Essential Liz

An actor first and then foremost a star, Elizabeth Taylor reached highs throughout—and well beyond—the Golden Age of Hollywood. Possessed of striking beauty including but hardly limited to, as cartoonist Garry Trudeau aptly wrote, “violet eyes to die for,” Taylor made her debut in 1942 at age 10. Her talent was evident and her impact upon audiences and industry was instantaneous, inviting choruses of “Who’s that girl?” Soon she was renegotiating her contract with MGM and America’s exhibitors had named her a Star of Tomorrow; by 1961, she was the theater owners’ choice as Top Box Office Star. Taylor’s dramatic screen performances (which earned her two Best Actress Academy Awards) riveted the world, which hungrily consumed gossip on her personal life of multiple marriages, infidelities, divorces, remarriage, births, losses, AIDS activism, and much more. Through it all, she forged a filmography that spanned the sublime to the ridiculous. This retrospective includes a number of rarely screened works and offers proof aplenty that great performances and movie stardom need not be mutually exclusive.

Playing today

Cleopatra

Now playing

The Comedians

Playing today

National Velvet

Now playing

The Sandpiper

June 25–30

Ash Wednesday

June 28–29

Boom!

June 29–30

Butterfield 8

Sat June 30

The Driver’s Seat

June 27–29

The Only Game in Town

June 26–28

Secret Ceremony

Past Screenings