Tag Archives: Laurence Olivier

Franco Zeffirelli – Jesus of Nazareth (1977)

From awarded director Franco Zefirelli has been brought to screen this wonderful depiction of the greatest story ever to be told: the life of Jesus Of Nazareth, God became man. The One who came to earth to feed our faith; from the annunciation of archangel Gabriel to holy Mary, until the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, this narration reminds us of the greatness of a men who changed the world and granted light to mankind, light that presently lights up all of its pathways. Read More »

Cyril Gardner – Perfect Understanding (1933)

Gloria Swanson co-produced Perfect Understanding, a romantic comedy that teamed her with a young Laurence Olivier. A young American woman (Swanson), on vacation in England, meets an aristocrat (Olivier) and the two fall passionately in love. Seeing how other couples become possessive and implode in marriage, they make a pact: they’ll marry, but they’ll keep the arrangement light and loose. But can two young lovers really carry on carefree, committed to not belonging to each other? Read More »

Derek Jarman – War Requiem (1989)

War Requiem is a 1989 film adaptation of Benjamin Britten’s musical piece of the same name.

It was shot in 1988 by the British film director Derek Jarman with the 1963 recording as the soundtrack, produced by Don Boyd and financed by the BBC. Decca Records required that the 1963 recording be heard on its own, with no overlaid soundtrack or other sound effects. The film featured Nathaniel Parker as Wilfred Owen, and Laurence Olivier in his last acting appearance in any medium before his death in July 1989. The film is structured as the reminiscences of Olivier’s character, the Old Soldier in a wheelchair, and Olivier recites “Strange Meeting” in the film’s prologue. Read More »

Raoul Walsh – The Yellow Ticket (1931)

Marya, a Russian Jewish girl (Elissa Landi) is forced into a life of prostitution in Czarist Russia – a scandal to the naïve muckraking British journalist (Laurence Olivier). They both eventually find their lives endangered when she reveals to him tales of social crimes rampant in her country. The lecherous Baron (Lionel Barrymore), popping pills for “extra potency,” is also head of the secret police, and he is determined to seperate them. Read More »

Laurence Olivier – Hamlet (1948)

Olivier’s Hamlet is the Shakespeare film that has received the most prestigious accolades, winning the Academy Awards for Best Picture and Best Actor. However, it was poorly received by Shakespearean purists, who felt that Olivier had made too many alterations and excisions to the four-hour play by cutting nearly two hours worth of content. Read More »

Laurence Olivier – Richard III [+Commentary] (1955)

Plot: Richard III is a 1955 British film adaptation of William Shakespeare’s historical play of the same name, also incorporating elements from his Henry VI, Part 3. It was directed and produced by Sir Laurence Olivier, who also played the lead role. The cast includes many noted Shakespearean actors, including a quartet of acting knights. The film depicts Richard plotting and conspiring to grasp the throne from his brother King Edward IV, played by Sir Cedric Hardwicke. In the process, many are killed and betrayed, with Richard’s evil leading to his own downfall. The prologue of the film states that history without its legends would be “a dry matter indeed”, implicitly admitting to the artistic licence that Shakespeare applied to the events of the time. Read More »

Laurence Olivier – The Chronicle History of King Henry the Fifth with His Battell Fought at Agincourt in France AKA Henry V (1944)

Synopsis:
Laurence Olivier’s adaptation of Henry V is one of the finest Shakespeare films ever made, full of rousing action, beautiful colors and passionate performances. Henry V is the story of the newly crowned king of England who fights the French for possession of Normandy. Olivier’s direction is inventive, beginning the film as if it were a performance at the Globe Theatre, and having it slowly expand so the final battle scenes take place in realistic settings. Released in 1944 during the height of World War II, Henry V didn’t receive an American release until 1946, upon which Olivier won a special Academy Award for “his outstanding achievement as actor, producer and director in bringing Henry V to the screen.”
— Stephen Erlewine Read More »