Review: The V.I.P.s

UK, Anthony Asquith (1963)

: The V.I.P.sAbysmal! We were playing the Interactive Movie Game (you know, talking back to the screen) within the first half hour.

A bunch of highfalutin, wealthy airline passengers are grounded by London fog and forced to deal with life-changing crisis. (“If I don’t get out of the country by midnight tonight, I’ll be forced to pay a million dollars in taxes!!”) Stuff we can all relate to. Think of the TV show Dynasty set in the ’60s on an episode of The Love Boat. The all-star cast includes Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Louis Jourdan, Rod Taylor, Orson Welles (spouting a horrid foreign accent,) Margaret Rutherford (in an Oscar-winning role,) and Maggie Smith. I suppose it’s worth watching for the performances of the latter two actresses, who are sorely underutilized. No, on second thought, it’s not even worth it for that.

Far too much time is taken up with the run-of-the-mill Taylor/Burton storyline. Unhappy and neglected in her marriage to millionaire businessman Richard, Liz is running off with aging playboy Louis Jourdan. Will the fog lift, letting the lovers escape to New York before her husband discovers the note she left which explains everything? What will happen when angry hubby shows up to confront them? Who will Liz end up with? Does anyone really care? And wow, were hairstyles and fashion bad in 1963! This is soap opera movie making in the very worst way. Liz’s acting style is so cool and detached it’s hard to believe The V.I.P.s was made at the height of Liz and Richard’s scandalous real life love affair and easy to believe the stories that they were drinking madly all the way through the filming of this movie. [0 stars]

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One thought on “Review: The V.I.P.s

  1. Came across your evaluation of The VIPs on checking the film out on IMDb.
    Sadly your understanding of its content was comparing it to American fodder which my satisfy the masses in many countries, but misses the point.
    The author of this original wrote it whilst waiting for his plane , badly delayed by fog .
    The film version was watched by many around the world and the interplay of those involved was at times superb!
    Someone many years ago told me critics can, but actors do!
    So, it’s not some grand Hollywood extravaganza , but actors who in some cases became stars , doing what comes naturally.
    A bit of jingoism now. Stars are not all good actors, just stars!
    With the exception of a few good American actors, the Brits beat you every time!
    Listen to Richard Burton on a bad day, and he ” wipes the floor”with the so called American stars!
    Don’t forget Shakespeare was British and probably very proud of that fact.

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