Michael C. Smith | San Francisco, CA United States | 12/17/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
""Divorce His; Divorce Hers" would be a much better film if it were trimmed from three to two hours. In this effort, T.V. producers attempt to milk the then world shaking coup of nabbing the Burton's for a two-night event (Their first Movie made for television). But the cow ran dry at two hours.
The story of a crumbling marriage is told first from the husband's point of view and then in the second half is told from the wife's. Much of the same ground is covered twice and much more interestingly in the second half.
Jane and Martin Reynolds live La Dolce Vita in Rome in the early 70's and after 18 years come to the slow and painful end of their marriage. Rome looks wonderful in the location shots in the Borghese Gardens, along the Via Condotti at night, and Piazza Navona. And attendant with the glamour of Rome the aura of the Burtons is well served in making the Reynolds seem impossibly rich. Notice that Elizabeth wears her Krupp diamond and the famous La Peregrina Peal necklace. No successful business tycoon of Burton's character's income could have afforded such lux baubles for his wife. Still in the early 70's the Liz and Dick glamour machine must be well oiled and the public at the time expected it. Some degree of disbelief would be suspend in anticipation of the Burtons because we somehow felt that what we were seeing less a drama than a simi-documentary about Elizabeth and Richard. And perhaps in some ways those films were just that.
Richard Burton's performance is somewhat stiff and cool with flashes of Welsh temper to pepper his scenes. But, over all, he seems rather distant and not too interested in the proceedings.
But on the other hand Elizabeth's excellent training in film acting over the years by the masters at M.G.M. comes to her aid in creating a warm fully developed and wonderful lady in Jane. She shines in particular in her scenes with the children and in her scene with Carrie Nye when she learns of Miss Nye's relationship with her husband. She is missed when she is not on hand to bring a little life to Mr. Burton's scenes. Miss Taylor shimmers in her own inimitable way and once again shows new comers and old pro's what real screen acting is about.
The film is by no means great but not nearly as bad as some reviewers would lead you to believe. "Divorce His: Divorce Hers" is worth seeing for Elizabeth's solid work."
The games people play
Alejandra Vernon | Long Beach, California | 03/31/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Much like the dialogue in so many bad marriages, the script for this 1973 TV mini-series does not flow well, and is often strained, with awkward passages; it is nevertheless fascinating to watch Burton and Taylor battle each other, these fabulous on and off screen lovers, both experts in the chaos of divorce, having done so twice with each other, not to mention a few others. Burton plays a businessman who is uncommunicative and aloof, and Taylor is his wife who will do anything to get his attention, until the relationship becomes almost sado-masochistic, with its manipulative games...as she tells him at one point, "it's no fun behaving badly if you're not going to punish me". The story fluctuates between the present to flashback memories, with occasional fuzzy continuity, but since there is little plot, and this is a tale of emotions gone wrong, it doesn't affect the film.
The beauty of Taylor's face is breathtaking, but not all of Edith Head's gowns are flattering, which I found rather peculiar, as some actually accentuate certain out-of-shape elements in Taylor's figure that could have been easy to disguise. Burton looks very dapper and immensely attractive, with his powerful, gorgeous voice. Both give terrific performances, though by no means on the level of the '66 "Whose Afraid of Virginia Woolf ?". Others in the cast include Carrie Nye, and Barry Foster, and it also stars the city of Rome, with some beautiful vistas of the Eternal City. It is interesting that in one scene, there is a newspaper with the headline "London Arab Terror Alert", which was a top story just a few weeks ago, proving that headlines, like the games played in dreadful relationships, go 'round and 'round, as if caught in a web of madness. Total playing time of this Part 1 (taken from the man's perspective) of the mini-series is 75 minutes (Part 2 is from the woman's perspective); this film is now in public domain, and there are some cheap versions available, which are a little washed out in color. "
A CLASSIC B MOVIE WITH LEGENDARY STARS
Candace Scott | 09/20/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"WORTH THE MONEY TO SEE THIS CLASSIC MOVIE, STRANGE BUT A TRUE CLASSIC"
Strangely interesting Burton-Taylor melodrama
Candace Scott | Lake Arrowhead, CA, USA | 06/24/2003
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This little-known film was Burton and Taylor's first (and only) foray into the "made for TV" genre. Originally airing in 1973 on two successive nights on ABC, the movie is actually rather interesting and not especially dated. Burton achieves the rare feat of *not* overacting, and in fact, sleepwalks throughout most of the movie. Still, this is one of his better performances, devoid of his usual theatrical screaming, ranting and raving. Elizabeth Taylor is bloated and overweight (and clearly unhappy), but is still amazingly beautiful, at the age of 41.The movie is divided into two separate movies, with the "Divorce His" section infinitely superior to the Liz section, which is boring beyond belief. The Liz segment also repeats many sequences already aired in the Burton first hlf of the movie, though filmed with a different camera. Interesting technique, but one knows why it was only utlized on this one movie!Burton looks magnificent here, thin, relatively sober and quite striking. No doubt he and Liz made a fabulous-looking couple. This was filmed just a year before their first divorce and remains an interesting piece."
Michelle Gilpin | Salado,TX | 05/06/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I would just like anyone who is looking into buying this movie to know that this movie isn't 180 minutes as the box says and it comes from Elizabeth Taylor's viewpoint. Non the less tho' it is still a great movie and Elizabeth Taylor shines as always!!!!! Love you Liz :)"