movie film review | chris tookey
 
harsh reviews
An A to Z of the World's Deadliest Movie Reviews From Affleck
to Zeta Jones
SELECT VICTIMS BY INITIAL LETTER OF SURNAME
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z 
Liza Minnelli
My daughter’s got a voice like chalk on a blackboard.
(Judy Garland)
I always thought Liza Minnelli’s face deserving of first prize in a beagle category.
(John Simon, National Review)
Actress, Charlie Bubbles (1968)
The supreme deadweight in the picture is Liza Minnelli, Judy Garland's daughter, whose screen debut proves easily the most inauspicious since Turhan Bey's. Miss Minnelli is so untalented and homely, and so blithely unaware of it all, that her performance must rate high on the list of any collector of unconscious camp.
(John Simon, National Review)
Actress, The Sterile Cuckoo (1969)
And Liza Minnelli? Though some of her kookier lines recede as swiftly and irretrievably as her chin, her outbursts of joy or panic are authentic and often affecting. But she tends to do too much, her whole body shaking like an overworked steam engine, her eyes carrying on like gaskets about to burst. Despite some talent, she cannot fake charm or acceptable looks. For a fugitive moment we can fool ourselves into believing that she is a jolie laide, but forthwith she reverts to her usual mixture of Judith Crist and the Emperor Tiberius.
(John Simon, National Review)
Actress, Cabaret (1972)
The film's irredeemable disaster is its Sally Bowles: changing her into an American was bad enough; into Liza Minnelli, catastrophe. Miss Minnelli cannot act any part without calling attention to how hard she is working at it and how far she is from having worked it out. She cannot even move right - in this case, like a sexy cabaret artiste and thriving nymphomaniac; instead, she rattles around gawkily and disjointedly, like someone who never got over being unfeminine and unattractive. Plain, ludicrously rather than pathetically plain, is what Miss Minnelli is. That turnipy nose overhanging a forward-gaping mouth and hastily retreating chin, that bulbous cranium with eyes as big (and as inexpressive) as saucers; those are the appurtenances of a clown - a funny clown, not even a sad one. And given a matching figure - desperately uplifted breasts, waist indistinguishable from hips - you just cannot play Sally Bowles. Especially if vou have no talent. In fact, Miss Minnelli has only two things going for her: a father and a mother who got her there in the first place, and tasteless reviewers and audiences who keep her there.
(John Simon, National Review)
Actress, Lucky Lady (1975)
Age cannot wither, nor make-up stale, her infinite sameness. She is herself a perfect ménage a trois in which lack of talent, lack of looks, and lack of a speaking voice cohabit blissfully. Donen sensibly concentrates on her best feature, her legs, but he unfortunately can't wrap them around her face.
(John Simon, National Review)
Actress, New York, New York (1977)
Liza Minnelli, difficult to like at best, comes out looking like a giant rodent en route to a costume ball.
(Stanley Kauffmann, New Republic)
The only other idea - if you can call it that - was to encourage Liza Minnelli as Francine to act and sing as much as possible like her mother, which she usually does anyway. The result is rather like urging someone who has been spontaneously walking to walk consciously, which leads him, of course, to paralysis or to falling on his face. In any case, the big difference between Garland and Minnelli is that Garland, though less than comely, was not (until near the end) grotesque and goony; that Garland, even if overacting, did so in her own style at least; and that, though one sometimes refused to cry with Garland, one can never help giggling at Minnelli.
(John Simon, National Review)
Key to Symbols