What a great way to view the first half of her career all in one fell swoop. In National Velvet, of course, she plays young Velvet Brown, the most beautiful little girl ever born, with a love for her horse that knows no bounds. What a shame injury prevented her from playing in International Velvet for Bryan Forbes many years later, though Nanette Newman was very good in the part as well. In FATHER OF THE BRIDE, Taylor is all of a sudden very grown up, and Vincente Minnelli really showcases her youthful beauty and high spirits and passionate nature. The movie is wonderful with details, and although it is really Spencer Tracy's story, both Taylor and her look-alike movie mom, Joan Bennett, have some great scenes and both look ravishing. Yes, Liz was all grown up but the movie doesn't really go to the place of sexuality in the same way that Richard Brooks' CAT ON A HIT TIN ROOF does. Taylor kind of wears that white slip, otherwise it looks like it's falling off of her, and Paul Newman seems suitably aroused, and yet the whole premise of the picture is that for some reason, and what could it be, he's just not up to having sex with her. It's a very funny movie despite its torrid plotline and the sterling performances of all concerned. While Taylor received the Oscar for BUTTERFIELD 8, the final movie of our quartet, she really should have been handed the statuette for her superior work in CAT. As Maggie she created an indelible image that ranks with her finest work (such as PLACE IN THE SUN and WHO'S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF).
This DVD set is a good bargain and the films themselves have rarely looked better, though there is some flaking around the edges during early reels of BUTTERFIELD 8.