Fans of Elizabeth Taylor have sought out this film on home video for years and -if you look at the prices being asked for old VHS copies - you'll see that there is still a need to have it released. Arny Schorr - a former Rhino exec, who created S'more Entertainment a few years ago to reissue on DVD many out of print titles - is giving fans what they want with this new DVD release - at a fair price.
This is the story of the battle between 1940s and 50s gossip columnists Louella Parsons (Elizabeth Taylor, in one of her best roles late in her career) and Hedda Hopper (Jane Alexander, who seems to turn her personality way too quickly but is almost as "catty" as Taylor as the film proceeds) and was made by ITV to air on TV in 1985. It covers the years 1928 through 1944 and much of it takes place on the huge MGM lot. Both Taylor and Alexander hold the screen which nice supporting work by Richard Dysart (who many will remember as the head partner on "L.A. Law") as studio head L.B. Mayer and even a small role by Tim Robbins (early in his career) as actor Joseph Cotton. Fans of Hollywood lore will enjoy seeing "re-creations" of such famous folks as Bing Crosby, Clark Gabel and Orson Welles. (This was the period when he was making "Citizen Kane"). The budget for costumes was obviously high.
The film is "based on actual events" and there's a bit of Hollywood lore here. The film starts slow but it's at the one-hour mark that the claws come out and the dialogue has some of the juiciest barbs in this battle to be the "nosiest gossip columnist" reaches its peak.
The print is near perfect. The exterior scenes have a bit more sepia than the inside ones - but that's the way it was filmed. There are chapter stops but no bonus materials. (After all, this was made for TV, and networks rarely saved "deleted" scenes.
Thanks go to S'more for making this film available again.