×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Ash Wednesday

Ash Wednesday is a jolting tearjerker about middle-age marital trauma, compounded by the superficial and spiritual uplift of cosmetic surgery. Elizabeth Taylor stars as the fiftyish wife of Henry Fonda, and Helmut Berger is featured as her brief Italian resort affair after the beautification process has restored her surface charm.

Ash Wednesday is a jolting tearjerker about middle-age marital trauma, compounded by the superficial and spiritual uplift of cosmetic surgery. Elizabeth Taylor stars as the fiftyish wife of Henry Fonda, and Helmut Berger is featured as her brief Italian resort affair after the beautification process has restored her surface charm.

Script is essentially a three-act play, about evenly divided over the film’s 99 minutes. Act 1 is a gruesome, overdone series of ugly surgical scenes. Act 2 introduces Taylor to a new world of uncertain poise, while Act 3 precipitates the powerful, neatly restrained dissolution of her marriage to Fonda.

Taylor, fashionably gowned and bejewelled carries the film almost single-handedly. Fonda is excellent in his climatic appearance, an usually superb casting idea.

Ash Wednesday

  • Production: Sagittarius/Paramount. Director Larry Peerce; Producer Dominick Dunne; Writer Jean-Claude Tramont; Camera Ennio Guarnieri Editor Marion Rothman; Music Maurice Jarre Art Philip Abramson
  • Crew: (Color) Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1973. Running time: 99 MIN.
  • With: Elizabeth Taylor Henry Fonda Helmut Berger Keith Baxter Maurice Teynac Maggie Blye
  • Music By: