5 Pieces of Elizabeth Taylor Movie Memorabilia I'd Actually Pay For
Long live the memory of our most-perfectly-nosed savior Elizabeth Taylor, whose Oscar cred and Crayola eyes shall live on in fabulous montages for eternity. Now, part of the matrimonial legend's legacy can be ours: Her glorious Cleopatra wig -- made from real human hair -- is hitting the auction block. Oooh! I wonder if there are traces of Richard Burton's saliva on it. Actually, I wonder if we can score a deal on other Liz Taylor movie memorabilia. Cleopatra is a decadent, but pretty uninteresting note in her career. No prestige, just bombast. Here's the Liz stuff I'd rather bid on this holiday season.
1. Her pearl earrings from A Place in the Sun
I figure if you're going to buy a piece of memorabilia, you want it to represent something special: Well, Liz Taylor vaulted from darling child star to sensual screen beauty in 1951's A Place in the Sun, playing aristocrat Angela Vickers, who compels George Eastman (Montgomery Clift, looking fiiiine) to, tell his homelier girlfriend Alice to -- ahem -- jump in a lake, figuratively. Elizabeth Taylor was fine onscreen before A Place in the Sun, but this film marked the first time she exhibited true spellbinding glamor. To live without those luxurious earrings would be An American Tragedy. (Best Theodore Dreiser joke of the day.)
2. This eye-popping headgear from Raintree County
What kind of world do we live in where we don't celebrate that Elizabeth Taylor, the most gorgeous brunette of all time, costarred in a film with Eva Marie Saint, who is arguably the most gorgeous blonde of all time? Throw in Monty Clift's appearance, and this movie is essentially Hottie Cavalcade. We all adore Liz's southern sultriness in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, so why not celebrate her twangy repartee with the looniest piece of headgear she ever wore in Ole Dixie? I'm gettin' fluh-stuhd just thinkin' abaht it.
3. The fetching white swimsuit from Suddenly Last Summer
Finally, we're getting to the movie that first pinpointed Liz's true gift for histrionics. Tennessee Williams's startlingly insane play makes for a hammy, unforgettable movie, and it even affords Liz the chance to predate Ursula Andress's iconic beachside arrival by a couple years. In Suddenly, Liz wears the sexiest swimwear of the '50s, surpassing even Burt Lancaster's shorts in From Here to Eternity -- but let's not get competitive. The important thing is both garments thrilled the daylights out of Monty Clift.
4. The "Sunday chapel dress" from Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
Since I can't buy Sandy Dennis's RAW POWER at auction, I'll settle for the other definitive Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? adornment: The busty, ballsy outfit Liz dons after her guests have arrived and the psychological warfare with her husband George (Richard Burton) commences. When Liz shimmies and twists in the climactic bar scene near film's end, she makes that Melissa-Leo-in-The-Fighter getup seem like the raunchiest outfit in cinema history. I'm getting hysterically pregnant just revisiting that scene.
5. The headband from Reflections in a Golden Eye
In this vastly underrated adaptation of the Carson McCullers novel with Liz and Marlon Brando, our girl enjoys a hasty, defiant stripping scene that drives Vito Corleone right up the wall. Sexiness and fussiness have rarely gone so well together, and after Liz flings off her bra with pure gusto -- like some power-drunk competitor in a Real World/Road Rules Challenge -- she's left with a bedazzled headband and Brando's harsh admonishment: "You disgust me!" Anything that could feasibly disgust Marlon Brando deserves its own gallery at the Smithsonian.
Elizabeth Taylor's Cleopatra wig up for sale [Guardian]