Category Archives: Stars of the Week

Star of the Week: Rosalind Russell

As my beloved aging MacBook seems to be having an issue with the internet lately, I was relegated to hold off on the Star of the Week post until today. Sorry for the delay–I am currently using my mom’s PC to make this post. I don’t know PCs very well and I hate using them, so I beg you to bear with me–please forgive any typos or emotional outbursts that may occur.

I am very excited for this week’s Star of the Week, because I have chosen to profile one of my all-time favorite ladies, the divine and incomparable Rosalind Russell. The star of such comedy favorites as The Women and His Girl Friday, Russell’s later career saw her early screwball roles gracefully evolve into chic fabulosity, as evidenced in Gypsy and Auntie Mame. She is truly one of film’s comedic treasures, and a magnificent star who remains one of my personal idols!

She was born in Waterbury, Connecticut on June 4, 1907, one of 7 children born to wealthy parents Clara and James Russell. Her father was a trial lawyer and her mother was a fashion editor for Vogue magazine. She had a comfortable and happy childhood in Waterbury and departed for the American Academy for the Dramatic Arts after a brief college stint at Marymount College. She then became a fashion model and appeared as such in a number of shows on Broadway, before moving to the west coast to try her luck in Hollywood.

She first signed a contract with Universal Studios in the early 1930s, but after a bad experience with the studio she managed to get out of her Universal contract in favor of MGM Studios. Her big break with MGM came in 1935 when she costarred with Robert Young in West Point of the Air, and quickly rose to stardom. By 1939 she was sharing top billing with MGM veterans Norma Shearer and Joan Crawford in The Women.

In 1940 she starred in what may be her best-known and best-loved film, His Girl Friday. The story of Hildy Johnson (Russell) and Walter Burns (Cary Grant), a formerly married couple working together at a newspaper company is, in my opinion, one of the best comedies ever made. The script contains over 190 pages of dialogue, enough for a 3-hour film, but the dialogue is so rapid fire that the film runs at exactly 92 minutes.

These roles cemented her status as a comedienne, and throughout the 1940’s she continued to act in mostly comedic roles. In the early 1950’s she began a successful stage career when she appeared in Wonderful Town, the stage version of her hit film My Sister Eileen, which had earned her an Academy Award nomination. Wonderful Town, in turn, earned Russell the Tony Award for Best Actress at the 1953 ceremonies.

“Ohio,” from Wonderful Town.

Over the span of her movie career she was nominated 4 times for an Academy Award, for her roles in My Sister Eileen (1942) Sister Kenny (1946) Mourning Becomes Electra (1947) and Auntie Mame (1958). Her role in Auntie Mame came about after a very successful Broadway run of the play, which led to her being cast in the same role in the film. Of Auntie Mame, Russell recalls in her autobiography Life is a Banquet that the role was very easy for her to play, as Auntie Mame was basically the incarnation of her older sister Clara, whom she called “The Duchess.” She writes that when she first read the Patrick Dennis novel, on which the play was based, she became entranced with it because “someone has written The Duchess.” Along with her Academy Award nomination for the film, Russell also received a Tony Award nomination for her role in the play. On a personal note, Auntie Mame is in the top 10 list of my all-time favorite movies.

Russell’s marriage to producer Freddie Brisson is one of the great Hollywood marriage success stories. They married in 1941 and their marriage lasted for 35 years, ending only with Russell’s death in 1976. Her autobiography was published a year after her death from breast cancer, and Brisson wrote a beautiful foreword to the book, showing just how much they meant to each other. They had a son, Lance Brisson, in 1943, to whom Russell was devoted.

Rosalind Russell with her son, Lance.

To close, here is what I consider to be one of the all-time best guest contestant spots on the TV show “What’s My Line,” done during Russell’s rehearsals for Wonderful Town in 1953.

Stay tuned for more Rosalind Russell posts this week! Thanks for reading!

Lucille Ball in “Stage Door”

Lucille Ball is Backlots’ Star of the Week, and Stage Door is one of her best and most prominent early films, not to mention one of my favorites. Here is a compilation of Lucy in the movie. Enjoy!

With Katharine Hepburn and Ginger Rogers.

STAR OF THE WEEK: Lucille Ball

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August 6 marks what would have been the 100th birthday of one of the foremost entertainers of the 20th century. A legend’s legend, her mark on the industry has been one of extraordinary importance. She came to be not only the face of the 1950’s and the icon for the emergence of television, but also a groundbreaker for women in comedy and in the business of entertainment production.

It would be too easy for me to talk about Lucille Ball’s contribution to comedy. Everybody already knows about “I Love Lucy” and the impact it has had on popular culture. Everybody knows what a comedic genius she was. I don’t need to bore you with that information–it is so embedded in our society that one can hardly turn on the TV without somehow being reminded of Lucy’s mark on the industry. What I want to focus on is her early and later work, that which is not so well-known and which deserves to be paid more attention to. Young Lucille Ball does not remind me of the dizzy Lucy Ricardo that we all know and love, but rather a smart, wisecracking dame–not unlike the characters Eve Arden played so brilliantly. She had a good bit of fame and popularity during her tenure at MGM, but of course that is all obscured now by her smashing success on “I Love Lucy.”

Lucille Desirée Ball was born in Jamestown, New York on August 6, 1911. Her father, Henry, died when she was 3, and Lucy claimed later in life that she always tried to be a clown, to fill the void that her father had left in her childhood. When her mother, Deedee, married again, it was to a man who was a member of the Freemasonry, and who at one point needed chorus girls for a show at his organization. 12-year-old Lucy auditioned and got the job. So began the career of Lucille Ball.

By the age of 16, Lucy was already on her way to being a legitimate performer. She attended the John Murray Anderson School of Dramatic Art in New York City, and subsequently became a fashion model. Her modeling work led to a job on Broadway, and despite a rocky start, she headed to Los Angeles and managed to get herself some B pictures and uncredited roles at MGM. She soon became known as “Queen of the B’s.”

A brief moment as the flower lady in “Top Hat” (1935)

By the late 1930’s, Lucy was beginning to become a name in Hollywood. She co-starred with Katharine Hepburn and Ginger Rogers in the 1937 hit Stage Door, and also began a radio career that gained her further exposure. By 1940 she was costarring with Maureen O’Hara in a film entitled Dance, Girl, Dance, which showcased not only her tremendous acting talent, but also her ability as a dancer and entertainer.

Dancing the hula in Dance, Girl, Dance.

The film led her to another milestone in her life. Maureen O’Hara writes in her book, ‘Tis Herself:

“While we were in line getting lunch, Lucille started complaining about her next movie, a musical called Too Many Girls. She was worried about it because her new leading man was a younger actor who had never been in front of a movie camera. She called him ‘That Cuban–Desi Arnaz.’….Just as I was telling her how talented and gorgeous he was, Desi walked into the commissary with his agent, Doc Bender. I whispered to Lucille ‘But don’t take my word for it. See for yourself.’ Lucille followed my eyes and I could almost hear the bells ringing in her head. The first words Lucille uttered when seeing Desi for the first time were ‘Oh my God.’ It was love at first sight for her.”

Lucy and Desi Arnaz married in 1940, and in 1948, Lucy was cast as the wacky wife in a radio series known as “My Favorite Husband.” Noting the newly emerging television medium, Lucy and Desi expressed interest in adapting the series for television. After a good deal of skepticism on the part of network executives, Lucy and Desi formed Desilu, their own production company, to launch their efforts in 1950.”I Love Lucy” finally premiered on October 15, 1951.

I read a ratings study once that said that when”I Love Lucy”was on TV, so many people were glued to their television screens that the levels on the water towers all across the country essentially didn’t move. As soon as the commercial came on, those levels suddenly plummeted. When Lucy Ricardo was scheduled to have her baby on the show, ratings for that episode outshone the ratings of the Eisenhower inauguration, scheduled at the same time. Such was the impact of “I Love Lucy.” It broke barriers in all arenas of the entertainment industry–both social and technical. Lucille Ball became the first head of a production studio, Desi Arnaz was the first on network television to utilize the “three camera method” used for innovative shooting, and, perhaps most notably, Lucy and Ricky became television’s first interracial couple. Despite dominating the ratings for 6 years, the Ball/Arnaz marriage suffered throughout the series, and tensions between them led to the show’s deterioration. “I Love Lucy” saw its last episode on May 6, 1957, and following a short series entitled “The Lucy/Desi Comedy Hour,” Lucy and Desi divorced.

Following her divorce from Desi Arnaz in 1960, Lucy embarked on a new project, “The Lucy Show,” centering around Lucy Carmichael, a character who appears to be a sort of liberated Lucy Ricardo. The show ran from 1962-1968.

Lucille Ball was known for her generosity as a performer. Here she acts with rising comedy star Carol Burnett, who plays Lucy Carmichael’s new roommate. Look how Lucy completely steps away from the spotlight, allowing Carol to take the stage and essentially take the crown as the reigning female comedic legend. Many stars have remarked on this quality, including Barbara Eden, who as a young starlet had a guest spot on “I Love Lucy.”. She writes in her book, Jeannie Out of the Bottle, that she recalls Lucy personally glamorizing the dress Eden was given to wear in the show, because she felt it wasn’t good enough for her. In all the books I’ve read, Lucy is described as being a stellar professional, always willing to put her costar first. In the years that followed “The Lucy Show” and until her death, Lucy and Carol Burnett remained very close friends.

By the 1970’s, Lucy’s health began to decline. A lifelong smoker, she developed a deep smoker’s voice that was difficult to ignore. She made a movie version of the musical Mame in 1974, but the film was panned by critics. It has now become a bit of a cult classic, and to its credit Lucy’s costar is the magnificent Bea Arthur, who had come from a Tony-winning turn in the Broadway production of Mame with Angela Lansbury.

In her last years, Lucy withdrew from public life. Her last film was a made for TV movie entitled Stone Pillow, in 1985. In 1989 she appeared at the 61st annual Academy Awards, and received a standing ovation from the members of the Academy. It was to be her last television appearance–she passed away from heart failure less than a month later.

It really is difficult to sum up exactly what Lucille Ball means to the cultural scene today. She is everywhere–from “I Love Lucy” lunchboxes to the reruns of the show in syndication, to the showings of her movies on TCM to the Lucille Ball drag queens in New York and San Francisco. She is truly woven into our culture, and I think it’s a shame that the Lucy people know is often her character Lucy Ricardo, and not the smart, wisecracking sidekick of Stage Door or Dance, Girl, Dance, or the generous performer that so many of her costars remember her to be. There was so much more to Lucy than Lucy.

I leave you with one of my all-time favorite Lucy moments, one of her three appearances on “What’s My Line.”

Stars of the Week–VIVIEN LEIGH AND LAURENCE OLIVIER.

In preparation for the Vivien Leigh and Laurence Olivier weekend in London this coming weekend that I have been looking forward to for months, I am dedicating this week’s Star of the Week honors to that talented and beautiful couple of the stage and screen. Though they were both tremendously gifted actors on both the stage and screen and made 3 very quality films together, it is their tumultuous, difficult, yet immensely loving 20 year marriage that make them truly one of the great romantic couples of the last century.

Each having left their respective spouses due to their love for each other (Olivier had been married to actress Jill Esmond and Leigh had been married to a barrister named Leigh Holman), their marriage was an examination of extreme emotion and volatility. Their devotion to each other was incredibly strong, strong enough to survive Vivien’s very severe case of bipolar disorder, untreatable with medication at the time, which left Olivier horrendously abused by manic episodes of which Vivien would later have no recollection. Often risking his life, Olivier stayed with her for 20 long years, trying desperately to help this woman with whom he was so in love, until concern for his own sanity forced him to leave. Their love continued even after their divorce, staying strong right up until Vivien’s death from tuberculosis in 1967.

Vivien Leigh is undoubtedly best remembered for her role in Gone With the Wind, that won her the Academy Award for Best Actress in 1939. Born Vivian Mary Hartley in Darjeeling, India, on November 5, 1913 to British parents, she was educated in England and enrolled at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in 1931, beginning her formal career as an actress. She married Leigh Holman the next year, and this was followed by her first film role, in a small project called Things are Looking Up. Her daughter Suzanne was born in 1933, and she embarked on a play entitled The Mask of Virtue in 1935. It was during the run of this play that Laurence Olivier first noticed her, and they began to fall in love. After playing opposite each other in Fire Over England in 1937, the deal was sealed, and they began conducting an affair that was, much to the chagrin of both their spouses, not quite secretive. By the time Vivien made Gone With the Wind in 1939 and became the first British actress to win an Academy Award, thus establishing her reputation in Hollywood, she and Olivier were already seeking divorces from their spouses in order to marry.

Vivien Leigh and Laurence Olivier in "Fire Over England."

One of the most famous scenes in Gone With the Wind.

Vivien Leigh accepts her Oscar for Best Actress.

Upon Vivien’s winning an Academy Award, Laurence Olivier was also a great stage star, having acted to great acclaim in plays by Shakespeare and Noel Coward, and had already garnered much respect for his acting style. Born in Dorking, Surrey, on May 22, 1907, Olivier spent his early career in minor theatrical roles before expanding his career to the point where he was playing the great characters such as Hamlet and Macbeth. He married Jill Esmond in 1930, and his son Tarquin was born in 1936. His affair with Vivien was especially felt by Jill, who was a friend of Vivien’s, and though she had legitimate reservations about granting Olivier the divorce he sought, she knew that she couldn’t keep him away from Vivien, so she conceded.

Laurence Olivier in Wuthering Heights, 1939.

The Oliviers married on August 31, 1940, and a Broadway production of Romeo and Juliet was followed by That Hamilton Woman, their first film as a married couple. In 1943, after a trip to North Africa, Vivien came down with what ended up being tuberculosis, a disease that would stay with her throughout the rest of her life. It was also during the mid-1940’s that Vivien began to show signs of serious mental illness–exploding at her husband with no provocation at all, then falling into a deep depression. This affected her career tremendously, limiting the roles she could perform and how often, and as the seriousness of the condition worsened, it took a terrible toll on their married life. Olivier won an Oscar in 1948 for Hamlet, and Vivien won another for A Streetcar Named Desire in 1951, but their personal life was a struggle, and after a nightmarish manic breakdown on the set of Elephant Walk in 1953 (in which she was replaced by Elizabeth Taylor), Vivien’s disorder began to control their life. In varying states of cognizance, she lashed out at Olivier and told of relationships with other actors, notably Peter Finch. According to Olivier, she never remembered these episodes, but would feel very guilty afterward and not know why. Though they officially divorced in 1960, Vivien felt that the marriage was over as early as 1958, when she began an affair with Jack Merivale. Olivier began a relationship with Joan Plowright, and married her soon after his divorce from Vivien. He was married to her until his death in 1989, and Vivien stayed with Jack Merivale until hers from the tuberculosis that had plagued her life since the mid-1940’s, in 1967. Even after their divorce, Vivien and Larry stayed very close and very much in love. Vivien wouldn’t hear of anyone speaking badly about Larry, and he was always the love of her life, and vice-versa.

It is worthwhile to note that Laurence Olivier gets a lot of hate within the Vivien Leigh community due to many of his reactions to Vivien’s episodes. One incident in particular gets a lot of attention, one in which Vivien refused to go onstage at a performance and Olivier slapped her face. However, Vivien slapped him right back, cussed at him, and did indeed go onstage. Vivien was no helpless creature, and Olivier knew that. What is also often overlooked is that through everything, all the lashing out, the sleeping around (part of bipolar disorder), the embarrassments in front of friends and guests, Olivier never left her for nearly 20 long years. That is a true testament to his character, and to his devotion to Vivien. I get upset whenever I hear people hating on Laurence Olivier, because truly, I can’t think of many other people who would do what he did for as long as he did. THAT is love.

At the end of this video, from about 6:43 to the end, he describes what it was like for him, before finally saying he can’t talk about it anymore:

Here are a few gems:

That Hamilton Woman, 1941. Their third film together, and I think it’s their best. Not only do we see these two beautiful people together at the height of their love, but we also get to hear Vivien speak French and Italian, two languages she spoke fluently in real life. Not bad.

Laurence Olivier’s “Hamlet,” 1941, for which he won an Oscar. I consider this to be one of the finest performances ever recorded onscreen. If you see one Olivier film, this is it. Brilliance.

Waterloo Bridge, 1940. I think this is my number 1 favorite Vivien Leigh film (Gone With the Wind is automatically disqualified). One thing I didn’t focus on in this post is Vivien Leigh’s absolutely stunning looks. In fact, I officially consider her the most beautiful woman I have ever seen. And this movie shows it. Playing a young ballet dancer who falls in love with a soldier during World War I, she is perfectly comfortable in the part and there are great performances all around. A must-see.

Wuthering Heights, 1939. In the glorious year that was 1939, this is one of the top contenders for the best of the best. Olivier too was at the height of his attractiveness here, and Merle Oberon is perfect as Cathy (even though Olivier wanted Vivien in the part). I know I showed a clip earlier in this post, but it’s worth showing another because it’s just so darn good.

Sidewalks of London, 1938. This is a total B-movie, but I had to add it in here because it’s so funny to hear prim and proper Vivien try to speak in a cockney accent. And there’s also one scene where Vivien tap dances across the floor, which is classic. If you can find this (it’s not easy…) it’s worth a look. Very funny stuff.

I hope you enjoyed! I will be spending this weekend in London for the Vivien Leigh and Laurence Olivier weekend, and I will be checking in as often as I can with updates about the stars of the week! Thank you Kendra, at vivandlarry.com!

Star of the Week: OLIVIA DE HAVILLAND

Hello dear readers!

As promised, I am diving straight into Star of the Week mode. This segment is one where I will be focusing on one of the classic greats, showing you important clips and pictures from their work over the span of a week. This week’s honors go to a 2-time Oscar winner and living Hollywood legend, one of the last great ladies from the Golden Age of Hollywood, Olivia de Havilland.

Olivia de Havilland as Melanie Hamilton, in "Gone With the Wind."

The star of such great films as The Snake Pit (for which she was nominated for an Academy Award) and The Heiress (for which she won), her greatest success and fame was achieved through the epic 1939 masterpiece Gone With the Wind, in which she played the second lead, the demure Melanie Hamilton. She is also known for leading a high profile lawsuit against Warner Brothers in 1943, securing a release from her contract and defining what is currently known as The de Havilland Decision, a ruling that is found in law books today and is studied by those pursuing entertainment law. 5 times nominated for the Academy Award, and twice a winner, Miss de Havilland is truly one of Hollywood’s great leading ladies.

Olivia de Havilland was born in Tokyo, Japan, to British parents Walter and Lilian de Havilland, on July 1, 1916. The following year saw the birth of her sister Joan, later known to Hollywood as the actress Joan Fontaine (whom we may get to on another Star of the Week segment as she is a very fine actress in her own right), and due to the ill health of both toddlers, the family decided to uproot and resettle in the United States. The town that they found was a quaint little village by the name of Saratoga, 45 minutes south of San Francisco, and that is where they stayed. Walter soon returned to Tokyo and his practice as a patent attorney, and by 1925, Walter and Lilian were separated.

The de Havilland family in Tokyo, Japan, with some housemaids. When this picture was taken, her mother was pregnant with Olivia's sister, Joan.

Olivia and Joan were raised by their mother and a very overbearing stepfather by the name of George Fontaine, who ensured that the girls were brought up in a rigid, military fashion. This had a marked effect on both of them, and when Olivia was discovered participating in a play without permission, her stepfather gave her an ultimatum–leave the play, or leave the house. Olivia decided to leave. She was 16.

This did, however, give her the freedom to be in as many plays as she wanted, and soon became the star of such local productions as “Alice in Wonderland” and “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” receiving accolades from The San Francisco Chronicle for her performance as Alice. She was soon discovered by Max Reinhardt, and declined a scholarship to Mills College to accept the role of Hermia in Reinhardt’s production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” at the Hollywood Bowl.

As Alice in Wonderland, 1932.

From there, her career took off. She reprised her role in Reinhardt’s film version of the play, and soon signed a contract to Warner Brothers studios, where she acted in a number of small-budget films before gaining status and acting alongside Bette Davis in It’s Love I’m After and Errol Flynn in The Adventures of Robin Hood, who would become her most frequent co-star and love interest. She describes her first meeting with Errol Flynn, in this adorable interview with the Academy of Achievement in 2006.

It was shortly thereafter that Olivia secured the role as Melanie Hamilton in Gone With the Wind. After convincing Jack Warner to lend her to Selznick Studios for the film, she gave a performance that secured her a nomination for Best Supporting Actress at the 1940 Academy Awards, losing, however, to Hattie McDaniel in the same film. The loss hurt Olivia at the time, but she soon came to realize what an important win that was–McDaniel was the first black actor to win an Academy Award.

Olivia and Hattie McDaniel in a scene from "Gone With the Wind."

Olivia continued to make films for Warner Brothers, notably with Errol Flynn, until 1943, when her contract expired. She was prepared to leave, until Warner Brothers told her that she had to stay on for time spent on suspension. Olivia, unsatisfied with that response and feeling an instinct that something was wrong, began researching law books and came upon an obscure California law stating that an employer may not hold an employee for a period longer than 7 years. She brought this law into court, and after a long, drawn-out battle between her and the studio, Olivia won the case, as she learned while in the South Pacific visiting wounded soldiers. She describes the experience in this interview from the Academy of Achievement:

The win was a monumental victory not only for her, but for the entire entertainment industry. Citing the de Havilland Decision, no actor may be held for more than 7 years by an employer.

In the years after the de Havilland Decision, she began to garner meatier roles,and began to establish a reputation as a raw, emotional actress. She earned her first Academy Award for To Each His Own in 1946, having been nominated twice previously (her 2nd nomination had been in 1941 for Hold Back the Dawn, for which the award ironically went to her sister, Joan Fontaine, for Suspicion), and followed that with another nomination for The Snake Pit in 1948 and a second Academy Award for The Heiress in 1949. With her husband, Marcus Goodrich (whom she had married in 1946), she had a son, Benjamin, but the marriage didn’t last, due to Goodrich’s controlling behavior toward her and their son. Shortly after their divorce, Olivia made a voyage to Paris with Benjamin, and met a charming Frenchman by the name of Pierre Galante, who would become her second husband. The family settled in the city, and Paris has been Olivia’s home for the past 50 years.

Working relatively infrequently due to her move to Paris, Olivia focused on her family, caring for Benjamin and her daughter Gisèle, born in 1956. She made some notable films in the 1960’s, including Hush…Hush, Sweet Charlotte with Bette Davis and The Light in the Piazza with Rossano Brazzi, but her life had shifted to France, where she served as the president of the Cannes Film Festival jury and was a presenter at the César Awards, France’s version of the Academy Awards. It is in Paris that she continues to live, a vibrant and active 94-year-old who is the recent recipient of the Legion d’Honneur, France’s highest accolade. She also received a standing ovation at this year’s César Awards when she was mentioned as being in the audience.

Olivia’s acknowledgment and standing ovation occur at 1:18. Sorry for those who don’t speak French, Jodie Foster’s speech is all in French. But the ovation is universal.

There is another, less happy aspect to Olivia’s life story–and that is her lifelong “feud” (though I hate that word) with her sister, Joan Fontaine. It is said that the two of them have argued since childhood, and the final blow came when Joan published her memoirs in 1978, saying not so nice things about Olivia. I don’t like to talk about the feud between them because it is SO talked about in articles about the sisters, but it is worth mentioning in a bio of her life. Both sisters refuse to comment on their relationship, which seems to be a series of miscommunications and missed opportunities between them. As I say when discussing them, it seems to be no one’s fault, simply a sad circumstance. However, it has no bearing on Olivia’s work, which is comprises a truly incredible group of films.

WHAT TO WATCH

  • The Snake Pit. This is my favorite Olivia performance. She plays a mentally ill patient in a mental hospital, and gives a number of absolutely chilling scenes as a woman who clearly does not know where she is or how she got there. A difficult role pulled off with tremendous skill. The full movie is available on youtube. Also available on Netflix and in the classic films sections of most movie stores.
  • The Heiress. Olivia’s most revered and respected performance. She plays Catherine Sloper, a naive heiress to her doctor father’s fortune, who is seduced by a man who may or not be courting her for her money. The character makes an absolutely chilling turnaround at the end, with one of the most intense final scenes in the history of film. Available on youtube and Netflix, but not usually available in movie stores.
  • The Adventures of Robin Hood. The most important of Olivia’s 8 films with Errol Flynn, and the most famous of the Robin Hood movies. Olivia plays Maid Marion, in a role typical of her early Warner Brothers days, and the movie is a great thrill to watch. Available in most movie stores.
  • Dark Mirror. Olivia plays a dual role, as twins accused of a murder. Something truly notable about this film is that the characters of the twins, though played by the same person, have completely different personalities as created by Olivia. Something very, very difficult. Also, it marks one of the early uses of split screen technology. A relatively rare film, it is not yet available on DVD, but can be found on VHS on Amazon.com and eBay. As I am hard-pressed to even come up with a clip on youtube, I give you the radio version as performed by Olivia in 1950.

I must add, too, that my choice of Olivia as this week’s Star of the Week is not entirely random. She is my favorite living actress, and I have seen just about all of her films, minus one or two that I haven’t been able to find anywhere. I also happen to be living currently in Paris, studying abroad for my university. By chance, this coming week, Olivia is introducing a new film she has narrated by the name of “I Remember Better When I Paint,” at the American Library in Paris. My friends (other Olivia de Havilland fans coming from all over Europe to see this event) and I are attending, and we are so incredibly excited about it that we can hardly stop talking about it. Of course, after this event is over, I will be reporting back with a post dedicated to our experience.

Happy watching!!