Jim Farber
March 01, 1991 AT 05:00 AM EST

The 50th Barbara Walters Special

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
Unrated
performer
Barbara Walters
We gave it a B+

This two-hour video greatest-hits tape of Barbara Walters interviews (originally The 50th Barbara Walters Special on ABC-TV) is a feast of video junk food. Splicing together bits from 63 interviews (with such stars as Sylvester Stallone, Goldie Hawn, and Christie Brinkley) to form enticingly broad categories (love and marriage, the price of fame), the tape is a blur of off-the-wall quotes. ”I’m fat, I can’t fit into any of my clothes,” blurts Liz. Or Cher: ”It makes me laugh to see myself.”

As cute and sometimes squirm-inducing as the quotes can be, few are surprising. Walters interviews people so overexposed that nothing they say could possibly be new. Those who rarely grant interviews (Johnny Carson, Barbra Streisand) are canny enough not to reveal a thing. Still, the root appeal of Walters’ specials is not so much in getting deep dish as in gaping at the folly of people trying to speak with any degree of honesty about their emotional lives in a ridiculously public forum.

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