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The VIPs
The VIPs
Actors: Rod Taylor, Margaret Rutherford, Maggie Smith
Director: Anthony Asquith
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
UR     1hr 59min

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...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Rod Taylor, Margaret Rutherford, Maggie Smith
Director: Anthony Asquith
Creators: Richard Burton, Elizabeth Taylor, Orson Welles, Louis Jourdan, MGM
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Love & Romance
Studio: GBD
Format: DVD - Color,Anamorphic - Closed-captioned,Subtitled
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/1963
Run Time: 1hr 59min
Screens: Color,Anamorphic
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 2
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Languages: English
Subtitles: English, French, Spanish

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Movie Reviews

A competent rather than stimulating film...
Roberto Frangie | Leon, Gto. Mexico | 01/16/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)

"The V.I.P. lounge of the London Airport is cunningly designed to exploit the real-life Burton--Taylor romance... In itself, the film is competent rather than stimulating...

Liz (very lovely to look at) once again is the neglected wife, comforting herself with a lover... When he's threatened by his wife's departure, the husband, who has given diamonds instead of affection, shows he cares... Liz is unyielding, however; she wants him to suffer... Only when Burton decides to kill himself and she finds out does she realize he needs her... The couple are reunited: despite their great wealth, despite his previous indifference, despite her temptations (Louis Jourdan is waiting in the wings), they are respectable, conventional people after all...

The inevitable reconciliation is reached by means of improbable coincidences... But the details hardly matter... The Burtons behave like stars, he shamelessly working his speeches as though they were Shakespearean arias, she being very dignified and remote, on her best lady-like behavior after "Cleopatra." At the end, she has a tearful scene that gives her the kind of torrential emoting she had practiced since "National Velvet" and "The Courage of Lassie;" for the rest, she's cool and serene, her face undisturbed by normal human expression... Playing an instigator of male insecurity, she's not, for a change, altogether sympathetic here...

The Burtons by no means dominate the movie, and again, as in "Cleopatra," the chemistry isn't quite there... He has that deep sonorous voice he's so immensely proud of; she's working with her high, little-girl breathiness... He's stage-trained, an emphatic classical actor... She's movie-trained, skillful at not giving the camera more than it can absorb... His bombastic language and her movie-fashioned subtlety do not mix; often they don't seem to be occupying the same movie space...

Burton was one of the finest classical actors of his generation, but as a movie actor in movie star material, he was no match for his wife... When they have good scripts, with equally weighted parts, as in "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?," and "The Taming of the Shrew," they are truly responsive to each other...

In "The V.I.P.s" Burton gives too much and Taylor just barely gives enough, but it doesn't matter... It's Old Hollywood pretentious and a big-cast movie like this is only as good as its supporting actors... Maggie Smith, as the unsophisticated secretary with a crush on her boss, and Margaret Rutherford, as the eccentric duchess, stole the show and won a Best Supporting Oscar...

Fog of Doubt
Kevin Killian | San Francisco, CA United States | 03/20/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"The VIPs is a criminally ignored masterpiece of set decoration, though the acting leaves a lot to be desired. Orson Welles makes fun of his own reputation as a spoiled and egotistical director, but it's largely painful to watch thinking of how many great movies he never got to make because people believed the role was for real. Because he is only in the movie to provide the ultimate plot twist for a more interesting subplot involving duchess Margaret Rutherford, the role might as well have been played by Stringer Davis--or left out of the film altogether. I suppose his appearance casts a cold eye for the 1950s-1960s mania for international film-making, during which time many, many movies were set overseas for tax reasons, but then again that what he was all about, wasn't it, the nomad, the cosmopolitan Mr Arkadin, man without a country. I wonder what country The VIPs was actually filmed in, the fogged in airport looks glamorous and evocative, reminding today's viewers there must have been an era in which a plane trip was something worth getting dressed up for.

Elizabeth Taylor takes advantage of this by wearing a giant turban hat, like a beehive, and an enormous, striking coat. She's tiny and determined as she moves this exaggerated outfit down streaming acres of Pan Am industrial carpeting. I saw this as a boy and always wanted to go to Heathrow. Imagine my surprise when I did go there, and bad connections forced me to spend the night at the airport, looking for the kind of glamour Taylor and Louis Jourdan seem to pick up everywhere they go. Even Rod Taylor and Maggie Smith, desperately strapped for cash, and Margaret Rutherford, poor as a churchmouse, find themselves in vast cathedral-like spaces of cultural amenity, cocktails proffered sympathetically, someone to fuss at their every need and the décor a Vincente Minnelli dream of throw pillows in three contrasting 60s colors. (I did wind up having a manicure at midnight from a Polish emigree.) I have to confess that every time the scenario dwelt on the Taylor-Burton-Jourdan love triangle I dozed off a little, till we hit on the idea of placing wagers on how many minutes into the movie would it take for Taylor to change expression. For the record it doesn't happen until 1.27.13, but keep your eyes peeled, it's a doozy.
One of liz and richard's best films
sexy dancer | spring hill, florida | 10/15/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"this movie was successful because of the love affair of liz and richard after their "cleopatra" encounter. the story of "the v.i.p.'s " is well crafted. it is the stories of different characters who found themselves stuck in a london airport because of the london fog. the climax is very touching and the story line is very credible. it has a superb all star cast who showed great acting prowess. highly recommended."