BUtterfield 8 ★★★★★

I watched LIz Taylor's Oscar-winning film tonight, and was again impressed even though the story itself is melodramatic and sort of trashy. But she actually does a great job of playing a wildly promiscuous "party girl" who tragically falls in love with an equally self-destructive society man. Taylor reportedly hated the role of Gloria Wandrous (and the finished film), but MGM forced her into it due to her contract and at the same time capitalized on the co-occurring tabloid scandal of Taylor breaking up the marriage of Eddie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds. But she does a great job of showing the vulnerability underneath the hardened woman, especially in the scenes with her mother (Mildred Dunnock) and one in which she recounts her early childhood sexual abuse by her mother's boyfriend.

The script is based on a novel by John O'Hara (which I've also read) that itself was based on a real life scandal from 1931 involving a woman who lived a similar life of sexual encounters with rich and famous men, and also had been sexually abused as a child. Laurence Harvey does a good job in the male lead of LIggett, a man who married into money and is tormented by the life he lives. Other good acting is done by Dunnock, Dina Merrill (as Harvey's long-suffering wife) and smaller parts played by Betty Field and Kay Medford. The one sour note is Eddie Fisher, whom Taylor reportedly insist be in the film and whose acting leaves a lot to be desired.

Nonetheless, this is a well-made film and evokes sympathy for its tortured leads, even as parts of it are clearly trashy and close to campy.
There also are some location shots in NYC (Fifth Avenue by the Metropolitan Museum, Greenwich Village). It was on the Watch TCM app, and is worth checking out.