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The British-born Elizabeth Taylor was the quintessential Hollywood screen goddess. The Welsh-born Richard Burton was one of the most compelling British actors of his generation. Together, they were a perfect storm of talent, glamour, and offscreen scandal, which made even their lesser films essential viewing for those fascinated by cinema's royal couple. This four-film set captures the prolific couple at the height of their 1960s heyday. The essential entry is Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf (1966), which earned Taylor an Academy Award, and launched the film directing career of Mike Nichols. This adaptation of Edward Albee's searing play was ahead of its time for its use of profanity, as chronicled in bonus featurettes on this two-disc Special Edition. Taylor and Burton star as the braying Martha, a college president's daughter, and her husband George, an associate history professor. An ambitious teacher (George Segal) and his mousy wife (a heartbreaking Sandy Dennis) arrive for an unforgettable night of such emasculating sport as "Humiliate the Host," "Get the Guests," and "Hump the Hostess." The V.I.P.s (1963) is a star-studded soap opera about a group of notables stranded at a fog-shrouded airport, each desperate to get off the ground. In addition to Orson Welles as a film director trying to stay one step ahead of the British tax man and Margaret Rutherford (who earned an Academy Award) as a financially strapped duchess, we have Taylor as the unhappy wife of magnate Burton, set to elope with a reformed (?) gigolo (Louis Jordan). The Sandpiper (1965) is one of those vaunted enjoyable "golden turkeys" that at least has the beautiful Big Sur coast and the Oscar-winning song "The Shadow of Your Smile" as consolation for the silly illicit romance between Taylor, an unconvincing bohemian artist, and Burton, the tortured Episcopalian reverend to whose school Taylor's illegitimate son has been sent. The Comedians (1967) is hardly a laughing matter. Graham Greene adapted his novel of upheaval in Papa Doc-run Haiti. You have to jump 40 years to Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie to find another couple with Taylor and Burton's wattage. This collection gives a time capsule glimpse at what all the fuss was about.

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Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Commentary by directors Mike Nichols and Steven Soderbergh Commentary by cinematographer Haskell Wexler Vintage biographical profile: Elizabeth Taylor: An Intimate Portrait New featurettes: A Daring Work of Raw Excellence, Too Shocking for Its Time 1966 Mike Nichols interview Sandy Dennis screen test Taylor/Burton movie trailer gallery French mono track 1.85, black and white, 131m The V.I.P.s 2.35, color, 119m The Sandpiper Vintage featurettes: The Big Sur, A Statue for the Sandpiper 2.35, color, 117m The Comedians Vintage featurette: The Comedians in Africa 2.35, black and white, 152m

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WA82110 Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton Film Collection DVD (Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf 2-Disc Special Edition / The Comedians / The Sandpiper / The V.I.P.s) $49.92 $43.99