roxy1927

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"I'm so glad that Greer Garson played Elizabeth instead of Vivien Leigh. I'm really looking forward to watching it again in the near future with this upcoming Blu-ray release."


Nobody is a bigger VL fan than I. But I agree in this case. It's a big enough stretch for us to think that Jane surpasses the beautiful, radiant Lizzy as embodied by Garson. O'Sullivan would never had held up to Leigh, despite being ravishing herself.
But apart from that, Garson has a solid, warm, down-to-earth quality that VL would have had to "act." Although Leigh had her own glamorous warmth in "That Hamilton Woman", it was of a different temperature than naturally displayed by Lizzy via Garson.

It is also my conviction that no one was a better ambassador for the sound of the English language than Greer Garson- especially in "Pride & Prejudice."
Which unhappily has gone the way of the dodo.
Olivier loved throwing shade. Why such a great actor and filmmaker could be so small, jealous and ungenerous as a person is difficult to understand.
 

Mark Mayes

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Olivier says in his book On Acting, Simon & Schuster 1986: "To me Jane Austen had made Elizabeth different from her affected, idiotic sisters; she was the only down-to-earth one; but Greer played her as the most affected and silly of the lot."

I think he had trouble with accepting the different way of projection of personality for the camera and was critical and jealous when assessing it.

Anthony Hopkins said in an LA Times interview:" When you look at something like Olivier in "Lady Hamilton" with Vivien Leigh, I mean she wiped the screen with him. Because he's got wigs and false noses, and she's just pure movie star. She just wipes the screen with him, just as Marilyn Monroe did in "The Prince and the Showgirl." He's a great actor but not the superb film personality she was."
 

marcco00

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i'm afraid i agree... my favorite olivier film performance is 'richard lll' because it shows his

type of acting style at his best, but the greatest movie stars of that era could burn up the

screen just by their presence and without saying a word...think clara bow.

there is a difference between actors and movie stars, no matter how great the actor
 
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bujaki

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Garbo was probably right in having Olivier fired from QUEEN CHRISTINA. Just have a look at Olivier's acting in Fox's 1931 production THE YELLOW TICKET, directed by Raoul Walsh, to get an idea of how abysmal a film actor he was at the time.
Even in WUTHERING HEIGHTS, I think the best acting by the leading characters is provided by Geraldine Fitzgerald.
 

bujaki

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When he was good, he was good. But he could be prime ham.
Wyler's Carrie is an example of the former.
 

roxy1927

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I went to see the play Filumena on Broadway with Joan Plowright in previews. It was directed by Olivier and because being it was a preview he was there. I remember being in the lobby at intermission and he was the only person at the bar('I'll have a splash of that.') That lobby filled with people was so quiet you could hear a pin drop.
 

AnthonyClarke

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Olivier was magnificent in Hank 3 (to quote Robert Harris. I had a a similarly-minded history teacher at school very many years ago -- He was from the States, and referred to H5 as 'Hank the Cinque' -- Cinque pronounced of course as Sank.
And he was sensational in 'Rebecca'. But so so so many other times he had no idea that less was best on celluloid.
 

Trancas

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Wasn't Greer Garson just a little too middle-aged for 22 y/o Lizzie? At 36, she was three years older than Olivier. I think that may have influenced his opinion of her in the role. With her long but thick neck and those inch long false-eyelashes, she doesn't look like a young woman just out of her teens. She looks like the Bennett sisters' older flirtatious auntie.

Pride and prejudice.jpg
 
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roxy1927

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What about The Valley of Decision where she was in her forties and Gregory Peck was in his 20s? Greer the cougar.
 
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Mark Mayes

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"Wasn't Greer Garson just a little too middle-aged for 22 y/o Lizzie? At 36, she was three years older than Olivier. I think that may have influenced his opinion of her in the role. With her long but thick neck and those inch long false-eyelashes, she doesn't look like a young woman just out of her teens. "

I never felt that way. Perhaps because the film is not really in the period of the book and I've seen it in theatres in which audiences were always joyous at the interplay. I think Garson manages to be quite lovely in her intepretation.

I don't always trust Donald Spoto's bio on Olivier (Harper Collins 1992), but I think he was at least thoughtful when he wrote regarding the On Acting quote:

"Quite the contrary: both the script and Garson's confident performance, established over every other character in the story, the quick-witted appealing maturity of Elizabeth --exactly the qualities for which Garson rightly won the role and that she communicated directly. But Olivier was jealous of his "discovery" since her name proceeded his on screen and in billings. "

Spoto is referring to Garson's work with Olivier on stage some years earlier when he says "discovery".
 

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