Only Game in Town, The (1970)

Only Game in Town, The (1970)

“I’m making jokes because I’m scared, but I’ve never been more serious in my life.”

A Vegas showgirl (Elizabeth Taylor) has an affair with a gambling-addicted musician (Warren Beatty) while waiting for her married lover (Charles Braswell) to finally get a divorce — but when her opportunity for a lasting union arrives, will she take it?

Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:

  • Elizabeth Taylor Film
  • Gambling
  • George Stevens Films
  • Love Triangle
  • Play Adaptation
  • Warren Beatty Films

Reviews of George Stevens’ final film — an adaptation of Frank D. Gilroy’s short-lived Broadway play — are uniformly scathing, with most attention paid to the outsized budget for a film taking place in Vegas but filmed in Paris simply so Taylor could be near her husband, Richard Burton. Taylor’s miscasting has also been noted, with The New York Times’ Vincent Canby uncharitably stating: “As played by Miss Taylor, Fran is so top-heavy in bouffant hair styles by Alexandre of Paris, and badly proportioned minidresses by Mia Fonssagrives, that she has the non-dancing silhouette of an apple balanced atop a pair of toothpicks.”

Regardless of her appearance, Taylor’s overall situation simply doesn’t garner much sympathy, primarily because we barely meet the supposed object of her affections (Braswell) before he’s gone again. Beatty adds a bit of pathos to the role of a gambling addict, and the film come alive during an early sequence when he takes Taylor on the town.

But from there, we’re simply waiting for an inevitable romance between the two gorgeous co-stars to ensue, despite their professed disinterest.

Redeeming Qualities and Moments:

  • Henri Decae’s cinematography

Must See?
No; skip this one.


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