Butterfield 8 (1960)
Elizabeth Taylor won an Oscar for her performance as Gloria, a pill-popping prostitute careening between sordid affairs and tortured by her conflicts between morality and desire. In a desperate search for love and acceptance, she hopelessly falls for a married man (Laurence Harvey) who will never leave his family behind. Based on the novel by John O'Hara.
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Critic Reviews for Butterfield 8
It's just about as awful as you'd expect, despite the presence of two first-class screenwriter.
Under director Daniel Mann's guidance it is an extremely sexy and intimate film, but the intimacy is only skin deep, the sex only a dominating behavior pattern.
Once thought of as racy and adventurous in its treatment of sex, this turgid nonsense about a high-class whore with love in her heart has dated atrociously.
The dialogue is rough. Let's say O'Harrowing. And the ending is absurd. But so is most of it for that matter. It's the living it up that gets you in this film.
Glossy trash with the star at full throttle, it's the quintessental La Liz movie.
When viewed today it's a work of considerable dreck, it's badly dated and unappealing.
"Mama face it, I was the slut of all time," Liz Taylor's hooker confronts her mother, and that's pretty much sums up the nature of this glossy, trashy melodrama that Hollywood used to make until TV appropriated the genre.
Mostly crap, but Elizabeth Taylor is hot
Taylor's heralded performance as the archetypal hooker ('the slut of all time!') with a heart of gold is a bit overrated.
Taylor won an Oscar for her role in this, but holds the movie in scant regard compared to the rest of her work. And with good reason.
Though it's generally true that nothing dates faster than Hollywood's idea of what's daring, Butterfield 8 can be viewed as a fascinating artifact from the days when movie stars' offscreen myths were carefully woven into their on-screen roles.
Audience Reviews for Butterfield 8
A glamourous Liz Taylor is a rebel of a lass in this (slightly controversial at the time) story, parts were enjoyable, none of it relatable and all very glamourised for such a lifestyle.More
When kept in perspective (it was late 50's early 60's) it's quite a bold film (in regard to subject matter) about a girl who is looking for love in all the wrong places.
It is also a rather sad story about how when you go too far down one "path" in life, it isn't always easy to choose another. And even if you are able...you may start down the new (and better) "path" with a bad case of poison oak from the first "path".
An impressive performance by Elizabeth Taylor. though I feel the Oscar was given to her just as much for the impressive (and Oscar nominated) string of solid films that she had made up to that point, as it was for this film in particular.
With lines like a comedy ridiculing this genre played straight, it took an act of will to stomach this garbage, this trash, about trash. Maybe its better than I give it credit for ... but noooooo.More
So what's this I hear about this film being a piece of trash? Maybe it's just due to Liz Taylor's fascinating sex appeal, but I found Butterfield 8 to be utterly sumptuous. Poor dependable sap Eddie Fisher pulsating with desire for Gloria's touch, but making do with simple Norma's homebody image. Laurence Harvey crusading through entire imaginable emotion on the map - orgasmic ecstasy, contentment, anger, despair, resurrection. And the clothing! The truths! The hysterics! The catfights! This is a film about one woman's effect on an entire community, and wow does Liz Taylor make it unforgettable.More
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