Divorce His/Divorce Hers
Drama, Romance | 180 mins | Released: 1973
Director: Waris Hussein
Starring: Richard Burton, Elizabeth Taylor, Carrie Nye, Barry Foster, Gabriele Ferzetti, Daniela Surina, Thomas Baptiste
Our Rating: 6
Divorce His, Divorce Hers is a 1973 television film starring Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. The film examines the conflicted emotions felt by a couple whose 18-year marriage has frayed beyond repair. The first half of Divorce His, Divorce Hers details the story from the husband’s view, and the second half takes the wife’s perspective.
Divorce His, Divorce Hers, which was directed by Waris Hussein, from a script by John Hopkins, was originally presented in a two-part broadcast on U.S. television on February 6-7, 1973 (appearing on the Tuesday and Wednesday editions of ABC Movie of the Week), although it was theatrically released in France in 1974.
Divorce His, Divorce Hers was the last of eleven films that Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton starred in together.
Notable Quotes from Divorce His, Divorce Hers:
Jane Reynolds: “You can be pretty dumb sometimes, considering how smart you think you are.”
Tommy Reynolds: “You still call yourself Mrs. Reynolds?”
Jane Reynolds: “Only when I sign checks.”
The critic Clive James wrote after the television screening in Britain: “After movies as monumentally lousy as Bluebeard and Hammersmith is Out it was good to see Burton chipping some of the rust off his technique.”
Review of Divorce His, Divorce Hers:
Four Stars for a fine performance by Miss Taylor
Author: MGMboy from San Francisco – 17 December 2003
“`Divorce His; Divorce Hers’ would be a much better film if it were trimmed from three to two hours. In this effort, T.V. producers attempt to milk the then world-shaking coup of nabbing the Burton’s for a two-night event (Their first Movie made for television). But the cow ran dry at two hours. The story of a crumbling marriage is told first from the husband’s point of view and then in the second half is told from the wife’s. Much of the same ground is covered twice and much more interestingly in the second half.
Jane and Martin Reynolds live La Dolce Vita in Rome in the early 70’s and after 18 years come to the slow and painful end of their marriage. Rome looks wonderful in the location shots in the Borghese Gardens, along the Via Condotti at night, and Piazza Navona. And attendant with the glamour of Rome the aura of the Burtons is well served in making the Reynolds seem impossibly rich. Notice that Elizabeth wears her Krupp diamond and the famous La Peregrina Peal necklace. No successful business tycoon of Burton’s character’s income could have afforded such lux baubles for his wife. Still in the early 70’s the Liz and Dick glamour machine must be well oiled and the public at the time expected it. Some degree of disbelief would be suspended in anticipation of the Burtons because we somehow felt that what we were seeing less a drama than a semi-documentary about Elizabeth and Richard. And perhaps in some ways those films were just that. Richard Burton’s performance is somewhat stiff and cool with flashes of Welsh temper to pepper his scenes. But, over all, he seems rather distant and not too interested in the proceedings. But on the other hand Elizabeth’s excellent training in film acting over the years by the masters at M.G.M. comes to her aid in creating a warm fully developed and wonderful lady in Jane. She shines in particular in her scenes with the children and in her scene with Carrie Nye when she learns of Miss Nye’s relationship with her husband. She is missed when she is not on hand to bring a little life to Mr. Burton’s scenes. Miss Taylor shimmers in her own inimitable way and once again shows new-comers and old pro’s what real screen acting is about. The film is by no means great but not nearly as bad as some reviewers would lead you to believe. `Divorce His: Divorce Hers’ is worth seeing for Elizabeth’s solid work.”