It is the incredible Miss Taylor who grounds this late 60's arthouse flop, and manages to transcend it's failing qualities, to make it a screen orgy of bad taste and over the top drama!
Our affection for Elizabeth grew in her later years: all those diamonds, perfumes, her AIDS charity work, her varying weight and looks ... for me though her great era was that decade from 1954 (THE LAST TIME I SAW PARIS, GIANT, RAINTREE COUNTY, CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF, SUDDENLY LAST SUMMER and, yes, CLEOPATRA) when she and Marilyn were the twin deities of the era, as Sophia and Brigitte came to the fore.
The Burton era though was passing, were the public getting tired of their ritzy lifestyle and antics as they were forced to make more and worse films to maintain their lifestyle? - people were just not going to see them, together or separately, any more - and who could blame them with items like HAMMERSMITH IS OUT, BLUEBEARD, THE DRIVER'S SEAT, ASH WEDNESDAY .... ZEE & CO though was another genuine Trash Classic we will have to re-visit it soon.
Losey had another success, artistic and popular, with THE GO-BETWEEN in 1971 and was then mainly filming in Europe. He directed Burton again in his 1972 THE ASSASSINATION OF TROTSKY, which a lot of people, including me, didn't bother with at the time - despite it also featuring Alain Delon and Romy Schneider - or maybe it did not hang around long enough for us to see it. It was though deadly dull when I finally got the dvd a while back.