Reply to "Cult Movies"

oh my god - yes! How could I have forgotten Butterfield 8????? I own that one, hon.
"Face it, Momma ... I was the slut of all time!" That opening sequence is all too familiar indeed, and did you catch how she unapologetically orders more french fries in the diner scene?!! Word has it the costume designers worked round the clock to make make her look good because she was beginning to balloon.

However, I think the trivia is a bit off here. The movie she made just 3 weeks after Mike Todd was killed in a plane crash was Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958) with Liz as Maggie the Cat, co-starring Paul Newman and Burl Ives. I'm fairly certain of this. I do remember her saying how she just learned her lines and showed up and working on the film was what helped her cope with his death. Also it accounts for her more high-strung moments on screen as the affection-hungry Maggie. By the way, Maggie the Cat was another example of BRILLIANT acting on her part - I thought she sizzled in the role and in fact I thought ALL the actors were great. I think "Cat" is one of Tennessee Williams' best plays also. But I have a hard time with the movie version overall because the screenwriters totally castrated the gay element out of the script and totally whitewashed the story to the point that the "big revelation" made no sense and they added mumbo jumbo about Big Daddy (Burl Ives) not loving his kids, blah, blah. A pity because otherwise it's a great movie.

Butterfield 8 however, came just after Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (in 1959) and it was the movie she was forced to make as her last film obligation under her MGM contract. By this time Liz was carrying on with Mike Todd's close friend Eddie Fisher quite publicly, and the country was scandalized by his leaving Debbie Reynolds over it. Liz told friends how she loved Eddie's huge dick. Liz tried every trick in the book to get out of making Butterfield 8 supposedly but couldn't. To appease her the studio gave Eddie Fisher a part in the movie, which he didn't really want to do and he was terrible anyway. But I remember Liz complained that she felt the script writers deliberately put in lines like "slut of all time" in order to punish her and judge her for her scandalous private life.

Immediately afterward in the same year she made Suddenly Last Summer (1959), and by the time Cleopatra started production (1960) she became seriously ill and had her throat surgery and almost died. The world and press watched anxiously while she recovered, and in her coronation scene in Cleopatra you can actually see the scar. She won the Oscar for Butterfield 8 that same year, a film she hated, and to this day maintains that it was a "sympathy Oscar". Her marriage to Fisher fell apart during the filming of Cleopatra, wherein she took up with Richard Burton.
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