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It’s Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent in most Western Christian religions.  Folks give UP something for the next 40 days.  The traditional purpose is the purification and preparation of the believer for the Holy Season of Easter.

I’m a Baptist, and we don’t do Lent.  Really, think of all the things we aren’t allowed to do the rest of the year. 40 days, slackers, I say! Try giving UP booze for your entire life!

But, booze free as I am, I do go to movies, and I’ve loved the movie Ash Wednesday for years.

La Liz

Probably one of Elizabeth Taylor’s least known films, it’s a joy to watch, even if it is a bit outdated.

Produced by Dominick Dunne, directed by Larry Peerce, the film stars Taylor, Henry Fonda, and a young Helmut Berger.

In a desperate attempt to save her failing marriage, 55-year-old Barbara Sawyer (Taylor) submits to full-body plastic surgery in a Swiss clinic.

Coming out looking hotter than smoke, she checks into an exclusive ski resort, Cortina d’Ampezzo, and waits for the hubby to arrive.

Giddy with her new beauty and youthful appearance, happy that every thing’s in the right place and tighter than Lana Turner’s sweater, she allows herself to be seduced by a playboy, played by a young Helmut Berger.

Bergur and Taylor

When Mark, her hubby,  finally arrives, he makes an announcement that changes Barbara’s initial plans forever.

Taylor was nominated for a Golden Globe for the role, and proved that she still had star power.  She carried the movie single-handedly until the brief but dramatic appearance of Fonda.

The critics loved it, which was, as it often is, box-office buzz-kill.

Taylor lost the Globe to Marcia Mason for Cinderella Liberty.

BTW, Helmut didn’t age so well…

…then…

Helmut

 

…now…

Helmut now

 

Yikes!  At least he didn’t use Kim Novak’s plastic surgeon…gotta give him props for that.

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