He's the one that women are drawn to? Well not me.
So I have a million things I am supposed to read, but I am indulging in this great guilty pleasure "Furious Love: Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, and the Marriage of the Century". This is the book Kanani sent me. I am a fan of Elizabeth Taylor, but I must confess.....I never paid much attention to him. Mama Kelley was an Taylor fan too, so I think that's where I got it.
Taylor and Burton met on the set of "Cleopatra" in 1963. So I watched it yesterday. It's four hours long. Basically the first two hours she is with Caesar (Rex Harrison) and the second two hours Mark Antony (Burton).
So the first two hours, I like. Of course. The film is lavish and she is beautiful. Taylor/Cleopatra wants....pursues....and gets Caesar. It all makes perfect sense to me.
Then I stop the movie and have lunch with my mother. After lunch, I read a little, do some stuff (very little stuff, trust me). Then I go back to the movie. Caesar is assassinated, it's no surprise. I know the basic history.
Now it's time for the big romance. Both historically and on the set.
What. A. Disappointment!
Mark Antony is whining, self pitying, and when the big battle happens.....he is drunk, pigheaded and less than devoted to his men.
When he leaves the Battle of Actium, which I must confess, I was not familiar with, I was horrified. I don't know how accurate the movie is, but history confirms he fled the battlefield. From what I have read, he deserted his forces.
The movie wants us to see this as some sort of devotion to Cleopatra and true love.
Good Heavens.....I was ill! Who wants a man who would desert his post? Abandon his principles? A man who let his troops down?
This is the same bewilderment I feel about the Abdication of Edward VIII. At least in the new movie ("The King's Speech" two thumbs up....GO), Edward is protrayed like the ass I consider him to have been.
Anyway, I nearly shut the movie off at that point. How did anyone talk Burton into accepting this role?