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The Solely Sport in City 1970


One in every of Elizabeth Taylor’s administrators precisely if unkindly stated that “Elizabeth’s face
is her fortune, however her physique belongs to someone else!” Sure, however what a face!
Warren Beatty & Elizabeth Taylor’s rapport is without doubt one of the few vibrant spots in
1970’s romantic drama,”The Solely Sport in City.”

A life-long Elizabeth Taylor fan, there are
not many ET movies that I will not repeat-watch, however The Solely Sport in City is one. I discovered an important print of this flick
just lately, so I gave it a second attempt. As soon as once more, I used to be bored to tears.

The Solely Sport in City is principally a two-character
Broadway play turned film that was filmed late 1968/early ’69, however dumped into
launch January, 1970! For the final time, The
Solely Sport in City
received Elizabeth Taylor her highest wage, 1.25 million
{dollars}. As in A Place within the Solar and
Large, Taylor received favored director
George Stevens, however as with Monty Clift and James Dean, Taylor received a sizzling methodology
main man, Warren Beatty, recent off Bonnie
and Clyde

One of many few scenes of location capturing, the opening credit of ET strolling residence.


Sport was set in Las Vegas,
however filmed largely in Paris. Why? So Taylor may very well be close to Richard Burton, the place
he was filming his dud, Staircase. There was some exterior
filming in Vegas. And if practically all of the movie takes place in her character’s
condominium or with Beatty in casinos, what was the distinction?

The one-night stand between Fran & Joe turns into one thing deeper in
“The Solely Sport in City.”


The actual downside, as typically the case with
films that bomb massive, was the script. The
Solely Sport in City
was first a poorly reviewed Broadway flop. Right here, Warren
Beatty’s Joe is an addicted gambler and Taylor’s Fran is an getting older showgirl,
ready for her married lover to come back by means of with a proposal. Then Joe and
Fran hook up, begin to fall for one another, and battle and make up alongside the best way.
That’s it.

ET does not even do jazz palms because the getting older showgirl in “The Solely Sport in City.”


The opposite massive downside with Sport is each stars are miscast. Warren
Beatty was far too younger and breezy to be plausible as a world-weary, down on
his luck gambler. Frank Sinatra was first alternative, however left when Taylor’s
emergency hysterectomy took an extended restoration, and he left the undertaking. Elizabeth
Taylor, as many viewers famous, was too brief and plump to play a Vegas
showgirl. The right staff would have been Sinatra and Shirley MacLaine, as an
extension of the roles they performed in Some
Got here Operating
a decade earlier than.

Huge stars, with even greater hairstyles, in “The Solely Sport in City.”

What’s unfair from in the present day’s viewpoint is how
many critics and movie followers have dumped all
the blame on Taylor. Many commented that Liz appeared like Beatty’s mom. Taylor
did look matronly together with her shapeless
minis and with soccer helmet wigs. A few of this was the period’s model, none of which
suited petite and plump Elizabeth. Nevertheless, at 36, her face nonetheless appears to be like fairly
beautiful right here. And whereas Beatty was boyish at 31, however he does not appear like the
child from Splendor within the Grass. With Heaven Can Wait eight years later,
Warren at 40 would begin giving himself the tender focus therapy. Even when
Taylor appears to be like older, I consider all of the prematurely aged actors like Gable,
Cooper, Crosby, Stewart, and Astaire, performing reverse new stars like Audrey, Grace,
or Leslie Caron— all 1 / 4 of a century youthful! And plenty of of younger Elizabeth’s
co-stars had been 15 to twenty years older, too. Right here, Elizabeth hardly appeared like a
hag.

This profile picture of Elizabeth Taylor & Warren Beatty jogs my memory of a well-known pic of ET & Richard taken 5 years earlier than. Burton admitted concern over Beatty’s charms.


Off-screen, Taylor and Beatty definitely had a
mutual admiration society, to the purpose the place hubby Richard Burton admitted
concern. When Elizabeth stated she considered Warren as a brother, Burton
replied, “Sure, however I fear about incest!” Taylor later instructed Barbara
Walters that she rated Warren an 11 on a scale of 1 to 10. Elizabeth known as
Warren “Warren Magnificence;” my nickname for him is “Sleeping Beatty!” I’ve at all times
considered Beatty as an artsy George Hamilton, however his wry allure can enchantment.
Beatty commented a lot later that he thought Elizabeth had essentially the most lovely
face he’d ever seen and that he by no means
met an actress much less all in favour of performing, at that time.

Warren Beatty as Joe & Elizabeth Taylor as Fran, about to commit in “The Solely Sport in City.” One critic commented that ET’s face was nonetheless a nationwide attraction, however her efficiency was awfully grand. Warren’s sleepy model did not win raves, both.


Greater than Taylor’s bodily attributes, it’s
her intrusive fame that distracts. What showgirl who’s a homebody that watches
outdated films would continually be altering outfits, wigs, and put on full make-up
simply to sit down round her condominium? Or get up sporting tons of knickknack? Scenes
with hefty Liz asking to be carried by Beatty into the bed room, or questioning
the dimensions of a diamond ring, all looks like begging for ridicule. Additionally, has
anybody ever seen how a lot Kim Novak’s extra plausible Third Woman from the Left resembles The Solely Sport in City? Each function an getting older showgirl, schmuck
boyfriend, and youthful beau.

Who wears their jewellery to mattress? Elizabeth Taylor in “The Solely Sport in City!”


Regardless of Taylor being overly dramatic within the massive
scenes, she’s good in her brittle banter with Beatty. I just like the scene the place
they twit one another by singing to one another from completely different rooms. Whereas
Warren Beatty just isn’t one in every of my favourite actors, he does present a aptitude for humor.
His youth performs in opposition to him, the place his fixed jokes does not appear to be a
protection mechanism of an older man holding actuality at bay, however that of an
immature jerk. Nonetheless, in his massive scene, the place he lastly admits that he is in
love with Fran, teary-eyed and all, Beatty’s genuinely touching.

Warren Beatty’s nice as Joe declares his love for Fran in “The Solely Sport in City.”


George Stevens was recognized for his character-driven,
methodic model. You come to know the characters right here, however after Fran turns down
her long-time beau’s proposal, the film has nowhere else to go. This was
Stevens’ final movie and his work had develop into torpid, as in 1965’s The Biggest Story Ever Instructed.

The one factor extra boring than Fran’s married lover lastly agreeing to place a hoop
on it’s staring on the avocado inexperienced decor!


Vicki Tiel and Mia Fonssagrives had been Taylor’s
designer associates. Their garments characterize Taylor’s worst model interval. Sure, ET
was not a ’60s chick. However they actually could not consider another method of
dressing her than to throw her in tent-like minis? Fortunately, they persist with
stable colours, which makes ET’s coloring pop. I am positive hairdresser Alexandre of
Paris knew the drill of what Liz needed, however could not he have common her
wigs to not appear like bowling balls? One critic accurately commented that Taylor
appeared just like the dancing tomato from the outdated drive-in film advertisements, in rounded ‘dos
and muumuu minis, together with her brief legs protruding.

Liz appears to be like beautiful in an indigo blue boating prime…

I assume ET’s fancy designers forgot that stripes aren’t precisely slimming when your star is brief and chubby. And Elizabeth Taylor’s hat is almost as tall as she is!


Taylor hadn’t been slim on movie since Cat on a Scorching Tin Roof, however didn’t begin
getting known as out on it till The
Sandpiper
. I recall Rex Reed’s quote about ET in Sport, that she appeared like “the Goodyear Blimp pumped filled with
Chasen’s chili.” The unkind feedback on her weight reached fever pitch within the
late ‘70s as a fats Republican spouse, and Joan Rivers led the pack. It’s odd that
in our present PC tradition, some present biz writers or bloggers suppose it’s humorous
to make Liz Taylor fats or drunk jokes, whereas clutching their pearls over the
similar criticism of in the present day’s stars.

Whereas Warren Beatty loved working with ET, the actual purpose he accepted
“The Solely Sport in City” was to work with George Stevens. Beatty’s later work mirrored Stevens methodical model, for higher and worse.


The Solely Sport in City was an try on the type of mainstream film
Elizabeth Taylor used to make. Critic Pauline Kael aptly wrote that “after the
preliminary pleasure of seeing Elizabeth trying prettier than she has in years, Sport is a sluggish star automobile of the
dangerous outdated days.” I don’t suppose anybody
concerned right here was at their greatest, and watching this Sport as soon as is unquestionably sufficient.

 

The scene the place Joe wins massive, then loses greater, is without doubt one of the greatest from “The Solely Sport in City.” Attention-grabbing that Beatty started the last decade starring with Vivien Leigh & ended with Elizabeth Taylor.

Right here’s my submit on the ten 12 months anniversary of Elizabeth
Taylor’s passing:
https://ricksrealreel.blogspot.com/2021/03/reflections-of-life-long-elizabeth.html

FYI: I put all of the film overflow on my public FB  film
web page. 

Test it out & be a part of!  https://www.fb.com/teams/178488909366865/ 

Is that this the apricot scarf Carly Simon wrote about in “Your So Useless?” 


 



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