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The VIPs (Region 1 NTSC) US import

4.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Format: NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada DVD formats.)
  • Studio: Warner Bros.
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • ASIN: B000LTY4HA
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 141,743 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Jet-setters awaiting London departure are grounded by fog -- giving liftoff to a fabulous ensemble drama that includes Taylor, Burton, Maggie Smith, Orson Welles and more.

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By Spike Owen TOP 500 REVIEWER on 12 May 2013
Format: DVD
The V.I.P.s is directed by Anthony Asquith and written by Terence Rattigan. It stars Richard Burton, Elizabeth Taylor, Louis Jordan, Rod Taylor, Maggie Smith, Orson Welles, Elsda Martinelli and Margaret Rutherford. Filmed in Panavision and Metrocolor, music is by Miklos Rozsa and cinematography by Jack Hildyard.

Terminal 2, London Heathrow Airport, and fog has grounded the flights of some very important people. Time, then, for truths to out and futures resolved...

Cheque book generosity.

Disliked by critics upon release but a hit at the box office, The V.I.P.s is a throwback to the days when ensemble star power could carry a melodrama through to its conclusion. The performances of the actors, playing well to do characters facing up to some tribulations in life, are most enjoyable (nice to see Rod Taylor actually being Australian, Smith owning the film and Rutherford being Rutherford) and even though there's some silly moments within Rattigan's screenplay, there's enough quality drama and warmth to make the near two hour running time bearable. Besisdes, I never thought the sight of Richard Burton signing a cheque could make me feel so happy! 7/10
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x8d777660) out of 5 stars 65 reviews
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8d93b3a8) out of 5 stars A great cast from the past! 1 Jan. 2011
By Stancy Merwin - Published on
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Taylor and Burton were at the height of their passion for each other when this was filmed. It's fun to watch such a talented cast, which includes the funny and incomparable Margaret Rutherford, the sexy Rod Taylor, the charming Louis Jourdan, and the perfect Maggie Smith when she was a young woman and not a character actress yet. This is high-class soap opera but well done, and Rutherford provides a splash of needed comic relief. I've really missed out by never being invited into a VIP lounge in an airport, apparently! Just remember, Taylor and Burton were like Tracy and Hepburn, Olivier and Leigh, Branagh and Thompson, Newman and and Woodward, Brad and Angelina. Magnetic and fun to watch knowing their chemistry in real life. Next to Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf, I think this is my favorite Taylor/Burton film.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8da98978) out of 5 stars "I know it is foolishly sentimental to want to sit next to the man that you are eloping with" 29 Dec. 2009
By Byron Kolln - Published on
Format: DVD
THE V.I.P.'s belongs to a genre of film that is now sadly almost extinct - the star-studded character epic. Playwright Terence Rattigan gave us one of the all-time classics with "Separate Tables"; and in 1963 he wrote the script for this most glamorous movie, quickly assembled as a vehicle for the red-hot couple Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton at the height of "Cleopatra" mania.

The story revolves around several high-profile travelers, stranded at Heathrow airport when bad fog prevents any flights from taking off. Millionaire's wife Frances Andros (Taylor) is leaving her husband (Burton) for the comforting embrace of gigolo Marc (Louis Jourdan). In a bid to dodge the tax-collector, international film director Max Buda (Orson Welles) is forced to marry his featherbrained actress (Elsa Martinelli). A faithful, plain-jane secretary (Maggie Smith), holding a none-too-subtle flame for her boss (Rod Taylor), goes to amazing lengths to help restore his crumbling empire. And a dotty old duchess (Margaret Rutherford) is being forced to take a job in Florida in order to maintain her ancestral home.

Apart from the Taylor/Burton/Jourdan plot (which is hopelessly old-fashioned and melodramatic even for 1963 standards), the rest of the characters still hold up reasonably well. Margaret Rutherford deservedly won an Academy Award for her delightful turn as the Duchess. Elizabeth Taylor looks a treat in her Givenchy wardrobe, and Maggie Smith offers a touching portrait of the ultimate steadfast secretary. It's a rare instance to have Australian actor Rod Taylor playing a character with a broad Aussie accent (something he almost always had to conceal in his movie roles).

The DVD sadly doesn't have any extras (not even the trailer). It's available exclusively in the Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton Film Collection (Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf 2-Disc Special Edition / The Comedians / The Sandpiper / The V.I.P.s) 5 Disc Set.
19 of 23 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8da9f048) out of 5 stars A competent rather than stimulating film... 16 Jan. 2007
By Roberto Frangie - Published on
Format: DVD
The V.I.P. lounge of the London Airport is cunningly designed to exploit the real-life Burton--Taylor romance... In itself, the film is competent rather than stimulating...

Liz (very lovely to look at) once again is the neglected wife, comforting herself with a lover... When he's threatened by his wife's departure, the husband, who has given diamonds instead of affection, shows he cares... Liz is unyielding, however; she wants him to suffer... Only when Burton decides to kill himself and she finds out does she realize he needs her... The couple are reunited: despite their great wealth, despite his previous indifference, despite her temptations (Louis Jourdan is waiting in the wings), they are respectable, conventional people after all...

The inevitable reconciliation is reached by means of improbable coincidences... But the details hardly matter... The Burtons behave like stars, he shamelessly working his speeches as though they were Shakespearean arias, she being very dignified and remote, on her best lady-like behavior after "Cleopatra." At the end, she has a tearful scene that gives her the kind of torrential emoting she had practiced since "National Velvet" and "The Courage of Lassie;" for the rest, she's cool and serene, her face undisturbed by normal human expression... Playing an instigator of male insecurity, she's not, for a change, altogether sympathetic here...

The Burtons by no means dominate the movie, and again, as in "Cleopatra," the chemistry isn't quite there... He has that deep sonorous voice he's so immensely proud of; she's working with her high, little-girl breathiness... He's stage-trained, an emphatic classical actor... She's movie-trained, skillful at not giving the camera more than it can absorb... His bombastic language and her movie-fashioned subtlety do not mix; often they don't seem to be occupying the same movie space...

Burton was one of the finest classical actors of his generation, but as a movie actor in movie star material, he was no match for his wife... When they have good scripts, with equally weighted parts, as in "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?," and "The Taming of the Shrew," they are truly responsive to each other...

In "The V.I.P.s" Burton gives too much and Taylor just barely gives enough, but it doesn't matter... It's Old Hollywood pretentious and a big-cast movie like this is only as good as its supporting actors... Maggie Smith, as the unsophisticated secretary with a crush on her boss, and Margaret Rutherford, as the eccentric duchess, stole the show and won a Best Supporting Oscar...
15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8df18d44) out of 5 stars Fog of Doubt 20 Mar. 2009
By Kevin Killian - Published on
Format: DVD
The VIPs is a criminally ignored masterpiece of set decoration, though the acting leaves a lot to be desired. Orson Welles makes fun of his own reputation as a spoiled and egotistical director, but it's largely painful to watch thinking of how many great movies he never got to make because people believed the role was for real. Because he is only in the movie to provide the ultimate plot twist for a more interesting subplot involving duchess Margaret Rutherford, the role might as well have been played by Stringer Davis--or left out of the film altogether. I suppose his appearance casts a cold eye for the 1950s-1960s mania for international film-making, during which time many, many movies were set overseas for tax reasons, but then again that what he was all about, wasn't it, the nomad, the cosmopolitan Mr Arkadin, man without a country. I wonder what country The VIPs was actually filmed in, the fogged in airport looks glamorous and evocative, reminding today's viewers there must have been an era in which a plane trip was something worth getting dressed up for.

Elizabeth Taylor takes advantage of this by wearing a giant turban hat, like a beehive, and an enormous, striking coat. She's tiny and determined as she moves this exaggerated outfit down streaming acres of Pan Am industrial carpeting. I saw this as a boy and always wanted to go to Heathrow. Imagine my surprise when I did go there, and bad connections forced me to spend the night at the airport, looking for the kind of glamour Taylor and Louis Jourdan seem to pick up everywhere they go. Even Rod Taylor and Maggie Smith, desperately strapped for cash, and Margaret Rutherford, poor as a churchmouse, find themselves in vast cathedral-like spaces of cultural amenity, cocktails proffered sympathetically, someone to fuss at their every need and the décor a Vincente Minnelli dream of throw pillows in three contrasting 60s colors. (I did wind up having a manicure at midnight from a Polish emigree.) I have to confess that every time the scenario dwelt on the Taylor-Burton-Jourdan love triangle I dozed off a little, till we hit on the idea of placing wagers on how many minutes into the movie would it take for Taylor to change expression. For the record it doesn't happen until 1.27.13, but keep your eyes peeled, it's a doozy.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8e96f390) out of 5 stars Good old fashion movie! 26 Nov. 2012
By Lo Lo - Published on
Verified Purchase
The V.I.P.s is a return to a different time and a different type movie. Every actor and role are good, however watching Maggie Smith is a delight! Her performance is a true stand out! Margaret Rutherford is so good, she makes you smile and wish she had more screen time. Watching Taylor and Burton sizzle is fun. But it is Maggie Smith and Margaret Rutherford that make this movie more than just a movie to pair up Taylor and Burton. In fact others could have played their roles, but no one could touch the performances of Maggie Smith and Margaret Rutherford!
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