In the 1950’s, Elizabeth Taylor was part of the new type of Hollywood actor, the female parallel of Paul Newman, James Dean and others, who in Suddenly Last Summer, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and Butterfield 8, gave us a screen full of vulnerability and grit and beauty all at once. And never was she shy or coy about stating what she wanted.
Among her talents was the ability to present her figure at its most lusciously female while keeping the audience fixed on what she was saying, whether she was crossing the room fully clothed to light a cigarette or simply walking down the street. If you’re not convinced, watch her move about in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof or, better, Butterfield 8. She was cute as hell in Giant, and displayed a much softer side in A Place in the Sun, especially in her scenes with Montgomery Clift.
From Butterfield 8:Laurence Harvey: “You’re all alike, aren’t you? Play tough. Elizabeth Taylor: I’m not like anyone. I’m me.”