Wednesday, July 05, 2023

Everything You Ever Need To Know About Life...

... you can learn from:

Johnnie: And now I'm going get so busy
doing nothing, yes sir! I'm going do nothing
like she's never been done before!

The original Sir, one Larry Olivier, was born 116 years ago today. I say this as a person woefully under-schooled on Olivier's filmography -- I've never seen any of his Shakespeare films! -- but do you think he maintains the reputation for Greatest Actor that he still did a couple of decades ago? We've moved on to that being Marlon Brando... or even possibly Daniel Day-Lewis at this point, right?

As my confession above (that I have never seen any of his Shakespeare movies) reveals, I've never been a huge fan of Olivier's, in the movies I have seen anyway -- for example I've seen Hitchcock's Rebecca a billion times and I have never, not once, walked out of it thinking about him. That said -- ever since first seeing how hot he was in 49th Parallel I have been open to the suggestion that I should explore more of his body of work.


bdog said...

Paul Newman.

squeezit said...

I dunno... I'm more inclined to say Anthony Hopkins with Jack Nicholson as a close second

squeezit said...

Heath Ledger and Toshiro Mifune would also be high on the list

Jake said...

Definitely 100% percent Paul Newman!!!! Not only an absolutely incredible actor to watch, but he is one of the most handsome men that ever lived!!!! I might be 34 years old but he opened my eyes to films from the past and even though he is gone, everytime he comes on the screen my heart heart beats faster!!!! ❤❤❤❤

Paul Outlaw said...

Olivier essentials (besides Rebecca & 49th Parallel):
Wuthering Heights
Pride and Prejudice
That Hamilton Woman
Henry V
Richard III
The Entertainer
Uncle Vanya
Love Among the Ruins
King Lear

Anonymous said...

Before I vote for DDL I'd want to see him do a comedy. Same with Brando - although maybe Guys & Dolls would count?

Anonymous said...

You could always try 'A Room with a View' if you wish to test DDL comedic chops.

Anonymous said...

But good point about so many of these 'Best actor ever' frontrunners always going for oh soo serious and not a charming quirk in sight. Which brings us right back to old Olly...

Anonymous said...

I saw Wuthering Heights in a re-release in a theatre one free afternoon when I was a college sophomore. And I sat almost all the way through it a second time because I had never seen Olivier so appealing and handsome. I was just captivated by him especially in the early parts of the film.Love when he peers through the window at the fancy party going on in Kathy's house. And the glorious soundtrack with Waxman's Kathy's Theme is another highlight of that film. In my memory Olivier was never as appealing as he was in that film.

joel65913 said...

That term The Greatest "Actor/Actress/Musician...fill in the blank" is so subjective and personal to each person. I would say that Olivier was one of the very best actors of his generation (as was Charles Laughton, John Garfield and several others). In his youth an incredibly attractive man but outside of Wuthering Heights (where before he becomes refined in the later part of the film he's sex on a stick) most of his best work on film (King Lear, Marathon Man, Bunny Lake is Missing, Sleuth, Love Among the Ruins etc.) came after his beauty had faded.

Brando could be a dynamic performer but he was wildly inconsistent. Sometimes brilliant and inventive others fussy, self indulgent or lazy.

DDL is consistently great but maddeningly non-prolific, to be the greatest actor you have to act or you're just another dude on the street.

NealB said...

Brando is not even in the same league as Olivier and Daniel Day Lewis. Not sure why his name comes to mind so often when the topic is "great actors." Olivier is a god.

Gooser said...

Lee Pace is a great actor.