Celebrating National Classic Movie Day with the Five Stars Blogathon

The 16th of May is National Classic Movie Day, and what better way to celebrate this than to write a post on one’s favourite five classic movie stars. The rules of this blogathon hosted by the Classic Film and TV Cafe is that people list their five favourite classic movie stars and then say why they love them. So, without further ado and in no particular order:     

I. Vivien Leigh (1913 – 1967)

Vivien LeighMy birth sign is Scorpio and they eat themselves up and burn themselves out. I swing between happiness and misery. I am part prude and part nonconformist. I say what I think and I don’t pretend, and I am prepared to accept the consequences of my actions.” (Vivien Leigh)

I will talk about three November-born ladies, and my first one is Vivien Leigh, who had a rich life story. She was born in British India, but when her parents left for England, found herself at a British boarding school. From there, she was determined to succeed as an actress, and even set aside her married life with a lawyer to pursue theatre work. She later married no other than Laurence Olivier, with the two sharing a passionate love and mutual professional admiration. Her breakthrough came when she was cast as Scarlett O’Hara in the famous adaptation of Margaret Mitchell novel of the same name “Gone with the Wind” (1939) alongside Clark Gable, for which she won her first Oscar. There, she proved to be a great actress indeed: controlled, magnetic, capable of showing every possible façade of a personality, from cunning aloofness to extreme passion. Vivien Leigh really was Scarlett O’Hara, strong-willed, determined, intelligent, passionate, magnetic and beautiful. She was a femme fatale, both on screen and in life, but without any negative connotations, admired for her irresistible charm and acting skill. She was later also cast in such films as “A Streetcar Named Desire” (1951) alongside Marlon Brando, for which she won her second Oscar, “That Hamilton Woman(1941), “Caesar and Cleopatra” (1945) and “Anna Karenina” (1948).

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“Leave Her to Heaven” Review

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Leave Her to Heaven (1945)

In this noir drama a successful fiction writer, Richard Harland (Cornel Wilde), meets a young beautiful socialite, Ellen Berent (Gene Tierney) on a train. After a short introduction, the pair fall in love. However, Ellen’s obsessive streak soon becomes evident when she unceremoniously ditches her politically successful fiancée Russell Quinton (Vincent Price) and makes a proposal of marriage to Richard. After their marriage Ellen’s obsession with Richard mounts to the point where she becomes jealous of her pretty innocent sister Ruth (Jeanne Crain) and even of Richard’s disabled teen brother, Danny. Soon, Ellen finds herself capable of the most malicious and darkest deeds to re-gain the undivided attention of her beloved.

Leave Her to Heaven’, which won an Academy Award for the Best Cinematography of 1945, is based on a best-selling novel of the same name by Ben Ames Williams, and the script is written by Jo Swerling, who also did work for ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ (1946). The narrative of the film flows so naturally it resembles reading a book, and the script is, indeed, meticulously constructed. Shot in bright technicolor, the film is sometimes very romantic; very often dramatic, and yet at other times resembles a thriller, while culminating in a legal action.

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