Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton were a famous celebrity couple, however, they didn’t always have an easy time making movies together. During the shoot of one of their films, Taylor and Burton were drunk the whole time. In addition, Taylor had difficulty discerning fantasy from reality. Here’s what happened when a fan told Taylor he loved the film.
Why Elizabeth Taylor couldn’t buy the set of one of her films even though she wanted to
Taylor often thrived while making movies based on great literature. National Velvet is based on a classic children’s novel while Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? are each based on one of America’s greatest plays. She also starred in an adaptation of a Tennessee Williams play that went a little awry.
One of Taylor’s lesser-known films, Boom!, is based on Williams’ The Milk Train Doesn’t Stop Here Anymore. According to Vice, the film’s shoot was less than ideal. Taylor and Burton were drunk during the entire filming of Boom! Taylor repeatedly mistook the film’s set for an actual property. She wanted to buy it but the crew had to remind her it wasn’t real.
How ‘Boom!’ changed Elizabeth Taylor’s career
The movie performed poorly. According to the book, Elizabeth Taylor: A Private Life for Public Consumption, Burton himself said the film’s $10 million budget “went BOOM!” in his diary. The release of Boom! coincided with the end of Taylor as a major box office draw, however, the press continued to be fascinated by her extravagant lifestyle.
What Tennessee Williams thought of the movie
Despite the poor box office reception, The Baltimore Sun reports Williams himself was a fan of Boom! He called it “a beautiful picture, the best ever made of one of my plays.” Considering classic movies like A Streetcar Named Desire and Suddenly, Last Summer are based on his plays, that’s high praise indeed.
How Elizabeth Taylor reacted when someone told her ‘Boom!’ was great
Enter John Waters. Waters is a campy filmmaker known for movies like Pink Flamingos, Cry Baby, and the original version of Hairspray. He is a huge fan of Boom! He told Taylor that and she had a less-than-cordial reaction.
“I remember I met Elizabeth Taylor and the first thing I said is, “I loved Boom!” and she got real mad and shouted, ‘That’s a terrible movie!’” he told Vice. “And I said ‘It isn’t! I love that movie! I tour with it at festivals!’ Then she realized I was serious. Because it is a great movie. I feel like if you don’t agree with that I hate you. If you don’t like Boom! I could never be your friend. Right now I live by the water and every time I see a wave hit a rock I shout, ‘Boom!’ like Richard Burton.” The public wasn’t much for Boom! but it can claim one famous fan.