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Spoiled heiress Louise Durant decides to leave the comfort of her father's estate in southern France to study piano at the Music Conservatory in Zurich, despite she knowing she not having ... See full summary »
Twenty-something Laura Reynolds is a free spirit who questions social conventions, laws and regulations. A struggling artist, she lives in a secluded beach-side cabin in Big Sur with her nine year old illegitimate son, Danny, on who she has instilled her values. Because of this questioning of convention, Laura has decided to home school Danny. Also because of this questioning of the law, Danny runs into some legal problems, and as such is court ordered to be sent to San Simeon, a Christian school in Monterey. This order is against Laura's wishes. The school's headmaster is Dr. Rev. Edward Hewitt, who tries to convince Laura that San Simeon is not the prison she probably believes it to be. Married for twenty-one years to his faithful wife Claire, Edward has become more a fund-raiser at all cost (for a new chapel) rather than an educator or priest. Despite their differences, Laura and Edward begin to fall for each other. Both but especially Edward have to reconcile their feelings for ...Written by
Claire Hewitt, talking to her husband about Danny, says, "He was reciting the Prologue to Chaucer's Canterbury Tales in Old English." The language Chaucer wrote in, and that the boy recites in, is Middle English, not Old English. See more »
Dr. Edward Hewitt:
I've learned that total adjustment to society is quite as bad as total maladjustment, that principled disobedience of unjust law is more Christian, more truly law abiding than unprincipled respect.
See more »
Another story about middle-aged anxst. Only this time we have Richard Burton as an Episcopal minister leading a humdrum life as the head of a religious school. He's bored with his marriage too, to Eva Marie Saint.
Into his life comes single mom Elizabeth Taylor who is raising her son Morgan Mason out of wedlock and living in a hippie colony on the California coast. Art imitates life as Liz gets Dick's hormones into exponential overdrive.
A lot of younger members of IMDb could not possibly appreciate all the publicity surrounding Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor from the first reports of an affair on the set of Cleopatra. They were two of the best well known international celebrities anywhere. Of course producers rushed to find stories for them to do. They did a whole number of joint projects.
The Sandpiper was not one of the better ones. It did have an Oscar winning song The Shadow of Your Smile which both Tony Bennett and Johnny Mathis sold a lot of records of. Liz and Dick got a good supporting cast that included Charles Bronson, Robert Webber, Tom Drake and Torin Thatcher.
Thatcher plays a judge and he inadvertently gets the adultery ball rolling when he orders that Liz Taylor stop home schooling young Mason and he orders her to send him to the Episcopal school run by Burton.
We certainly have come full circle. Kids are homeschooled today for religious reasons and judges would get a lot of negative publicity if they ever ordered a kid into a religious school.
Charles Bronson is one of Taylor's artist friends and a militant nonbeliever. He gives atheists a bad name and is constantly giving Burton the needle. Clergy are all too human and the best of them acknowledge that.
Robert Webber in his career played a whole lot of smarmy types. He's on the board at Burton's school and has had his fling with Taylor as well. This is one of his best screen roles and typical for him.
Despite some good moments, The Sandpiper sinks into the level of soap opera. I would recommend seeing Cleopatra, The VIPs, or Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf if you want to see Liz and Dick at their best.
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