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DVD - Taylor&Burton The Film Collection
3-Jan-2007 -

DVD set with many extra's

After Bogie and Bacall but before Brad and Angelina or Tom and Katie … there was Liz and Dick, the ‘60s most famous on-and off-screen couple. Warner Home Video honored these two legends on December 5, 2006 with the debut of the Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton Film Collection. Featured are the 5-time Oscar®-winning, taboo-toppling landmark film, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? in a new 2-Disc Special Edition, along with the DVD debuts of The Sandpiper, The V.I.P.s and The Comedians.

Highlights of the collection’s special features include, for Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? 2-Disc Special Edition new commentary by directors Mike Nichols and Steven Sodenbergh, three featurettes about the movie and a 1966 interview with Mike Nichols.

In 1962, Elizabeth Taylor, the violet-eyed beauty who literally grew up on soundstages, and Richard Burton, a Welsh-born, classically-trained stage actor, met on the set of Cleopatra, fell in love and eventually married in 1964. They enjoyed the lifestyle of the rich and famous – expensive furs, luxurious yachts, incredible cars, lavish houses and spectacular jewelry -- and became very public symbols of jet-set glamour. They remained married for 10 years, before divorcing in 1974. Miserable apart, they remarried in 1975, but the marriage again broke up four months later.

Taylor and Burton appeared together in nearly a dozen films and in 1983 also co-starred on Broadway in Noel Coward's Private Lives. Ms. Taylor was nominated five times for Best Actress Academy Awards -- for Raintree County, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Suddenly, Last Summer, Butterfield 8 and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? She won for the latter two. Burton never received any Oscars although he was nominated seven times -- for Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, My Cousin Rachel, The Robe, Becket, The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, Anne of the Thousand Days and Equus.

Richard Burton died of a cerebral hemorrhage in 1984, and friends say Taylor calls Burton “one of the two great loves of my life.” (The other was Hollywood producer Mike Todd, who died tragically in a plane crash just after their first anniversary.) After starring in nearly 60 feature films, Elizabeth Taylor has been a tireless humanitarian in her recent years. In spite of struggling with serious health problems, she has raised more than $100 million in the crusade against AIDS.

Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966)
The most famous real-life couple of the ‘60s star in the roles of the most famous stage couple of the ‘60s. Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton are ideal as malevolent marrieds Martha and George in first-time film director Mike Nichols’ searing film of Edward Albee’s groundbreaking Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Taylor won her second Academy Award (and New York Film Critics, National Board of Review and British Film Academy Best Actress Awards). Burton, also Oscar-nominated, matches her as her emotionally spent spouse. And George Segal and Best Supporting Actress Oscar winner Sandy Dennis score as the naïve young married couple invited over for drinks only to find themselves dead center in the older couple’s destructive path. The movie won a total five Academy Awards and remains after 40 years as shocking and electrifying as ever. The music is by Alex North and has been released on several LP's. In 1997, Jerry Goldsmith did a re-recording with the National Philharmonic Orchestra.

A poor nation can mean riches…for the corrupt. In an absorbing screenplay based on his novel, master of intrigue Graham Greene (The Third Man, The Quiet American) sets passions both romantic and political against the backdrop of Haiti during the brutal rule of Papa Doc Duvalier. Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor lead a who’s-who cast of stars who portray diplomats, imposters, adulterers, hangers-on, the indolent and even a pair of pacifist vegetarians – all caught up in the reign of terror. From the discovery of a dead body in the bottom of a pool to a harrowing showdown with Papa Doc’s ruthless secret police, The Comedians tells a story as disturbing and redeeming as mankind’s conflicted heart. Laurence Rosenthal is responsible for the score, that was released on LP in 1962 and again in 1986. In 2001 Chapter III records released the score on CD, together with the score for Hotel Paradiso.

The Sandpiper (1965)Laura Reynolds (Elizabeth Taylor) is a free spirit, living in rustic Bohemian splendor in an oceanfront Big Sur home. Minister Edward Hewitt (Richard Burton), a school headmaster, lives a life as constrained as his clerical collar. Now his world is changing. Blessed with a devoted wife (Eva Marie Saint), he must come to terms with his love for another woman.

Love was in the air. So was music in the form of 1965’s Oscar-winning Best Song The Shadow of Your Smile, with music by Johnny Mandel and lyrics by Paul Francis Webster. And fans were at theatres, eager to witness on screen the charismatic chemistry that made Taylor and Burton the decade’s most scrutinized off-screen couple. Academy Award winner* Vincente Minnelli (Gigi, An American in Paris) directs this bittersweet tale that was one of its year’s top box-office hits.

For elite passengers awaiting London-to-U.S. flights, takeoff can’t occur soon enough. But then fog rolls in, grounding air traffic. Over the next fateful night, the jet-setters must face problems and not flee them.

First-class stars book passage for romantic melodrama mixed with wry comic flourishes in The VIPs. Frances (Elizabeth Taylor) is running from her neglectful tycoon husband (Richard Burton) into the arms of suave Marc (Louis Jourdan). Filmmaker Max (Orson Welles) is dodging the taxman. Harried entrepreneur Les (Rod Taylor) is blind to the romantic devotion of his secretary (Maggie Smith). And a dotty duchess (Margaret Rutherford won an Oscar„¥, Golden Globe and National Board of Review Awards for her delightful performance) is determined to save her ancestral manor. Now boarding: The V.I.P.s. The music is by Miklós Rózsa and has been released on LP in 1963. In 2001 Chapter III Records did a CD release of the score.

This DVD set has been released by Warner Home Video on December 5, 2006.

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