Laurence Olivier is a famous English actor who has played roles in some of the most well-known films of all time, including Shakespeare’s Hamlet and King Richard III. His other notable roles include the son of Queen Christina in The Boys From Brazil and Tarquin in Shakespeare’s The Tempest. He was also the original star of the TV series “Broadchurch.”
The Laurence Olivier’s Hamlet film is an outstanding version of Shakespeare’s play. It was directed by Olivier and won the Oscar for Best Picture.
The most notable thing about the film is Olivier’s performance as Hamlet. In fact, this performance is so great that it has become the subject of many critiques.
Olivier is a natural actor who is able to live in the language. He also pays attention to the details in his filmmaking.
Unlike his two previous self-directed Shakespeare movies, Nomadaland and Henry V, he did not jettison any characters. Instead, he used deep focus cinematography. This is a technique not yet available in color at the time.
Olivier’s directorial sensibility and talent as a writer make this adaptation as good as any Hamlet interpretation. His portrayal of Hamlet is incredible, and he delivers a number of memorable soliloquies.
The film’s climactic fencing scenes are among the best in the history of filmmaking. They are shot on location and are choreographed with exuberance.
Other highlights include Jean Simmons’ performance as Ophelia. She is very convincing. Her love for Hamlet and confusion over her role as the prince’s mother are evident.
The performance of Basil Sydney as Claudius is strong. Sydney makes a clear case for his regret. As is Niall MacGinnis as the Sea Captain.
The music by William Walton adds to the atmosphere. And the camera work is excellent.
Even though there are some annoying flaws, the movie is well worth watching. For fans of Shakespeare, this is an essential viewing. Also, the film is a must-see for those who want to learn more about the play.
Olivier’s version of Hamlet is a fascinating movie, and it is an important example of his unique style as a director.
The Boys From Brazil
Laurence Olivier and Gregory Peck were among the stars of The Boys from Brazil. This science fiction thriller features a cloned Adolf Hitler, an aspiring Nazi leader, and an old-school Nazi hunter.
“The Boys from Brazil” was released in 1978. It was one of the first movies to depict cloning. But it was also one of the most criticized.
Despite the controversies, the movie does have its merits. One of the most important features is its scientific approach. Not only is it a well-executed mystery, but its scientific method is actually quite accurate.
“The Boys from Brazil” was based on a novel written by Ira Levin. Although the novel was a success, its screenplay is less than impressive.
The title role is occupied by Gregory Peck. He is playing a mad scientist who is trying to revive Hitler by cloning him. Also starring are Uta Hagen, Denholm Elliott, and Anne Meara.
The film was a box office hit in the United States, grossing a whopping 19 million dollars. However, it was cut by 25 minutes when it was released on video. Thankfully, the movie has since been uncut in the U.S. In Germany, it has been released on DVD.
Although it’s not a masterpiece, the film is entertaining. There’s a lot of eye candy here. Aside from the cloning miracles of the movie, there’s a nice mix of other entertainment factors.
For example, there’s a great score by Jerry Goldsmith. His music is a whirlwind of sound and a bit of a tease. That said, some of it is not appropriate for the plot.
Ultimately, The Boys from Brazil is a fine piece of filmmaking, even if it’s not as grand as some of its peers.
If you’re looking for a film that’s not just for comedy, you should consider Greta Garbo’s Queen Christina. It’s a movie that’s surprisingly modern in execution.
In this classic film, Greta Garbo plays the tumultuous 17th century Swedish queen. The woman who is supposed to be a brilliant leader and a kindly diplomat spurns her marriage pressures and becomes obsessed with a Spanish nobleman. She abdicates and returns to the country where her lover is waiting for her.
Greta Garbo’s portrayal of Queen Christina is highly stylized. Her performance is both a testament to her talents as an actress and transcendent romantic passion.
But what is the story behind Queen Christina? After her father dies in battle, Christina takes the throne at age six. At that time, Sweden was ravaged by a war that lasted for over 20 years. Eventually, Sweden became a dominant European power. So when the Swedish government finds Christina, they are relieved.
When the film was released, the publicity department had little time to mention that Christina was gay. Although it’s a fictional story, it still evokes the complexities of human relations in the 17th century.
While the Queen is a fictional character, her story is based on actual events in the 17th century. During that time, Swedish women were expected to marry princes or kings. Christina, though, was a hygienically challenged woman. And she was never married.
Despite the fact that she’s a fictional character, Garbo’s Queen is aggressive and sexually experienced. She’s a complex and provocative woman, who is more than willing to throw a strop.
Queen Christina also features a dazzling cinematography. The movie was directed by Rouben Mamoulian.
King Richard III
In the film Richard III, Laurence Olivier plays the title role. Known as the constructor of royal epicness, Olivier’s third Shakespearean movie is more of a showcase for his performance than it is a cinematic event.
The movie is based on the historical play by William Shakespeare. It is one of the most visually inspired adaptations of a Bard tale. However, its merits are a bit less impressive than other films in the genre.
Despite its shortcomings, the film still has plenty to offer. Laurence Olivier’s performance is lauded as the definitive King Richard III. He is a remarkable actor.
Richard III is also notable for its technical achievements. Filmed in Technicolor and VistaVision, the movie is a feast for the eyes. Also worth mentioning is the fact that Olivier’s opening soliloquy was shot in only nine minutes.
Olivier also incorporated a clever camera trick. His film sneaks around in conversations to catch the audience in the act of seeing something.
Another notable feat is the use of real arrows. The battle scene was not a raging success.
Olivier’s wig, however, is a boyish midnight black. This explains the slight limp that he’s sporting.
A number of ruffians carry out dirty work for the King. As the story progresses, Richard orchestrates court mismanagement, fueling rivalries.
There are many more impressive tidbits in this movie, including a very revealing interview with the actor. Other highlights include a commentary by Russell Lees and an extensive gallery of posters.
While the movie is not as dazzling as some of Olivier’s other works, it is a well-constructed and informative production. Indeed, it is the best of the three Olivier Shakespearean movies.
His son Tarquin
Laurence Olivier’s son, Tarquin, was born on August 21, 1936. His father is known worldwide as one of the greatest British actors of the twentieth century. He has been awarded four Academy Awards and five Emmy Awards.
Aside from being a star on stage, Olivier also had a long and varied career in television. He appeared in Love Among the Ruins, The Moon and Sixpence, and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.
He also played the title role in The Entertainer on film. And he had his first West End success in Noel Coward’s Private Lives.
Laurence Olivier was married to Jill Esmond from 1930 to 1940, and then Vivien Leigh from 1940 to 1960. During this time, he became intimate with Denys Blakelock.
In addition to his acting career, Olivier also served as a director for several years. He was the founding director of Britain’s National Theatre from 1963 to 1973.
But for all his successes, Olivier was often an inveterate critic. Even his co-stars questioned his judgment. One actress, Anne Carteret, was concerned that he was not looking after himself.
As for his sexuality, the actor was homosexual. According to his autobiography, he was confused about his identity.
As a child, he grew up with the legendary figures of ‘The Golden Generation’ of British theatre. He was surrounded by the likes of Sir John Mills, Dudley Moore, and Kenneth Williams.
His first on-stage appearance was at the age of thirteen. He performed in Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew. It was during this time that he discovered his love of acting.
While Tarquin is an accomplished actor in his own right, he has also written a memoir of his father. This memoir offers a more detailed picture of the man offstage than a Spoto tome could provide.