Happy 100th Birthday to You, Olivia de Havilland

olivia_de_havilland_publicity_photo_1938
photo: Wikipedia.org

That means it is time to watch Captain Blood, Gone with the Wind and Robin Hood in her honor and finish the evening with Snake Pit and Hush, Hush Sweet Charlotte if you are still up for more. Snake Pit won many awards at the time and is a terrifying look at mental illness while Charlotte is an odd piece, I assume from the way the end was shot that the end was supposed to be kind of comedic but de Havilland’s performance makes it a different thing entirely. I really enjoy it. Olivia de Havilland remains the the oldest living recipient of an Academy Award and is one of only four other women currently living to have received at least two best actress Academy Awards!

Captain Blood was her first movie with Errol Flynn and according to The Wiki: In July 1941 de Havilland was reunited with Errol Flynn for their eighth and final movie together, Raoul Walsh’s Western adventure epic They Died with Their Boots On. The film is loosely based on the courtship and marriage of George Armstrong Custer and Elizabeth “Libbie” Bacon.[129] Flynn and de Havilland had a falling out the previous year‍—‌mainly over the roles she was being given‍—‌and she did not intend to work with him again.[130] Even Flynn acknowledged, “She was sick to death of playing ‘the girl’ and badly wanted a few good roles to show herself and the world that she was a fine actress.”[131] After she learned from Warner that Flynn had come to his office saying he needed her in the film, de Havilland accepted.[121] Screenwriter Lenore Coffee was brought in to add several romantic scenes, and improve the overall dialogue.[121] The result is a film that includes some of their finest work together.[132] Their last appearance on screen is Custer’s farewell to his wife.[133] “Errol was quite sensitive,” de Havilland would later remember, “I think he knew it would be the last time we worked together.”[133] Flynn’s final line in that scene would hold special meaning for her: “Walking through life with you, ma’am, has been a very gracious thing.”[134] Note: footnotes indicate the wikipedia references.

Source: Olivia de Havilland – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

I couldn’t agree more with that iconic line from Custer’s Farewell. We saw the restored Gone With the Wind at Seattle’s 5th Avenue Theatre that began with a reading of a letter by de Havilland by the theater manager. Her consideration and generosity to her own fans and the fans of the movie even at a a distance of 50 years was palpable. The women next to me were in tears before the distinctive music started up, just wonderful.Thank you and happy birthday!

WSJ Article David Mermelstein: Why We Give a Damn About Scarlett

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