Birthday Double: Olivia de Havilland & Leslie Caron

This year we bring you a special beginning to July. We celebrate two Hollywood legends birthdays and they’re both still alive! Happy Birthday to Olivia de Havilland and Leslie Caron!

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Both ladies have brought their own achievements to old Hollywood and are true Hollywood actresses in every sense of the phrase.

 

Olivia de Havilland

Olivia_de_Havilland_stillBorn in Tokyo, Japan on 1st July 1916 de Havilland has lived through it all. She broke into Hollywood early on and is famous for starring opposite Errol Flynn in eight films including The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938), having a public off screen feud with her sister, Joan Fontaine, but she’s probably most famous for playing Melanie Hamilton in Southern epic Gone With the Wind (1939) with Vivien Leigh and Clark Gable. Her acting shows how versatile she was and her attitude fits in perfectly with the era of films she was in.  All her big films will be remembered forever as will her supposed romantic ties to Flynn. De Havilland won many awards during her long stage career including two Academy Awards. She also won a court case about how long you could be signed to a certain producer for, even today this is known as the de Havilland Law. She is an actress and woman who will always be remembered for her work, her long life and what she has done for the movie industry as a whole.

Happy 98th Birthday Olivia!

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Leslie Caron

leslie-caron-and-gigi-galleryCaron was born in Seine, France on 1st July 1931. Her first film role was in An American In Paris starring opposite Gene Kelly. It was Kelly that managed to get her into the big films which shot her to stardom. Caron is a well known dancer and singer and is one of only a few actresses to have danced with the likes of Fred Astaire, Gene Kelly and Rudolf Nureyev. Her most famous role is probably that of her playing Gigi in the 1958 version of Gigi. Her portrayal of a young woman learning to be a courtesan is fun and care free in Minelli’s version of the film. The addition of her lovely singing and dancing makes it a brilliant performance.

Caron has had a long and wonderful career with a mixture of musicals, dramas and tv work. The awards she has won are well deserved and we can only thank Gene Kelly for seeing her talent all those years ago at Ballet des Champs Elysees.

Happy 83rd Birthday Leslie!

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It’s great to be able to write a post about one actor from the Golden era still alive to celebrate their birthday but two is magical in our book. Enjoy your birthday’s ladies while we enjoy celebrating by enjoying your films.

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Kendra Bean Talks Vivien Leigh at National Portrait Gallery, London

Thursday (28/11) saw a very special talk at the National Portrait Gallery in London. Kendra Bean, author of Vivien Leigh: An Intimate Portrait, gave a talk to a packed out audience on the life of the wonderful Vivien Leigh. The … Continue reading

BFI re-release classic film Gone With The Wind Nationally in Leigh’s centenary year

b70-3219We all know it’s Vivien Leigh’s centenary celebrations this year. I’ve also made clear on the blog that BFI in London were showing a lot of her films, some well known some not so. It’s now been announced that Civil War epic Gone With The Wind will be re-released in cinemas NATIONWIDE! Yes that means that coming to a cinema near you, in the next few weeks, you’ll be able to watch Vivien & Clark portray one of the worlds best known couples.

Gone With The Wind won 10 Academy Awards in 1940 and when you watch it you will easily see why. It was the first colour film to win the Best Picture Academy Award, remember Wizard of Oz was filmed and released in the same year. The film is a romance set in the American Civil War and contains something to keep everyone happy. Leigh as Scarlett O’Hara a feisty Southern Belle who as a difficult love life. Clark Gable who plays Rhett Butler the very handsome suitor who eventually wins Scarlett’s hand. There’s war, break ups and make ups, big life upheavals, sorrowful deaths and dresses made out of curtains.

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I’ve just checked and even Cineworld are having a showing (check their site for listings near you.) Locally for me we have Showroom in Sheffield who are having a showing a day 20th December to 24th December. What a perfect way to spend the Christmas week. Obviously some cinemas will include the interlude within the film so don’t worry about having to sit for four hours.

480px-Clark_Gable_and_Vivien_Leigh_-_WindRe-releases from the BFI are big news for old Hollywood lovers because they use the original negatives and make the colours, sound quality and overall viewing experience more vibrant and beautiful than ever before and yet you still feel the originality of the film you love.

I hope you’re all going to try and go! Check for listings with your local cinemas as Gone With The Wind will be shown in over 70 cinemas across the UK. As it’s a romance it’s a great excuse to take your partner with you!

Gone With The Wind Listings for Showroom Sheffield

Click here to see where Gone With The Wind is been shown near you!

Vivien Leigh; Classical Beauty and Style Icon

When we talk about fashion icons from the bygone era we automatically think of Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn and Elizabeth Taylor. Vivien Leigh doesn’t seem to appear in the category. She doesn’t seem to appear in many categories applied to … Continue reading

Happy 100th Birthday Vivien Leigh!

Today is special. No. It’s more than special. It’s a day for celebrating Vivien’s life, achievements, loves and losses. Born in India while it still belonged to Great Britain she was our original Golden Girl if you like. Her and … Continue reading

November: Dracula, Classic Horror and Vivien Leigh

I was looking through my Simon’s Cat diary and was quite pleased by what’s coming up over the next month. We thought it was our duty to fill you in on all the goodies that we have to look forward to.

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Friday 25th October brings Dracula to US screens. This version looks sinfully brilliant with the very pretty Jonathan Rhys Meyers playing Dracula (We drooled and squealed so much when this was announced.) Meyers is a great choice for Dracula and after seeing him a few times in The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones I think he’ll pull the sexy supernatural role off very well. The trailer also looks quite amazing. I’m hoping it lives up to expectations as there seems to be a few gothic style TV Shows airing this fall/ autumn. Sleepy Hollow and Witches of East End to name a few. British fans will recognise Katie McGrath who played Morgana in BBC’s Merlin, in Dracula she plays Lucy. The 10 episode show airs in the UK on Sky Living on 31st October. This means we’ll be in for a ghoulishly good Halloween Night.

Where Horror films are concerned there’s a great film event you need to look out for at Independent cinemas. The event creatively titled Gothic: The Dark Artelsa-lanchester-bride-of-frankenstein-c10102251-1_7942 of Film runs fully at BFI London where they are showing a huge selection of old and classic horror films. Think Nosferatu Symphony of Horror, Bela Lugosi and Christopher Lee Draculas and The Bride Of Frankenstein and you’re definitely on the right lines. After some checking at my local cinemas (Showroom Sheffield and City Screen York) we’ve found out that they are also showing selected films (YAY!) Obviously they don’t have the full selection but they do have some corkers. This Sunday I’ll be in York to see Nosferatu in all it’s silent glory. Showroom are running Gothic well into December so people of Yorkshire you have no excuse to miss classic horror!

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For all the films in Gothic: The Dark Art of Film visit BFI: http://www.bfi.org.uk/gothic

Vivien_Leigh_BFI5th November marks Vivien Leigh’s 100th Birthday. Me and Cat are big lovers of this golden starlet and so are making the effort to make her birthday as big as can be. BFI Southbank are also celebrating by showing her films until January 2014. They’re showing classics like Gone With The Wind and A Streetcar Named Desire along with Waterloo Bridge and The Deep Blue Sea. Keep an eye out because there’s also a few talks taking place at BFI, National Portrait Gallery (with none other than Kendra Bean, Exciting!) and one at V&A Museum on 13th November. I’m very much looking forward to all these. Those who are free on Saturday 16th or Monday 18th November can also buy tickets to have a sneak peek in the V&A archives which now contain some of Ms. Leigh’s clothing and personal affects. What a perfect month November will be!

For a more detailed list on Vivien Leigh talks and events visit http://www.vivandlarry.com This site is basically all you need for everything Vivien. It’s ran by Kendra Bean. All screening times are available here: BFI Vivien Leigh showtimes

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As you’ve been warned we will be contributing lots on Vivien Leigh throughout November. It’s our way of showing our love and appreciation. You’re welcome to get involved too!

Happy Birthday Greta Garbo

It would have been the late, great Greta Garbo’s birthday today. Has one of my favourite actresses it’s only fair that I let you in on why I love her. So here is a few of the silents and talkies … Continue reading

V&A Museum acquires Vivien Leigh archives

Big news Vivien Leigh lovers! The V&A Museum in London has been given permission to show items from her personal archives! This fantastic news brings us the joys of some of Ms. Leighs personal affects ranging from letters and dresses … Continue reading

Frankly, my dear, we do give a damn Mr. Gable

Many of you know Clark Gable for one reason. Gone With The Wind is that reason. I’m glad you know him because of this but honestly this is not enough. On what would have been his 112th Birthday I will … Continue reading