A Fine Affair & Another Great Collaboration

VIPS

Over the holidays I viewed my copy of the 1963 film, “The V.I.P.s”, which has long been a favorite of mine. Anatole de Grunwald cleverly decided to leverage the worldwide attention Richard Burton & Liz Taylor’s affair was garnering in the press, into success for his new film. Equally talented artists, their affair led to some terrific collaborations on film and stage as well… Written by playwright, Terence Rattigan, it tells of basically four interconnected dramas of VIP’s stuck in London’s Heathrow airport during a fog. Rattigan claimed the basis of the Taylor-Burton-Jourdan storyline was based on a true story Vivien Leigh confided to him about her determination to leave her husband, Laurence Olivier and fly off with her lover, Peter Finch, only to be delayed by a fog at Heathrow. I think this film has been largely underrated but of course de Grunwald’s hunch was on the money literally, as it did well at the box office due to public curiosity to see Richard & Elizabeth onscreen together. Like Liz, I too have a long-standing weakness for Burton; who could blame her?

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