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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Butterfield 8
Butterfield 8
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Review by Chuck Arrington | posted November 13, 2000 | E-mail the Author
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BUTTERFIELD 8

Synopsis:

Gloria Wandrous (Sounds like a Bond-girl name, Elizabeth Taylor) is a woman of the night. Her life revolves around men and money. Her current beau is a Mr. Liggett. A wealthy married man who longs for the excitement he has seemingly found in Gloria. These two however, are not a match made in heaven. Not only is the affair doomed from the onset, it would appear that Gloria has far more beneath the surface than she allows to show through. When her dalliances are through, she turns to a childhood friend (Eddie Fischer) who always accepts her through every storm. Able to take her "mask" off with him, she is at ease. The pressures on her life though are only just beginning. Unlike her other "friends" she has fallen for Liggett and is allowing her heart to love for the very first time. Liggett however, is struggling to find his own way in a hell that he has carved out for himself, in both marriage and career. The cat and mouse game they engage in comes to a head when; Liggett is welcomed into a club of men who have all shared in Gloria's "favors". Unable to shake the anger he feels at not being her only "love" his rage is kindled and he seeks nothing but to discredit and embarrass her. Theirs is a tragic story of lust & love and awful beginnings. Not to mention awful endings.

Audio/Video:

The audio for Butterfield 8 is presented in Dolby Mono. The overall audio effect is lackluster and in dire need of an infusion of the stereo kind. The audio in all was quite airy and the brass segments of the score came over as being tinny at best. The score itself is a bland and dismal orchestration that really pulls everything around Dialogue is the central figure in this film and it's portrayal goes from fair to good. At times, the audio/dialogue seems muffled and there were several moments during the film when the dialogue seemed to disappear. Resulting in our having to boost the audio far more than expected.

The video was fairly clean with the markings, pixellation and flecking expected for a film of this age. The image was a little soft and the colors were not as vibrant as I would have liked. Additionally, the blacks gave way to a fair amount of pixellation that was very noticeable and quite distracting. On the whole, the distortion/transfer errors presented were not the worst I've seen but they did make for something of an unattractive picture.

Extras:

The extras on Butterfield 8 are the film's very long trailer and cast and crew information for the filmmakers.

Overall:

It's easy while watching this film to see all of the allure attributed to Elizabeth Taylor. Her presence onscreen is tremendous. However, it's unfortunate that you can't build an effective movie solely on the beauty of the top billed star. Butterfield 8 is an engaging film, and it's an interesting film but it's a very depressing film and one that is painfully predictable from the start to the finish of the movie. If you are a fan of Taylor's and need this film to complete your collection then by all means but it. But, if you are a casual observer, this is more a rental than anything else. At the conclusion of the movie I was first unaware the film had ended and once I realized it had ended, I was glad it was over. Rental Only

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