"Monty was so funny, and he just put me at ease," said Taylor of her frequent co-star.

By Perri Ormont Blumberg
May 26, 2021
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Oh, how we love seeing Elizabeth Taylor and Montgomery Clift wow us on-screen in their Hollywood careers. Suddenly, Last Summer (the duo are pictured on-set for that film above). A Place in the Sun. Raintree County. These are the flicks that perfect Saturday nights under a cozy blanket and over martinis are made of, dear readers.

As it turns out, their on-screen magic translated outside of the spotlight, and the duo enjoyed a long-lasting friendship that's explored in the new book Elizabeth and Monty: The Untold Story of Their Intimate Friendship ($22.99; amazon.com) by Charles Casillo. In an exclusive excerpt on Town & Country's website, classic movie buffs get a glimpse into their unique bond, and we were intrigued to learn a bit more of the origins of their friendship. As the excerpt revealed, neither Taylor or Clift were exactly thrilled to learn they'd be starring alongside each other in A Place in the Sun. Clift didn't want to be associated with someone who represented all the slickness of Hollywood. Taylor had heard rumors that Clift was an outsider, and she was intimidated to be playing her role alongside a serious Broadway actor.

Elizabeth Taylor and Montgomery Clift
Credit: API/GAMMA/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

Nevertheless, a friendship blossomed despite their differences: "Elizabeth was more visible than the publicity-shy Monty. You couldn't help but come across her photo in any magazine or newspaper," wrote Casillo. "Always, she came across as being poised, beautiful, and somewhat vacuous. She was perfectly posed and perfectly guarded and, it seemed, always camera ready. Monty was the enigmatic one. He equaled Elizabeth in term of beauty, but he also had mystery. Monty would get star billing."

When they met in director Geroge Stevens' office for the first time, there was instant physical attraction, but they also could make each other laugh, one of the most important of things in any relationship.  "Monty was so funny, and he just put me at ease. That's when I discovered we had a similar sense of humor, which was also slightly perverse. We liked each other!" Taylor once said of her co-star and friend. It was clear the feeling was mutual, and the two were blessed with a beautiful companionship of more than 20 years.

We're looking forward to diving into the world's of these stars' lives in Casillo's new tome. If it's even half as dramatic and moving as the films they dazzled us in together, we have a feeling we're in for quite the read.