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Picks and Pans Review: Malice in Wonderland

updated 05/13/1985 at 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 05/13/1985 01:00AM

CBS (Sunday, May 12, 9 p.m. ET)

TIN LIZZIE...The hottest item in Hollywood, darlings, has been turned into a cold, cold movie called Malice in Wonderland.... Here's that once-again svelte Liz Taylor playing the killer queen of gossips, Louella Parsons. You're looking adorable, Liz. Really.... And here's that classy Jane Alexander playing Louella's rival in the war for delicious whispers, Hedda Hopper. You remember Hedda, the one who wore those simply outrageous hats.... And you remember Jane. She was in that movie about nuclear bombs. So serious. Sorry, Jane, but this time you've found yourself with a bomb of another sort.... Overheard at one of those oh-so-trendy Hollywood restaurants (back in those days, children, trendy meant that stars were served, not goat cheese and sun-dried tomatoes): These two queens of the jungle met for lunch, and did they fight! Louella said, "Your facelift is unraveling." Hedda said, "The only thing that would lift your face is an elevator." "Oh, yeah?" Louella said. "Yeah," Hedda said.... C'mon, girls, you can do better than that! This is supposed to be a bitchfest, not a whine cellar.... But you mustn't blame yourselves, dears. It's not your fault that Malice turned into such a sour, flat and artificially sweetened old cream puff. No, we'll put the blame right where it belongs, on those nasty writers and directors who did these awful things to you.... How could they do it to you, Liz, making your voice sound like one of those newfangled car burglar alarms when you call your M.D. hubby, "Docky wockey." ... But at least you're not alone, ladies. This movie makes so many great old names from Hollywood—Louis B. Mayer, Orson Welles, Joseph Cotten and Clark Gable—look like cartoon characters. And we don't mean from Doonesbury. Dondi's more like it.... Why did you do it, Liz? Because you hate gossip columnists? You have every right to, dear, they've been simply horrible to you. (For the full scoop on that, see our story on page 126.) ... But darling, you deserve a better script and a better movie than this.... And so do we....

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