HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Frozen II
White Sheik, The
Whalebone Box, The
Hunt, The
Invisible Man, The
Honey Boy
System Crasher
Judy & Punch
Bacurau
Battling Butler
Vivarium
Seven Chances
Dogs Don't Wear Pants
Navigator, The
Knives Out
Hit!
Charlie's Angels
Passport to Shame
Le Mans '66
Keep Fit
Doctor Sleep
Friend or Foe
Brass Target
Mine and the Minotaur, The
Sky Pirates
Syncopation
Sea Children, The
Ghost of a Chance, A
Go Kart Go
Great Buster, The
Seventy Deadly Pills
Wings of Mystery
Treasure at the Mill
VFW
Crime Wave
Terminator: Dark Fate
Slithis
Antonio Gaudi
Oscar, The
Color Out of Space
   
 
Newest Articles
It's! Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 3 on Blu-ray
Put the Boot In: Villain on Blu-ray
The Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 2: Vic Pratt Interview
All the Lonely People: Sunday Bloody Sunday on Blu-ray
Desperate Characters: Beat the Devil on Blu-ray
Chansons d'Amour: Alfie Darling on Blu-ray
Ozploitation Icon: Interview with Roger Ward
Godzilla Goes to Hollywood
Demy-Wave: The Essential Jacques Demy on Blu-ray
The Makings of a Winner: Play It Cool! on Blu-ray
Sony Channel's Before They Were Famous: A Galaxy of Stars
Start Worrying and Hate the Bomb: Fail-Safe on Blu-ray
Completely Different: Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 2 on Blu-ray
Bash Street Kid: Cosh Boy on Blu-ray
Seeing is Believing: Being There on Blu-ray
Top Thirty Best (and Ten Worst) Films of the 2010s by Andrew Pragasam
Top of the Tens: The Best Films of the Decade by Graeme Clark
Terrorvision: A Ghost Story for Christmas in the 1970s
Memories Are Made of This: La Jetee and Sans Soleil on Blu-ray
Step Back in Time: The Amazing Mr. Blunden on Blu-ray
Crazy Cats and Kittens: What's New Pussycat on Blu-ray
No Place Like Home Guard: Dad's Army - The Lost Episodes on Blu-ray
A Real-Life Pixie: A Tribute to Michael J. Pollard in Four Roles
We're All In This Together: The Halfway House on Blu-ray
Please Yourselves: Frankie Howerd and The House in Nightmare Park on Blu-ray
   
 
  Driver's Seat, The A Change Is As Good As A Rest
Year: 1974
Director: Giuseppe Patroni Griffi
Stars: Elizabeth Taylor, Ian Bannen, Guido Mannari, Mona Washbourne, Luigi Squarzina, Maxence Mailfort, Andy Warhol, Anita Bartolucci, Gino Guiseppe, Marino Masé, Bedy Moratti, Dino Mele, Alessandro Perella, Quinto Parmeggiani, Nadia Scarpitta
Genre: Drama, WeirdoBuy from Amazon
Rating:  4 (from 1 vote)
Review: Life has become suffocating for Lise (Elizabeth Taylor), and when she goes to try on a new dress she has ordered, she is very pleased with it until the shop assistant remarks that it is stain resistant and Lise flies into a rage, storming out of the emporium - another example of how she is at breaking point. Knowing she needs to get away from this psychologically cramped existence, she books a plane ticket to a place in the South, and after getting laughed at by a housekeeper because of her new outfit, she heads off for the sun - but that's not all she's headed off for, as she has made up her mind to take drastic action to shake herself up...

For a certain type of bad movie lover, the later films of Elizabeth Taylor, specifically the ones she made in the late sixties and seventies, have yet to be bettered as an example of a once classic star in decline, as if to say, hey, Liz was human after all, she made mistakes and now we can appreciate her all the more. Sure, there were the trashier efforts of Lana Turner or Joan Crawford to take into account, but Dame Elizabeth attracts this kind of attention like few others, and even in her most obscure films like The Driver's Seat there is a fanbase perversely drawn to seeing her fail in works that are downright weird.

This was based on a curious, short novel by Muriel Spark, and perhaps Taylor was thinking, well, if Maggie Smith can secure the Oscar for The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, then I must be in with a chance here. As it was, the film was barely released and was never under consideration for the Academy Awards, with its rarity fuelling rumours that she had deliberately suppressed the film as she was so embarrassed by it. There's no doubt she gets up to some dubious behaviour here, and so for that matter do her co-stars, but it was all there in the novel, and you can sort of see how it would have all come across better on the printed page as when the plot is acted out it quickly becomes absurd.

Glossing over the star's see-through bra that she dons in the first five minutes, the fact that this was the seventies and film was pushing the envelope of what was acceptable onscreen is all too apparent here. Take the man Lise meets on the plane: we are introduced to Bill (Ian Bannen) as he grins inanely at her from the seat beside her, an unintentiionally funny moment only underlined when he starts coming on to her like a randy dog, babbling about his macrobiotic diet, which includes rice ("I hate rice" claims Lise) and the benefits of enjoying an orgasm every day. Lise tells him in no uncertain terms that he will be doing that on his own and not with her, but he still finds it difficult to take no for an answer.

He's not the only one, as a mechanic later takes Lise for a drive after she witnesses a terrorist attack (!) and fully expects sexual favours for his trouble, practically raping her and then as she struggles, forcing her to perform oral sex on him, which ends much as you would expect. But the funny thing is, Lise really is looking for a man, only she's not interested in bedding him, she wants a further thrill that is, well, illegal. Earlier, she was hanging out with Mona Washbourne's rich widow who happened to mention that her nephew was in town, and Lise has a brainwave: a young chap like him will be far more malleable and give in to her desires. In truth, although you can chuckle at the way the film fumbles the plot and makes it seem ludicrous, you can't actually see how it would have worked out any other way, and by the end a queasy atmosphere has settled over the proceedings. Very strange, but not necessarily in a good way, and Andy Warhol shows up long enough to prove he was no actor.

Aka: Idenitkit.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 2107 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
  Butch Elliot
Andrew Pragasam
  Rachel Franke
Enoch Sneed
Paul Smith
Paul Shrimpton
   

 

Last Updated: