Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Only Game in Town (1970) "El único juego en la ciudad"

Director: George Stevens
Elizabeth Taylor, Warren Beatty, Charles Braswell, Hank Henry, Olga Valéry



































This is a pretty bad movie, but hard to look away from the pretty people inhabiting it. Warren Beatty was unbelievably gorgeous in his younger days. He also was a surprisingly effective and poignant actor. His performance elevates an otherwise pedestrian movie. It really is on par with a television movie, down to the cheesy soundtrack music. Elizabeth Taylor is incredibly miscast. She is lovely to look at, though rather old-looking, for some reason. She couldn't have been more than five years older than Beatty, but looks at least ten years his senior, in spite of being filmed in soft focus. She also is quite zaftig, though it's refreshing in light of the anorexic actresses one sees now. She's totally unbelievable as a showgirl. The average showgirl is tall and slender; the tiny, curvaceous Ms. Taylor would never have even gotten an audition. She also phones in her performance, which doesn't help her rather poorly-drawn character. The film is a series of relationship and situational cliches. You can predict the dialogue before it's spoken. You have to wonder, too, why a stalwart such as George Stevens would choose such a flaccid script as his final project. Someone must have waved a lot of money under these big names' noses to get this made. It's a shame to waste such directing and acting talent. But if you start watching, you probably won't be able to take your eyes off it. They don't make beauties like Beatty and Taylor in Hollywood anymore, at least with as much charisma to go with the looks.