it's like watching a series of headlines.
All well and good, but in this day and age, there really isn't a reason for inaccuracies. Just to mention one, the highly publicized accident of Montgomery Clift. This has been recounted many times by eminent biographers such as Patricia Bosworth, who wrote "Montgomery Clift," and the story of that night has been told by the various people who attended a gathering at Ms. Taylor's house that night. It was not -- as shown in this film -- a huge outdoor barbecue. It was instead a small group of friends who sat through a very quiet, almost melancholy evening, with Elizabeth Taylor playing the same song over and over again on the record player (for those who remember them) and her husband lying on the couch with intractable back pain. The party broke up, Monty drove down the hill, and the rest is history. While this may not be the rousing good drama of a barbecue, the accuracy of this story would have at least told the viewer that the writers and producers ATTEMPTED to be somewhat accurate where they could be. Evidently that was too difficult.
The only other thing I'll mention is the calling of Elizabeth Taylor Liz which any even remote fan knows, she is never called in real life. She is Elizabeth. Just like Lucille Ball was Lucille and not Lucy. Sherilynn Fenn is a beautiful woman, but she deserved better. William McNamara, as Clift, took the time to go to friends of Clift to research his role. Clift's friends looked at the script and told him that basically, he had to follow the script he had. So we know where to place the blame.