Laurence Olivier

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The Laurence Olivier Awards

Thiago Soares and Marianela Nunez - The Laurence Olivier Awards 2014 held at the Royal Opera House - Arrivals - London, United Kingdom - Saturday 13th April 2013

Laurence Olivier, Thiago Soares and Marianela Nunez
Laurence Olivier and Cush Jumbo
Laurence Olivier and Cush Jumbo
Laurence Olivier and Bertie Carvel
Laurence Olivier, Thiago Soares and Marianela Nunez

The Laurence Olivier Awards 2014

Richard Fleeshman & Samantha Barks - The Laurence Olivier Awards 2014 held at the Royal Opera House - Arrivals - London, United Kingdom - Sunday 13th April 2014

Richard Fleeshman, Samantha Barks and Laurence Olivier

Vivien Leigh's Love Letters to Laurence Olivier Set For London V&A Show


Vivien Leigh Laurence Olivier

Love letters from Vivien Leigh to Laurence Olivier, her husband from 1940-61, will be exhibited as part of a new show at London's Victoria and Albert Museum. The V&A announced Wednesday that it had acquired the Oscar-winning actress's archive in the centenary of her birth. 

The British actress is best known for her roles as stoic Scarlett O'Hara in the 1939 epic Gone With The Wind and as the frail Blanche DuBois in Tennessee Williams' A Streetcar Named Desire.

Continue reading: Vivien Leigh's Love Letters to Laurence Olivier Set For London V&A Show

Exhibition Of Never-Before-Seen Artefacts From Oscar Winner Vivien Leigh's Life To Go On Show At V&A


Vivien Leigh Laurence Olivier

London’s world famous Victoria and Albert Museum will soon play host to a unique exhibition of letters from Vivien Leigh’s personal archive. The Gone With The Wind actress is one of the icons of the golden age of cinema and certainly one of the most revered British actresses to date. The 7,500 letters to be exhibited at the London museum form a sort of catalogue of Leigh’s life. The collection even includes love letters exchanged between the actress and her husband, Laurence Olivier, the BBC reports, as well as many other never-before-seen artifacts from the iconic actress’s era.

The collection also features other items, which might be of interest for Leigh or cinema enthusiasts, such as diaries, photographs, annotated film and theatre scripts and her numerous awards – Vivien Leigh was an Oscar winner, among other things. Of course, the thousands of items will not be on display simultaneously. The exhibits will be in rotation starting this autumn, meaning that it will take several visits to the museum to take in the entire collection.

The exhibition curators will be greatly aided in their work by Leigh’s diaries, which will also go in display. The thorough journals also help chronicle the star’s life – both professional and private – since she had been keeping them from 1929 (she was 19 at the time), all throughout her life, until her death in 1967. Museum visitors will be able to trace Leigh’s life through this period. The V&A Museum team is also very excited about the collection, with curator Keith Lodwick saying for the BBC: "It really explores the life of one of Great Britain's most celebrated performers."

Continue reading: Exhibition Of Never-Before-Seen Artefacts From Oscar Winner Vivien Leigh's Life To Go On Show At V&A

The Laurence Olivier Awards 2013

Summer Strallen and Guest - The Laurence Olivier Awards 2013 held at the Royal Opera House - Arrivals - London, United Kingdom - Sunday 28th April 2013

Laurence Olivier and Guest
Laurence Olivier and Natalie Gumede
Laurence Olivier and Janie Dee
Laurence Olivier and Top Hat Cast
Laurence Olivier and Anne Marie Duff

Kenneth Branagh? That's Sir Kenneth Branagh To You!


Kenneth Branagh Michael Caine Patrick Stewart Ben Kingsley Laurence Olivier Marilyn Monroe

Kenneth Branagh has received his knighthood from the Queen at Buckingham Palace for services to drama and the community of Northern Ireland. The Oscar-nominated actor, director and screenwriter, is best known for his Shakespearean works though most recently played Swedish detective Wallander in the BBC series of the same name.

Sir Kenneth joins the likes of Sir Michael Caine, Sir Patrick Stewart, Sir Ben Kingsley and Sir Laurence Olivier in becoming a thespian knight. Branagh - who recently starred in the Marilyn Monroe movie My Week With Marilyn - told Sky News that he felt "humble, elated and incredibly lucky," to have received the award, adding, "When I was a kid I dreamed of pulling on a shirt for the Northern Ireland football team. I could only imagine how proud you might feel. Today it feels like they just gave me the shirt and my heart's fit to burst." Branagh spent his early years in Northern Ireland though moved to Reading with his family at the age of nine. 

In today's ceremony, two British servicemen were awarded the Military Cross for bravery. Corporal Carl Taylor from Birmingham ran 80 feet across open ground under Taliban fire to rescue three young Afghan children. Bombardier Mark Carpenter of the Royal Artillery was also honoured, as were four fire-fighters from Nottinghamshire who received the Queen's Gallantry Medal for acts of bravery. 

Continue reading: Kenneth Branagh? That's Sir Kenneth Branagh To You!

Sleuth (1972) Review


Excellent
It's not often that you see 2-hour dramas with only two real characters in them. Sleuth is a great example of how you can take the barest of essentials -- two great actors, one great script, one great set -- and make magic happen. A young Michael Caine matches wits with Laurence Olivier over jewels, a girl, and life & death in what turns out to be a very convoluted plot of cat, mouse, dog, tadpole, and cheese... who has the upper hand on whom? You'll have to wait until the final scene. Highly recommended.

Hamlet (1948) Review


Good
This Hamlet, a Best Picture winner, unfortunately stands as one of the stagier productions of the famous play. Gone are (among other scenes) Rosencrantz and Guildenstern; in their stead we get more of Laurence Olivier, who also directed, as the put-upon prince of Denmark. Olivier chews scenery with the best of them, playing the tights-clad Hamlet as a sort of prissy boy who'd probably rather be eating grapes. Olivier's direction is problematic, too, jerky and obvious, drawing your attention to the constant camera pans and away from the action. Still, a solid rendition if the classic play, though not really deserving of its platitudes. (At least, not any more.)

Richard III Review


OK
Laurence Olivier's Richard III is one of the stagiest versions of Shakespeare you'll find on film, and it's also his least faithful work, chopping and editing the Bard's play willy-nilly. I'm no Shakespeare expert, but even I can spot the hatchet work here. (For the uninitated, Richard III follows the waning days of the War of the Roses, with Richard III (Olivier) taking on big brother Edward (Cedric Hardwicke) in a bid for the throne. Deception, murder, and betrayal rule the day until the outcome is decided.)

The undortunate side effect of the faithfulness is that Richard III has a real Masterpiece Theatre quality that you just can't shake. Olivier plops the camera down at one end of the room and lets scenes take place in wide shots, unmolested. Long scenes are certainly forgivable, but the end result is that this rendition of the story looks far more like a play than a movie. It isn't until the second half of the film when we really get out of the castle, and thank God we do. But unfortunately, even these scenes aren't exactly thrill rides. The landscapes chosen are barren and void of majesty. Sword fights are genteel affairs with no distinguishable choreography. Why ride an army out to battle if you're not going to use them?

Continue reading: Richard III Review

Marathon Man Review


Extraordinary
"Is it safe?"

Brrrr... those words still chill me.

Continue reading: Marathon Man Review

49th Parallel Review


OK
A contingent of Nazi naval officers are stranded on the Canadian mainland after their U-boat, on the prowl in Hudson Bay, is destroyed. They resolve to trek across Canada, then either cross the border to still-neutral U.S.A. or find passage on a non-Allied boat back to the Fatherland. Director Michael Powell stages their odyssey as a series of politically charged set-pieces as the disdainful Nazis find their beliefs tested by a cross-section of Canadian clichés, from French-Canadian trappers (among whom is Laurence Olivier attempting a dead-on imitation of Pepe Le Pew), Native Americans, and Eskimos to a WASP-y outdoorsman (Leslie Howard), ordinary Joe's, and the members of a religious commune. Leading the goose-steppers is Lieutenant Hirth (Eric Portman), maniacally loyal to his Führer and whose sneer can't be anything but villainous.

The title of Michael Powell's WWII propaganda actioner refers to the boundary separating the United States and Canada. A suitably righteous narrator tells us it's the world's only undefended national border and, as such, befits the values of peace and democracy shared by the two countries. 49th Parallel isn't a strident call to arms meant to guilt-trip Americans into re-thinking their neutrality, but rather a tribute to the Canadian (and to all free-thinking) people who were already involved in the anti-Nazi effort. By praising democratic values and warning of the Nazi threat looming over the free world, 49th Parallel was director Michael Powell's roundabout exhortation to the American people to join the good fight.

Continue reading: 49th Parallel Review

A Bridge Too Far Review


OK
There are star-studded projects, and then there's A Bridge Too Far, a World War II movie the likes of which would cost upwards of $300 million to make today. There are lots of bridges in the film, actually: The Allies aim to capture a series of them in German-occupied Holland as part of Operation Market-Garden, a byzantine plot that would theoretically cripple the German war machine in western Europe, where Germany is already on the run. However, Allied mistakes and an unexpected amount of German firepower nip the plan in the bud. The film is more a showcase for some searing acting -- and at three hours long, there's plenty of it -- than it is a classic war film. The battle scenes just don't come across as impressively as in other films of the era -- the fact that VW Beetles with plastic tank shells on them were used in lieu of some of the Panzers is just one sign that all the budget went to that exhaustive cast list.

Richard III Review


OK
Laurence Olivier's Richard III is one of the stagiest versions of Shakespeare you'll find on film, and it's also his least faithful work, chopping and editing the Bard's play willy-nilly. I'm no Shakespeare expert, but even I can spot the hatchet work here. (For the uninitated, Richard III follows the waning days of the War of the Roses, with Richard III (Olivier) taking on big brother Edward (Cedric Hardwicke) in a bid for the throne. Deception, murder, and betrayal rule the day until the outcome is decided.)

The undortunate side effect of the faithfulness is that Richard III has a real Masterpiece Theatre quality that you just can't shake. Olivier plops the camera down at one end of the room and lets scenes take place in wide shots, unmolested. Long scenes are certainly forgivable, but the end result is that this rendition of the story looks far more like a play than a movie. It isn't until the second half of the film when we really get out of the castle, and thank God we do. But unfortunately, even these scenes aren't exactly thrill rides. The landscapes chosen are barren and void of majesty. Sword fights are genteel affairs with no distinguishable choreography. Why ride an army out to battle if you're not going to use them?

Continue reading: Richard III Review

Laurence Olivier

Laurence Olivier Quick Links

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