Elizabeth Taylor And Play Adaptions Film Studies Essay

Assess the part of Elizabeth Taylor to shoot that were adapted from the dramas, Cat On A Hot Tin Roof, Suddenly Last Summer and Who ‘s Afraid of Virginia Woolf.

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Elizabeth Taylor ( 1932 – 2011 ) was a universe renowned actress starring in many movies. Get downing her calling aged 10 in There ‘s One Born Every Minute, her moving calling spanned 54 movies and she became a large hit at the box office. I will asses the undermentioned three movies, Cat On A Hot Tin Roof, Suddenly Last Summer and Who ‘s Afraid of Virginia Woolf. I have chosen these movies as they are considered to be Taylor ‘s most successful functions that are based on celebrated dramas. Cat On A Hot Tin Roof and Suddenly Last Summer were adapted from dramas by Tennessee Williams. Who ‘s Afraid of Virginia Woolf was based on the drama by Edward Albee.

Taylor made two other movies based on dramas by Tennessee Williams. Boom ( 1968 ) , adapted by Tennessee Williams from his drama The Milk Train Does n’t Stop Here Anymore, and The Sweet Bird of Youth ( 1989 ) , a telecasting movie with a teleplay by Gavin Lambert based on Williams ‘ drama of the same name. Neither of these movies are considered to be illustrations of Taylor ‘s finest work.

The screenplay for Cat On A Hot Tin Roof ( 1958 ) was written by Richard Brooks and James Poe from the drama by Tennessee Williams. There were some alterations mostly to take history of Hollywood ‘s rigorous censoring demands, in peculiar to cut down the homosexual component in the drama. Cat On A Hot Tin Roof is the narrative of Brick Pollitt played by Paul Newman and Maggie Pollitt, the married woman of Brick and the “ Cat ” of the rubric, played by Elizabeth Taylor as they visit “ Large Daddy ” a affluent plantation proprietor, and male parent of Brick, for his sixty-fifth Birthday. Big Daddy is incognizant that he is deceasing of malignant neoplastic disease. He is concerned that he has no grandchildren from his favorite boy as the matrimony between Brick and Maggie is strained, while his other boy Gooper has had three kids and his married woman is anticipating a 4th kid. Maggie tries to deter her hubby from his inordinate imbibing and onslaughts him over his relationship with his best friend, Skipper, who committed self-destruction. It is clear that Brick feels considerable guilt over the loss of his friend. The movie reaches its flood tide when Brick tells “ Large Daddy ” that he has malignant neoplastic disease, and Brick and Maggie resolve their differences including over the issue of her holding the kid that she and Big Daddy so urgently want.

A figure of biographers report that Elizabeth Taylor was excited about playing the function of Maggie but did non look to demo this at dry runs. Her co-star, Paul Newman, was a all right histrion with a phase technique from the theater, whereas Taylor admitted that she had “ no technique ” at all. She had spent her full calling in movies. Newman complained to the manager, Richard Brooks that he had nil to work with when practising with Elizabeth Taylor. Her co-star, Judith Anderson, who plays “ Large Mama ” , claimed that Taylor would keep back during dry runs and sometimes decline to take portion in them. Taylor was unresponsive in dry runs and did no existent readying for the function of Maggie except for reading and retrieving the lines. .Brooks, who had worked with Taylor before, told Newman that, “ You have to understand Elizabeth does n’t practise the manner you do. She goes through all the concern and learns to hit her Markss, but she ca n’t give a full public presentation until she knows it ‘s for realaˆ¦.Once the camera begins to turn over, she comes alive. ” Certain adequate Newman was later “ astonished to happen her a existent pro ” by her public presentation when it was being filmed: “ She ‘s non afraid to take opportunities in forepart of people. Normally stars become really protective of themselves and really self-indulgent, but she ‘s got a batch of backbones. She ‘d travel in front and explore and hazard falling on her face ” ( Spoto 1995:193, Mann 2009: 215, Vermilye & A ; Ricci 1993: 24, Taylor 1987: 82 ) . Brooks said that she was perfect for the portion of Maggie: “ First she ‘s a beauty. Then she ‘s a combination of kid and bitch. Third, she wants to love passionately and to be loved ” ( Mann 2009: 215 ) .

The decease of her hubby, Mike Todd, in a plane clang during the devising of the movie besides seems to hold helped her in the more emotional scenes in the movie. As she said: “ I went somewhat round the crook with heartache. I was lucky I had person else to go. When I was Maggie was the lone clip I could work ” ( Vermilye & A ; Ricci 1993: 132 ) .

Taylor was happy with her ain public presentation and provinces that she should hold won an Academy award for best actress for this function instead than for her ulterior public presentation in Butterfield 8 ( Taylor 1997: 74 ) . .Burl Ives, who played Big Daddy alongside three different Maggies on phase, said Taylor was “ the best of the clump ” ( Vermilye & A ; Ricci 1993: 23 ) . The critics spoke positively of her public presentation as Maggie. Bossley Crowther of the New York Times commented, “ Miss Taylor is terrific as a heaving, impatient married woman, desiring the love of her hubby every bit unfeignedly as she wants his heritage ” ( Vermilye & A ; Ricci 1993: 137 ) . Variety was merely as complimentary:

Elizabeth Taylor has a major recognition with her portraiture of Maggie. The defeats and desires, both as a individual and as a adult female, the heat and understanding she moulds, the comeliness that is more than a well turned nose – all these are portion of a well accented perceptive reading. That she performed in this mode under the emphasis of recent calamity makes her public presentation certain to arouse conversation ( Vermilye & A ; Ricci 1993: 135 ) .

Some were, nevertheless, were non so enthusiastic. Rod McManigal of Sight and Sound commented:

Miss Taylor is unimpeachable at proposing the hapless small rich miss of Hollywood fable, but her Cat, though laudably beautiful emerges as one more kitty on a plush rug ; the heat, the verve, the intense necessity of Maggie ‘s love are non revealed ; it remains thin and lukewarm, its lone impact that of statement ( Vermilye & A ; Ricci 1993: 137 ) .

This was a minority sentiment, nevertheless, as most critics were really positive on Taylor ‘s public presentation. Cat On A Hot Tin Roof was an instant hit at the box office and was really good received by the populace. An experient histrion, Taylor, who had made 26 movies before this one, made Maggie a memorable and sympathetic character. She evidently had a batch of assurance in the function and evidently feels comfy in Maggie ‘s tegument. The features that Williams gave Maggie are absolutely portrayed by her As is her Southern speech pattern. She is wholly convincing as Maggie and is able to exchange between emotions, peculiarly as she portrays the matrimony jobs between her and Brick ; his refusal to hold a kid, her badgering over Brick ‘s intoxicant ingestion and his questionable relationship with his friend, Skipper, which puts into inquiry Bricks ‘ gender. This is considered by many to be Taylor ‘s most powerful public presentation. Her portraiture of Maggie is certainly the unequivocal public presentation that will be hard to be.

Elizabeth Taylor ‘s following movie Suddenly Last Summer ( 1959 ) was adapted by Tennessee Williams and Gore Vidal from Williams ‘ one act drama of the same name. It is the narrative of Catherine Holly played by Elizabeth Taylor. Catherine has become mentally sick due to the nervous daze she suffers as a effect of her half remembered memories of what happened to her and her cousin, Sebastian, last summer. Her memories and realistic position of Sebastian disturbances Sebastian ‘s female parent, Violet Venable played by Katherine Hepburn, as she refuses to believe that her boy could be guilty of any such immoral behavior. Violet wants Catherine to be lobotomised by Doctor John Cukrowicz to “ cut this horrid narrative out of her encephalon ” , and for this she will give a ample contribution to the mental infirmary where he works. Cukrowicz becomes convinced by Catherine that she is non mentally ill. The flood tide of the movie is a long soliloquy in Violet ‘s place that Cukrowicz, by the disposal of drugs to Catherine, right predicts will enable Catherine to retrieve the whole narrative of what happened to Sebastian last summer. From her, Cukrowicz and Mrs. Venable learn that Sebastian was utilizing Catherine as come-on to secure hapless street male childs for him, whom he would so pay for sex. Sebastian is killed and cannibalised by the male childs. Catherine witnesses this flooring slaying and it is this hideous act that consequences in her subsequent mental dislocation. The movie has a basic implicit in subject that in the carnal universe, and in human civilisation, there lies savageness and a basic inherent aptitude to last. As Williams said in answer to his critics: “ Life is cannibalistic. Truly. Egos eat self-importances, personalities eat personalities. Person is ever eating at person else for place, addition, victory, whatever. The human person is a man-eater in the worst manner. In Suddenly Last Summer it was more symbolic than existent, but many individuals felt I meant it really ” ( Phillips, 1980: 180 )

Elizabeth Taylor describes this movie as her front-runner as it was “ the greatest, the most emotionally run outing, the most emotionally stimulating professional experience of my life ” ( Spoto 1996: 226 ) . The movie earned her an academy award nomination. In Suddenly Last Summer she is praised by the critics for the mental anguish she brings to a character plagued by repeating incubuss of what happened to her last summer. In her last soliloquy in the movie she displays her finest playing accomplishments and this proved to be the hardest portion to shoot. Taking five takes before the manager was eventually satisfied on the 6th. The manager, Joseph Mankiewicz, said: ‘It tore Elizabeth ‘s intestine out ” ( Walker 2001: 213 ) . To fix for this and other scenes in the movie Spoto is right to claim that she “ extended the scope of her voice, external respiration and conveying emotions to a pitch really near to mania itself. ” After the last soliloquy she collapsed on set ( Spoto 1996: 225 ) . Taylor had good ground to sympathize, as she had experienced a batch of calamity in her life at this point. At age 27 she could associate to the subjects of decease and confusion in the drama as a consequence of the decease of her old hubby and her current unhappy matrimony. She used these emotions and focused them on the character of Catherine.

The manager, Joseph Mankiewicz, decided to movie the concluding soliloquy by puting Taylor in the top right manus corner of the screen narrating the soliloquy whilst the action of her luring immature male childs in a disclosure bathing costume and Sebastian ‘s subsequent decease are shown on screen. Through this we can see Taylor ‘s emotional public presentation and outstanding playing every bit good as to the full sing her painful memories of the full horror of what happened last summer. Mankiewicz thought Taylor gave a all right public presentation commenting that the soliloquies were tough on her but “ she had a enormous crude endowment on which really few demands had been made. You feel she sees what she thinks ” ( Walker 2001: 213 ) . John DiLeo disagrees ; he thinks that she is non comfy with her character. He besides contends that during the concluding soliloquy Taylor displays hapless breath control although it is besides clear that he believes the duologue to be ill written. Of the wider movie, he says Taylor and Clift are missing in emotional deepness ( DiLeo, 2010: 114-116 ) .

Gore Vidal, the co-author of the screenplay, commented that, “ Clift and Taylor were awful ” ( Phillips 1980: 194 ) . Tennessee Williams wittily said of Taylor, that he thought she was miscast: “ It stretched by credulity to believe that such a ‘hip ‘ doll as Liz would n’t cognize at one time in the movie that she was ‘being used for something evil ‘ [ as the movie postings said ] . I think Liz would hold dragged Sebastian place by his ears, and so saved them both from considerable embarrassment. ” However, he considered Taylor “ likely the finest natural endowment on the Hollywood screen ” ( Phillips 1980: 195 ) . Some critics merely did non like the movie. Assortment depicting it as, “ Possibly the most eccentric movie of all time made by a major American company ” ( Mann 2009: 272 ) .

These positions were, nevertheless, really much in the minority. Film academic Foster Hirsch says of the movie that “ this is one of her finest minutes in films ” and “ [ Suddenly Last Summer ] represents the highest in her calling. ” Hirsch praises the long soliloquy at the terminal of the movie peculiarly singling out Taylor ‘s all right playing and the accomplishment of the manager in carefully building the voiceover in a mode that is wholly consistent with the flashbacks ( Phillips 1980: 190 et seq ) . Most critical reappraisals of Taylor were positive. Alton Cook of the New York World-Telegram stated: “ The drama might hold remained obscure without the clear uping influence of three profound public presentations by Miss Taylor, Miss Hepburn and Montgomery Clift. Each of these functions presents a complex job that has been met with perceptive intelligence and penetration ” ( Vermilye & A ; Ricci 1993: 142 ) . Arthur Knight of the Saturday Review noticed, “ Elizabeth Tayloraˆ¦works with strength beyond belief ; hers is unimpeachably one of the finest public presentations of this or any twelvemonth. ” He besides spoke good of the long soliloquy she performs saying: “ Mankiewicz, peculiarly in his relation of the flashbacks to ‘last summer ‘ with Miss Taylor ‘s face superimposed over the awful events, has given vivid, cinematic life to every aspect of Williams ‘ drama ” ( Vermilye & A ; Ricci 1993: 142 ) . Paul Beckley of the New York Herald Tribune asserted: “ If there were of all time any uncertainties about the ability of Miss Taylor to show complex and oblique emotions, to present a flexible and deep public presentation, this movie ought to take them ” ( Vermilye & A ; Ricci1993: 143 ) . On claiming the Golden Globe Award for best Actress in Suddenly Last Summer Mankiewicz said of her, “ She is near to being the greatest actress in the universe and has done it all by inherent aptitude ; she is still crude, the Grandma Moses of moving ” ( Morley 2003: 79 ) .

My ain position is that this was another assured public presentation from Taylor although non possibly in the same category as Cat On A Hot Tin Roof and Who ‘s Afraid of Virginia Woolf. This is mostly because of the complexness of the secret plan which is heavy with metaphor. The movie looks really melodramatic and it is hard for the audience to be to the full engaged as the characters are so utmost and hardly credible. It is barely surprising, hence, that Taylor fails to be entirely converting in the function as Catherine. Whereas it is much easier for the audience to accept the pragmatism of the characters in the other two movies even if they do non ever sympathize with them.

The grounds for this are non difficult to detect. The movie works better as a short drama on phase where it is easier to suspend incredulity and the duologue, that Vidal claimed was wholly his ain work ( Phillips 1980: 184 ) , is frequently at mistake. For illustration, he has Catherine describe the Sun in the movie as “ a great white bone of a elephantine animal that had caught on fire in the sky ” . Mankiewicz besides went astray in portraying the screenplay excessively literally when it might hold been better to go forth certain scenes to the audience ‘s imaginativeness. I am believing peculiarly of the scenes where Catherine by accident wanders into a work forces ‘s ward at the mental infirmary and is molested by the patients, and the concluding soliloquy where Sebastian ‘s death is far excessively diagrammatically represented. The one thing I am certain of is that Taylor ‘s playing is non at mistake.

The movie Who ‘s Afraid of Virginia Woolf ( 1966 ) eventually gained her the award of an Academy award from the Academy Awards for Best Actress. Who ‘s Afraid of Virginia Woolf tells the narrative of a troubled married twosome. The screenplay is by Ernest Lehman and is based on Edward Albee ‘s drama of the same name. The movie stars Richard Burton and Taylor, who were married to each other in existent life at that clip, as George and Martha. Martha is the Dean ‘s girl and George a history professor at the university. Both are dependent on intoxicant and partially as a effect they are verbally opprobrious to each other. They invite Nick, a new professor to the university who is acute to ingratiate himself with the Dean ‘s girl, and his married woman to their house on campus, after they have all attended a module map organised by the Dean. As the eventide progresses the immature twosome get caught up in the verbal feud between Martha and George frequently going involved in the malice and hurtful disclosures themselves. Some of the worst statements, and most affecting scenes between Martha and George relate to a fabricated 16 twelvemonth old boy invented mostly it would seen by Martha. By the terminal of the movie the twosome reach some kind of composure and rapprochement.

Taylor considers this her most ambitious function. She at foremost seemed a really unsuitable histrion to play Martha as she was playing a adult female who was 52 old ages old, fat and dowdy. Taylor was 33 at the clip she made the movie. The manager, Mike Nichols, suggested she lose weight to look older. However, she told the manager it would be better if she gained weight as she would look more mature. Taylor decided the best manner to stand for Martha was as a character who was “ heavy and matronly. ” To make this she gained weight by ingurgitating on high fat nutrients such as “ fried poulet, mashed murphies and gravy, sundaes and malteds ” , high Calorie nutrients she enjoyed eating ( Taylor 1997: 79 ) . The brand up section besides helped her portray Martha by giving her a Grey wig and “ rubber contraptions under my eyes and mentum ” ( Taylor 1997: 79 ) . She made her voice lower, kept the brand up of Martha to a little sum and smeared her eyes with mascara. She besides chose an outfit which would do her expression in-between aged and added embroidering around her waist ( Walker 2001: 282, Taylor 1997: 79 ) . Taylor was really nervous about her public presentation as Martha, so the manager Mike Nichols gave the dramatis personae a closed set for three hebdomads ‘ dry run so that any jobs they had with their characters could be worked through. Taylor expressed her enthusiasm for the function by stating, “ There was freedom that I ‘ve ne’er known earlier in a function. I felt much more experimental. When I got into my Martha suit, I forgot me ” ( Vermilye & A ; Ricci 1993: 174 ) .

Taylor expresses the true emotion of Martha good in the movie peculiarly in one scene in the parking batch where the hubby and married woman confront each other. Taylor shows the intense pragmatism of the fall ining matrimony into which they are locked as every bit good as how much they care for, and understand, each other. At one point George says, “ I can non stand it! ” and Martha retorts “ You can stand it. You married me for it! ” In the portion where Martha smashes her caput against the auto roof Taylor give such a committed public presentation that tears ran down her eyes and she had to be checked over by a Doctor, as Nichols studies in his Director ‘s commentary. Many times throughout dry runs she commanded the manager to make scenes once more as she was non happy with how she had acted ( Spoto 1996: 310 ) . She constructs Martha ‘s coarseness absolutely out of bantam inside informations, such as in one scene where she takes her hubby ‘s coffin nail out of his oral cavity and fumes it, and in another where she avariciously devours a lily-livered leg while slumping up against a icebox. This is all Taylor ‘s ain work. All these incidents bring an ambiance of pragmatism to the movie. She said, “ I had a character to catch a clasp of and drop my nails intoaˆ¦.wonderful words to wrap your lips aroundaˆ¦It ‘s a affair of concentration. I read the book over several times. I think about it all the clip. I really seldom discourse it. It ‘s an inward procedure that works itself on me likely even when I ‘m asleep ” ( Mann 2009: 357 ) .

Nichols in his Director ‘s commentary on the movie recalled that he, together with Burton, Segal and Dennis ( her co-stars ) , came fromA a phase background. It was the first movie that he had of all time directed. “ We were all awed by Elizabeth ‘s cognition of movie moving… .You did n’t gain how much she knew and they watchedA her really closely and really learnt from her and talked about it. And, of class, the chief thing that Richard learnt was to make every bit small as possible. ” When it came to redact, “ there were all these things that you could n’t see standing six pess off ” from her. “ And so when I was redacting and hiting I realised she even left some room for the mark. She counted on all that in some semi-conscious manner. ”

The manufacturer, Ernest Lehman, was besides amazed at her portraiture of Martha. He stated, “ She was a superb actressaˆ¦I instantly saw [ her ] as Martha likeaˆ¦ [ She ] could manage the hard and complex function of a harridan in her late mid-fortiess who must be no cliche ; neither demon nor angel, she must make the audience as to the full recognizable, offended and painful, terrorizing yet an curiously sympathetic animal. ” ( Spoto 1996: 304 ) . Even though a batch of people considered her miscast, so Albee had originally wanted Bette Davis in the function, she was so first-class she surprised some of her harshest critics. All commended her public presentation as Martha: “ It is far and off the best Elizabeth Tayloraˆ¦achievement to dateaˆ¦Miss Taylor ‘s portraiture of the blowsy, vulgar, tyrannizing married woman is easy the finest public presentation of her calling ” , wrote William Weaver of the Motion Picture Herald ( Vermilye & A ; Ricci 1993: 176 ) . Stanley Kauffman of the New York Times said ;

She does the best work of her calling, sustained and urgentaˆ¦ . Her credence of grey hair and her usage of profanity made her seem to be moving even ( figuratively ) before she begins. Under Mr Nichols manus, she gets vocal assortment, ne’er relapses out of her function, and she charges it with the uttermost of her powers – which is an accomplishment for any actress great or small ( Vermilye & A ; Ricci1993: 177 ) .

Time gave her a rave reappraisal stating:

Broadway manager Mike Nichols, in his first film occupation, can claim a ample triumph merely for the public presentation he has wrung from Elizabeth Taylor. Looking fat and fortyish under a vilification of brand up, with her voice pitched good below the belt, Liz as Martha is loud, sexy, vulgar, pungent, and yet achieves minutes of amazing tenderness ( Vermilye 1993: 178 ) .

Her work on Who ‘s Afraid of Virginia Woolf is amazing. She rises to great

highs in the 2nd half of the movie, where she deals with the “ decease ” of her

fabricated kid and her tearful rapprochement with George.

Albee late said, “ She was 20 old ages excessively immature for the portion. Butaˆ¦she rose to it, and

I thought it was her best movie work. I was proud of her ” ( Daily Telegraph 2011 ) .

Elizabeth Taylor was a success in her movie functions, because she had a really alone manner of moving. Nichols described it as “ really, really physical. What helps her is to cognize where she ‘ll be, what she ‘ll be have oning and so forth ” ( Director ‘s commentary on Who ‘s Afraid of Virginia Woolf ) . She seldom prepared decently for her parts, alternatively of making research on the character she frequently went directly into the function and acted. While fixing for the functions she frequently seemed to be interested in simply declaiming the lines, merely puting the portion with emotion when the cameras started to turn over. She is really convincing in her functions in these movies which is confirmed by the fact that she was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress in each of them, eventually winning an Academy award for her public presentation in Who ‘s Afraid of Virginia Woolf. In this movie in my sentiment she displays easy her best work.


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