Review: Charles Casillo's 'Elizabeth and Monty: The Untold Story of Their Intimate Friendship' a Heart-wrenching Triumph

by Bill Biss

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Wednesday May 26, 2021

Review: Charles Casillo's 'Elizabeth and Monty: The Untold Story of Their Intimate Friendship' a Heart-wrenching Triumph

There is a tremendous amount of love, friendship, life, tragedy, and triumph in Charles Casillo's biographical account of the relationship between Elizabeth Taylor and Montgomery Clift. The two star's stories are complicated, to say the least, but with "Elizabeth and Monty: The Untold Story of Their Intimate Friendship," Casillo has taken the time to research and flesh out two of Hollywood's most beautiful, delicate, and strong stars. They became instant friends upon first meeting, in 1949; it didn't hurt that Elizabeth and Monty were Gemini twins in the sense that they personified of female and male beauty. Through thick and thin, they remained life-long friends.

The book is heart-wrenching. Casillo has done a magnificent job with every chapter, presenting the arc of a friendship that started on the set of "A Place In The Sun," continued on with "Raintree County" and "Suddenly Last Summer," and came to an end with Clift's death in 1966, at the age of 45. As an actor, Clift was so instinctive, yet in his personal life he was self-destructive.

As for Elizabeth Taylor - what is left to say about her? She was an individualist. She had a domineering mother, like Monty, but she displayed her own admirable strength, respect, and courage in her friendship with Clift; it was Taylor who reached down his throat on the night of the accident to remove the teeth that had been knocked out and then lodged in his airway. "Mother Courage" or Bessie Mae - Monty's nickname for Elizabeth - was rightfully earned. Casillo sheds new light on Elizabeth Taylor and Montgomery Clift, giving their friendship a place in the sun.


Charles Casillo's "Elizabeth and Monty: The Untold Story of Their Intimate Friendship" is available now from Kensington