“Liz: The Elizabeth Taylor Story” begins with Elizabeth as a small child. Her mother and Aunt Hedda Hopper (no real relation) helped her get the part in ” Lassie, Come Home .” Sometime later, Elizabeth appears in ” National Velvet .” The movie jumps ahead to Elizabeth starring with Montgomery Clift in ” A Place in the Sun .” From there, the movie shows the developing relationship between Liz and Monty. “Liz” did reveal that Monty Clift was a homosexual and how his and Taylor’s friendship grew in spite of it.
After “A Place in the Sun” was released, Taylor met and married Conrad Nicky Hilton . Elizabeth suffered physical and emotional abuse from Hilton. The marriage only lasted a year.
A year after her divorce, Elizabeth met and married Michael Wilding . Michael was 20 years older than Taylor and they had two children. “Liz” showed the marriage failing and even hinted to Michael hanging out with questionable characters in Hollywood. Before the marriage ended, Monty Clift was in a horrible car accident. Elizabeth was on the scene shielding Clift from photographers. While visiting Monty in the hospital, Elizabeth met and fell in love with Mike Todd.
When Clift returned to the set of “Raintree County,” he gave Elizabeth his tooth (the one Elizabeth pulled from his throat at the accident scene) on a chain.
After Taylor married Mike Todd, they had a daughter named Elizabeth Frances Todd. Mike and Liz had public fights, which hit the papers frequently, yet insisted they were happy together. The movie displayed that the fights were part of their love dance. In March 1958, Mike’s private plane crashed near New Mexico while flying to New York. Elizabeth was planning to go to New York with Mike, but she got sick and had to stay behind. Liz was devastated when two friends came to her house to tell her Mike was dead.
In her grief, Liz turned to Mike’s best friend, Eddie Fisher, for emotional support. They fell in love, but there was a problem with that. Eddie was married to Liz’s best friend, Debbie Reynolds. Eddie and Elizabeth’s affair was discovered and became front-page news thanks to Hedda Hopper. Elizabeth was furious with Hopper after she wrote a story about Elizabeth breaking up the Fisher and Reynolds marriage. “You betrayed me Aunt Hedda!” Elizabeth yelled into the phone.
After Eddie and Elizabeth were married, the only jobs Eddie could get was in Las Vegas. Elizabeth asked MGM to release her to Fox to film “Cleopatra,” but the studio would only do it under one condition. MGM insisted that Liz star in “Butterfield 8.” Elizabeth was furious because she did not want to play a whore. All was not lost, Elizabeth convinced the studio to hire Eddie to play Steve Carpenter. Unfortunately, Eddie was a singer not an actor, so Montgomery Clift became his acting coach. Elizabeth still came out on top because she won an Academy Award for the role of Gloria Wandrous.
Liz was finally free to fly overseas to film “Cleopatra.” In “Liz: The Elizabeth Taylor Story,” The Fishers adopted Maria while Liz was filming “Cleopatra.” However, Richard Burton is Maria’s adopted father on record.
Taylor and Burton’s affair became a public spectacle, which humiliated Fisher and Burton’s wife, Sybil. After “Cleopatra” finished filming, certain 20th Century Fox executives who worked on the set were fired because they were blamed for the Burton and Taylor scandal. Liz continued to see Richard after filming, but he had not left Sybil. Richard finally decided to divorce his wife when Elizabeth put her foot down.
“You can have a mistress and a wife, but you can not have a wife and a fiancé,” Liz said.
“Why not?” asked Burton.
“Because, I’m the fiancé,” she replied.
Richard and Elizabeth got married twice and divorced twice. After the second divorce from Burton, Elizabeth was vulnerable, but she allowed a friend to set her up on a date with Senator John Warner.
After marrying Warner, Elizabeth helped him campaign. She also got a heavy dose of southern hospitality, which led to a tremendous weight gain. Tired of being fat and left at home while Warner went to the capital, Liz got a divorced, lost weight, and starred in a play with ex-husband Richard Burton.
According to the miniseries, Liz was starting to have feelings for Burton again, but he wasn’t interested. In fact, Burton married another woman and told Elizabeth about it after the final curtain call. Liz was so distraught that she went on a drinking binder that landed her in the hospital. Taylor woke up with her doctor and family at her bedside begging her to get help. Liz checked herself into the Betty Ford Center.
Once Liz got better, she went to visit Rock Hudson who was dying of AIDS. After Rock’s death, Liz got involved with HIV/AIDS awareness and fundraising projects. During her campaign, she slipped by drinking and taking pills. Back at the Betty Ford Center, Liz met Larry Fortensky who looked like a Michael Bolton wannabe.
The movie ends with Elizabeth posing for a picture with her mother, Larry, and Liz’s children.
“There’s only one Elizabeth Taylor,” Larry commented.
“Thank God for that,” Liz said.