Wednesday, April 3, 2013

TCM Star of the Month Laurence Olivier

I'm a bit surprised to say that I don't think I've seen a TCM piece promoing the new Star of the Month Laurence Olivier yet. I'm sure they must have done one, but I just having been tuning in at the right time to see it. They sure ran the piece on Greer Garson into the ground though, as they did with Philip Yordan talking about the screenplay to the 1960s version of King of Kings.

Anyhow, Olivier's movies are going to be on TCM every Wednesday night in April, starting with tonight. On this first Wednesday in April, the prime time lineup consists of four movies based on Shakespeare plays, kicking off with Henry V at 8:00 PM. This one is remarkable in that it even got made at all. It was made in the UK during World War II, in color no less. It must have been quite the feat to get that much color film stock. (By the same token, I wonder how Michael Powell managed it for The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp, which was made a year before Henry V.)

That's followed at 10:30 PM by Olivier's Oscar-winning turn in Hamlet. Thankfully, nobody gets up to see the Queen when Hamlet starts his soliloquy. At 1:15 AM, Olivier plays the hunchbacked king Richard III, and finally, at 4:00 AM he plays Othello.

TCM lists only Henry V as being available for purchase on DVD; I haven't checked Amazon to see if any of the others are on an out-of-print DVD.

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