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Any Vivien Leigh fans?

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I didn't know she had a miscarriage either. Actually, that's kind of creepy that she lost the baby by falling down the stairs. It reminds me of when she fell down the stairs in Gone with the Wind. Perhaps that scene was an omen?

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Oooh---I just "wish listed" that new biography. I really need to get down to some serious reading. Between these boards, watching and collecting dvds and pictures of my favorites, and all the rest of my life (!), I barely have time to read anymore. I have to finish the Errol Flynn autobio, a Lincoln bio I am re-reading, the Brian Aherne book on George Sanders and still another biography on a famous sea captain. And now Viv's got a new one!!

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Though I've only seen a handful of her films, she still ranks as one of my top 10 actresses. She cemented herself in history with Gone With the Wind and A Streetcar Named Desire, which happens to be two of the best performances given by an actress. She's also wonderful in Anna Karenina, The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone and Ship of Fools. I would love to someday watch That Hamilton Woman and The Deep Blue Sea.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Roles Turned Down by Vivien


-Hush ... Hush, Sweet Charlotte

She refused the role of Miriam, telling director Robert Aldrich via Western Union, "I could just about look at Joan Crawford's face on a Southern plantation at 6:00 in the morning; I couldn't possibly look at Bette Davis's."


-My Cousin Rachel

Vivien Leigh wouldn't do it unless it was filmed in England.


-Wuthering Heights (1939)

Leigh declined the role of Heathcliffe's abused wife "Isabelle Litton" when it was offered to her after the filmmakers turned down in her bid to play "Cathy."


-Room at the Top

Offered the role of "Alice Aisgill." (probably would've had her 3rd Oscar)

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[nobr]I finally revisited one of my favorite early career heights for Vivien Leigh over the weekend. The seldom seen, English movie, St. Martin's Lane (1937), aka The Sidewalks of London, features Ms. Leigh as a street urchin who becomes involved with a group of street entertainers, (called buskers in Britain), led by Charles Laughton. Eventually she becomes entangled with a very young Rex Harrison as well.[/nobr]


[nobr]The gamine charm that Vivien Leigh displays in this movie is a delight--she is a delicate yet tough little sprite. One poetic scene in particular lingers after viewing: after breaking into a grand, unoccupied mansion in London, Leigh dances in a shaft of moonlight in the ballroom of the house, humming to herself, oblivious to all care, completely enchanting and beguilingly unself-concious. It's quite different from any of her other performances. Charles Laughton and Harrison are also fine, particularly Laughton, who is quite touching as a rather untalented, though occasionally ethical busker who is enthralled by Leigh.[/nobr]


[nobr]One interesting note: the legendary theatrical director, Tyrone Guthrie, partially responsible for the creation of the Canadian based Shakespeare Festival in Stratford, Ontario, the introduction of Paddy Chayevsky's work to the American theatre, and many productions on both sides of the Atlantic appears here as an actor in a rare supporting role.[/nobr]


[nobr]The dvd that I saw this on is a good, if not pristine transfer put out by Kino. The other film included with this disc is Wings of the Morning (1937), about a gypsy girl (Annabella) with a horse called Wings. She becomes enamored of Canadian horsetrainer Henry Fonda. The film is probably most notable as the first Technicolor film shot in Britain, and for the presence of legendary Irish tenor John McCormack, warbling in one scene. It's an odd, minor film, probably of most interest to Fonda fans.[/nobr]


[nobr]Vivien Leigh, knocking 'em dead, as a street performer in St. Martin's Lane.[/nobr]



Message was edited by:

moirafinnie6, because spelling and grammar matter.

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[nobr]Love this little film of Viv's and that scene you described in which she is dancing by herself is my favorite. It captured the wistful part of her nature beautifully.





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[nobr]I like that candid photo that you posted better, Miss G. Thanks very much.[/nobr]


[nobr]One other thing that I should've mentioned about St. Martin's Lane: the landlady at Laughton's house is played by Maire O'Neill, one of the original Abbey Theatre players and the sister of classic character actress, Sara Allgood. O'Neill can also be glimpsed in the rather anemic early talkie Hitchcock version of O'Casey's Juno and the Paycock (1930) with Barry Fitzgerald. She also pops up in many other British movies through the forties and fifties, such as the Trevor Howard-Jean Simmons pretty good mystery, The Clouded Yellow (1951).[/nobr]


[nobr]In her youth, Miss O'Neill was the fianc?e of the brilliant, doomed playwright, John Millington Synge, a key figure in the literary movement, the Celtic Revival, and author of The Playboy of the Western World & Riders to the Sea. Synge died of Hodgkin's disease at 37 in 1909. Maire's demeanor and acting style was softer and gentler than that of her sometimes steely sister, and, in her '20s she is said to have broken several hearts without meaning to when she became engaged to Synge. O'Neill can be glimpsed here with Vivien Leigh.[/nobr]


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[nobr]The scene at the ball in ANNA KARENINA when Viv appears in that amazing black velvet gown with the bejeweled stars in her hair is a vision of loveliness seldom equaled in cinema.[/nobr]


[nobr]I admired Sara Allgood's portrayal of the matriarch in HOW GREEN WAS MY VALLEY so much that she is the pattern I would like to follow should I be blessed with a family of my own one day. No-nonsense, loving and willing to fight like a tigress to defend her man and kin. I know Ford wanted the also wonderful Jane Darwell in the role but I don't think anyone can top Allgood's tenacious performance.[/nobr]


[nobr]Miss G[/nobr]



Viv in AK[/nobr]




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