Posts tagged ‘Vivien Leigh’
There were many things about 2011 I’d rather forget, and am quite eager to sweep under the rug and write off as a (semi) total loss.
It was, however, a fantastic year for bloggers. And especially so for the classic film community– a niche that hitherto has been of a largely insular nature, existing on the fringes of filmdom, never quite enjoying a resounding presence in its own right. An eclectic makeup of film theorists, essayists, historians, fanboys and fangirls, visual artists, poets, and everything in between, classic film enthusiasts the enjoyed a real renaissance in 2011 and can confidently start the new year with a newly defined sense of community. (And if that’s overstating things, it is only because I believe we have every reason to start the new year with a newly defined sense of community!)
The exponential growth of social media has made it possible to nurture a culture of mutual respect and graciousness within the blogging community, resulting in work that is enlightening, enlivening and always entertaining. Read more ►
The Kitty Packard Pictorial has been Liebstered! C’est a dire, we’ve been presented with the “Liebster Blog” award from one of our favorite fellow film fanatics, The Lady Eve Sidwich, the cinemaven behind The Lady Eve’s Reel Life. Take a sampling of her recent posts and you’ll see exactly why this blog stands so well out of the crowd. From a profile of legendary art director Lyle Wheeler, to a portrait of early Hollywood playground Catalina Island to serious critical analysis of rarely seen screen gems, Eve’s Reel Life is at once intelligent and academic, yet wonderfully entertaining.
Thank you so much Eve for singling us out– MWAH! Read more ►
This post is in conjunction with the blog Viv and Larry’s Vivien Leigh and Laurence Olivier Blogathon.)
Early in the summer of 1939, when principal photography on David O’Selznick’s soon-to-be masterpiece Gone with the Wind had finally finished, Vivien Leigh boarded a plane and headed to New York to be reunited with Laurence Olivier. She was spotted by gossip columnist Louella Parsons who promptly reported that Olvier had signed on to play the role of Maxim deWinter in the film adaptation of Daphne duMaurier’s novel Rebecca, and that “All of Vivien Leigh’s brave plans to return to England for a stage play will go a-glimmering,… for she is now mentioned for the role of the wife opposite her very good friend Laurence.” Read more ►
When it comes to Technicolor, there are some names that are inextricably linked with that definitive Classic Hollywood process. Marilyn Monroe and her flaming pink Niagara dress? Vivien Leigh and her crimson negligee in Gone With the Wind? Classic. But while most people equate Gene Tierney with the sultry, smoky, definitively film noir shadows of black and white cinema, for me her ethereal beauty was simply made for Technicolor. Tierney’s extraordinary beauty is a matter of record. That stunning Laura portrait of her is matched only by the flesh itself– and bested in her subsequent color films. Leave Her to Heaven, with Leon Shamroy’s decadent cinematography, is her most famous color film. But even in her frivolous forays, like On the Riviera with Danny Kaye, the Technicolor Tierney is impossibly perfect.
This shot, fresh and carefree, is my personal favorite photo of Tierney. Young and energetic, she was still some time yet from those dark demons that would come to possess her. The tragedy of her daughter’s birth was years off, and her internal personal battle, although prevalent, was not yet consuming.
I love the hope and life and genuine spark of this week’s Pictorial palette– and hope that Gene, a beautiful woman inside and out, enjoyed more of these joyful moments than her legend suggests.
One of our readers was kind enough to share a first-hand experience involving screen legend (and perennial Pictorial favorite) Joan Fontaine.
We hope you enjoy it as much as we did!
My father, who’d be 91 were alive today, was a charming and most unusual man. When I was 10 or 11, back in the very early 60s, there was no such thing as cable TV and the “Late Show” broadcast old movies most nights.
One night my father said, “You are going to sleep late tonight, school night or not. We’ll just have you stay home if you are tired tomorrow.”
Alfred Hitchcock’s “Rebecca” was on the tube that night. I loved it. And I adored Fontaine.
I was thrilled when in my early 20′s, she was doing some lecturing at a local college and lived in Boston for a time. She was charming, and slightly imperious, and, then in her 50′s, quite tiny and very lovely.
One of our local hotels had been purchased by a mysterious Brit, and its cabaret, under his aegis, ran sophisticated intimate acts, mostly singers, which were broadcast live on Saturday nights. One night a very talented local singer/comedian named Mercedes Hall (the actor Anthony Michael Hall is her son ) was appearing.
During the show, which as I say was broadcast live, the smarmy hotelier/host — his name was Allen Temayne, introduced Fontaine, who was amongst the patrons. “Miss Fontaine” he said — may I call you Joan?”
Chic, cool, and immaculately coiffed, the former film star looked at him and said, “NO. You may call me MISS Fontaine.”
At that point admiration turned to adoration.
She is a complicated woman, maligned in many show biz bios — Vivien Leigh, Judith Anderson and Noel Coward were all less than kind — but I suspect she was less sinner than sinned against, especially during her childhood with de Havilland.
A unique lady indeed.