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Saturday, August 25, 2012

The Only Game In Town (1970)

A Las Vegas showgirl (Elizabeth Taylor) involved with a married man gets involved with a musician (Warren Beatty) with an addiction to gambling. Based on Frank D. Gilroy's (THE SUBJECT WAS ROSES) Broadway flop which ran for 16 performances (Fox bought the film rights before the play opened), this was director George Stevens final film. While not as bad as his THE GREATEST STORY EVER TOLD (what could be?), the film feels inauthentic on almost every level. The film doesn't capture the pulse and vibe of Las Vegas which, since the film was shot in France, is understandable. Gilroy's dialog is trite and both Taylor and Beatty are miscast. Beatty is too young for the part and while Taylor looks stunning, physically her 5' 2" zaftig figure is all wrong for a leggy Las Vegas showgirl. When Taylor asks Beatty to carry her into the bedroom, you fear for his back but fortunately the scene is never shown. Still, Taylor and Beatty aren't bona fide Stars for nothing and they're eminently watchable even while mired down with inferior material. There's a killer jazz score by Maurice Jarre though. With Charles Braswell.

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