How a Haircut Changed Last Time I Saw Paris

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The Last Time I Saw Paris first convinced me I wanted to be an actress, instead of yawning my way through parts,” Elizabeth Taylor said.

The film was based on F. Scott Fitzgerald’s short story “Babylon Revisited” and was directed by Richard Brooks, who would re-team with Taylor years later for Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.

1. It was Gabor’s debut.

Eva Gabor said, “I’ll never forget my first scene with Elizabeth. She wore the most glamourous red chiffon gown.” It happened to be raining that day, and Gabor was soaking wet – something she felt self-conscious about standing next to Taylor. She said, “This could only happen to me – to have my opening scene with the most ravishing girl in the world and to begin by looking like a little wet rabbit.”

2. Taylor got a surprise haircut.

While working on the film, Elizabeth admired the short haircut of a woman working for the publicity department so much so that she asked her to cut her hair. When she was turned down, Taylor decided to cut it herself. The publicity woman was then obliged to help finish the job. However, the haircut caused quite a stir, especially when studio head L. B. Mayer found out. Several scenes had been shot with Taylor’s previous hair length, so a new scene was required to explain how her hair changed.

3. The censors were called in!

In 1954, films still had to adhere to the Motion Picture Production Code which specified what was appropriate. There was question if Elizabeth Taylor’s dress was too revealing, so someone from their office was sent down to inspect. The female representative used a ladder to make her determination and deemed it unacceptable. But Brook’s volatile reaction caused her to leave crying and later allegedly quit her job. The dress, however, remained in.