a little less violet in the world today

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This was one of the countless headlines to be found in the media across the entire world today after the sad passing of Elizabeth Taylor at the age of 79. And although it isn’t quite true (but I will refrain from including the albeit short laundry list of ‘distinguished’ Real Movie Stars we still thankfully have with us – that would seem to be in very bad taste)  it is sad to see such a bright and bigger than life star make her exit.  We were just watching her with Rock Hudson in “Giant” the night before last (no joke- I had never seen that movie before) and commenting on how very different the movie stars were then… though I was actually more fixated on how big and handsome Rock was in that movie.  His legs almost came up to her shoulders!   I was once lucky enough to be seated quite close to Elizabeth Taylor in a restaurant in the 80’s and I was very surprised to find her so petite.  My husband has one upped me, having actually met her and verified that indeed her eyes were violet- I found it hard to believe that he was even able to look her right in the eyes, but there you go 🙂

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My VERY FAVOURITE Taylor movie, as I’ve mentioned once before on the blog, has got to be “Elephant Walk”.  She looks utterly divine in this outrageously melodramatic (but in a fun way) movie with Dana Andrews and Peter Finch co-starring as the two men in love with her.  Ever notice how many La Liz movies feature that plot line?! The film begins with Finch meeting Taylor in a cozy little bookshop in England.  She is the proprietress of the shop and he has just dashed in from the rain.  They fall instantly in love and he whisks her off to live on a tea plantation in Ceylon.  Well, I mean really– does it get any better than that??!  Filming was actually done in Ceylon, one of the most beautiful places on earth.  Even the plantation house,  a rather unusual combination of modern and colonial design is breathtaking.  Please nobody spoil this for me and tell me that part was all done on a sound stage at Pinewood or I will hunt you down.  Originally, Vivien Leigh and Lawrence Olivier were cast in the roles but Lawrence had scheduling difficulties and Vivien’s bi-polar issues forced her to quit filming and she was replaced by Taylor.  The stars were all housed at The Galle Face Hotel, Columbo, where I once stayed…walking the halls and dreaming of my own tea plantation some day…

A short clip from Elephant Walk

 

Please note the size of her waist- although she was only 21 when she made this movie, she had just given birth to her first son only 7 weeks before filming started.

The scene when she walks down the staircase in the violet dress is beyond…

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(Elephant Walk is available on DVD )

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So much beauty, such a charitable heart, a great sense of humour and a well lived life…

Well Done Elizabeth Taylor

xx

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28 Comments

  1. Brings back so many wonderful memories of unattainable beauty.
    Here’s a youtube of some great scenes from several of her movies

  2. With the exception pf perhaps Sophia Loren, I can’t really think of anyone today who would generate such an outpouring of worldwide affection upon their passing. Taylor was so relatable. One of my fondest memories is when, in the ’60’s, and during her first go round with Burton, she harbored her animals in a yacht off the coast of England because of the U.K.’s very strict quarantine laws. I thought that was so cool.

  3. Nice post. My favorite has to be “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” although my earliest memory of her was “Life with Father”, which I loved as a young kid.

  4. She was indeed the last real movie star…God bless her.
    The things I read about her that I loved were one of her favorite
    foods was fried chicken, and she loved bawdy jokes and cursing!
    One of the last real “dames” for sure.

  5. Lovely tribute Slim.
    She was indeed the last movie star.
    She did it her way. What a party when she arrives for her encore. Yep say hello to Richard and Rock.
    xo

  6. That Drudge Report headline is such a bummer, isn’t it?! I’ve seen so many of Elizabeth Taylor’s films, but I’ve never seen Elephant Walk. Thanks for the recommendation – adding to my Netflix queue now!

  7. When she was married to John Warner, she spent all too many afternoons drinking Irish Coffees in a neighborhood tavern — sometimes with girlfriends, sometimes alone, sometimes with other people she knew.

    She was then in what briefly constituted her “fat cow phase.” But she was even then stupendously beautiful, always funny, and never ever “imperious.” (Overserved sometimes, but never “imperious.”)

    She was a wonderful woman.

  8. Elizabeth had such a fierce and beautiful spirit that it really did transcend her beauty! Thank you for the beautiful tribute & memories and glad to hear that her eyes really were violet in person.

    I love seeing her in motion on the big screen. Elephant Walk looks gorgeous! Is it odd that my favorite movie of her’s was “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf”?

  9. A beautiful tribute Slim. The scenery in Elephant Walk is so lovely. A great movie of hers indeed. Elizabeth Taylor proved that a bombshell did not need to be blonde. She was so elegant and a true beauty……

  10. A wonderful tribute to a true movie star. I could stare at Elizabeth Taylor for hours.

    Thanks Slim.

  11. My favorite Taylor film: Jane Eyre in 1943 when she was 11 years old. She was Jane’s friend when they were in that awful school. My dad said that the best people were born in 1932 – Taylor, Johnny Cash and himself.

  12. ignore my question above; I thought I was leaving a reply on YouTube! Lovely tribute, I posted to my facebook page.

  13. Beautiful post – she was such an incredibly beautiful woman and seemed to be very kind and charitable also. I think she is one of the last great actresses and I loved “National Velvet”.

  14. Thank you for this wonderful tribute to a compassionate woman. As you all probably know, she and Montgomery Clift were very close friends. There’s a Turner Classic Movies tribute to him, with Elizabeth Taylor narrating. Very sweet and touching.

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