After months of gossip and speculation, the Lifetime television movie Liz & Dick at long last airs tonight. A behind-the-scenes look at the turbulent marriage between Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, the making of the small screen movie garnered enough tabloid attention worthy of the subjects themselves.
Starring the always troubled Lindsay Lohan as Taylor and Grant Bowler (True Blood) as Burton, Liz & Dick promised a provocative look into the famous couple's often controversial love affair that featured plenty of passion, fighting and scrutiny from an insatiable press. The pair were married twice - once in 1964 and again in 1975 following sixteen months of divorce - after their scandal-ridden romance began on the set of the financially disastrous historical epic, Cleopatra (1963).
The turbulence of their private lives was on full display in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966), which featured Taylor and Burton in top form as an endlessly bickering couple who appear to take pleasure in psychologically torturing one another. It was the highlight of both their careers.
While Taylor was a gifted performer who won two Academy Awards, the casting of Lohan has earned scorn from all corners ever since the choice was announced in April 2012. And given the spate of negative reviews, such concerns about her playing the iconic actress appear spot with various critics calling the film "spectacularly bad," "tin-eared" and "stunningly cynical."
Regardless of the negative attention, Liz & Dick will probably garner enough curious eyeballs to make it a ratings hit. The film airs at 9 p.m.
Lindsay Lohan and Grant Bowler in 'Liz & Dick'/Lifetime Television
Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton in 'Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966)/Warner Bros.