Elizabeth Taylor’s Ash Wednesday, Again: Another Barely Topical Ash Wednesday Post

elizabeth taylor ash wednesday vhs art

The last time I gave something up for Lent, it was Entenmenn’s baked goods, and I celebrated the end of Lent by hurling myself into a bedful of marble loaf cakes screaming “TAKE ME BACK!” Since I’m still finding crumbs in my bedding, I’ve decided it best to once again giving in to daily blogging, as well as taking today to make mention of the Ash Wednesday that soothes my spirit, Elizabeth Taylor’s 1973 plastic-surgery-and-marital-discord Eurodrama, Ash Wednesday

This time last year, I had only just ordered my bootleg DVD copy, but since then I’ve seen Ash Wednesday, and oh dear is it something. Actually, it’s several somethings.

It begins as some sort of pre-Nip/Tuck surgical melodrama where Elizabeth Taylor wears crazy old-person makeup and just wants to look young again to save her marriage, so she goes to a luxe European surgical center, gets plastic surgery, befriends a fop, and wanders around looking like the nightmare fuel for Goodnight, Mommy. It’s great.

Once healed, she leaves the surgical center. Suddenly, we’re in Cortina, Italy, and Ms. Taylor is in a fugue state brought about by her post-surgical beauty and costumes by Edith Head. A young Helmut Berger also shows up, because it’s the early 1970s, and this is a European production.

Eventually, Elizabeth Taylor reunites with her husband, who’s played by Henry Fonda, and suddenly we’re in a restrained (albeit glamorous) marital chamber drama, and Ms. Taylor and Mr. Fonda are in need of some melodrama. It’s supposed to be Bergman-esque, I guess, because it’s the early 1970s, and this is a European production.

My point is, this movie is definitely worthy of more than a bootleg DVD of a an old VHS. I wouldn’t call it great, but it’s definitely the best combination of plastic surgery horror, hag-and-her-fag hospital comedy, ski-resort fashion show, and the slow bits from Scenes from a Marriage that I’ve ever scene!

And really, if that’s not worthy of a Blu-ray–or at the very least a quality DVD–I’m gonna make like a proper Catholic and just give up.

One Response

  1. We’ll have to watch this one weekend! Don’t eat too many Entemenn’s cakes–there’s far better junk out there.


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