Elizabeth Taylor has four roles in the fantasy. Her best costume is when she plays Light. Taylor's first scene is --- are you ready? -- as the peasant Mother. Elizabeth Taylor as a peasant woman making gruel for her kids. In lederhosen territory. That is when you knock back the first Margarita. She should've gotten an Oscar nomination for that instead of BUTTERFIELD 8. This film probably marks one of the few times Elizabeth Taylor was ever seen doing any kind of kitchen work in her adult life.
There's a slim, tall boy leaning again a column and looking forlorn. He tells Mytyl what he knows about life on Earth. "There's too much unhappiness...So many are born into slavery...That's what I'm going to fight."
Mytyl (Shirley) cheerfully tells him he should look forward to being born so he can help. With a grim expression, he predicts "They'll destroy me."
Every time I see that scene in 1940's THE BLUE BIRD, I always feels that it would have had an even stronger emotional punch if the part had been played by a black teen actor. It's a small but substantial role that could've made a jarring yet accurate social statement, one that definitely would've resonated when looking back on the film come the end of the 1960s, a decade of the turbulent Civil Rights Movement. And it would've been the best part of the movie. An African-American teen actor as Studious Boy (played by Gene Reynolds) would have been a bold, strong, dramatic casting decision for that good bit part -- in my opinion.
Here's a taste of THE BLUE BIRD. I'm going to go watch THE WIZARD OF OZ again.