Out of the Forest


olivia
April 12, 2007, 6:20 pm
Filed under: old movies

title-heiress-r1-cov-heiress-ntsc.jpg

Olivia de Haviland is one of my favorite Hollywood actresses from the 1930’s and 40’s.  Its hard to explain why, exactly.  Perhaps because her most famous role, as Melanie in Gone With the Wind, is so defining that you expect her to be that same sweet, naive and selfless character in real life (though her long-standing feud with sister Joan Fontaine leads me to think this may be otherwise).  And she played similar “good” characters with considerable frequncy.  Of course, she also used this sweet reputation to her advantage when playing “bad” characters.  In my opinion, no one drops the guise of sweetness to reveal cold cruelty better than de Haviland, and it works mostly because it is so unexpected.

Her best performance, for which she won her second Oscar, is in 1949’s The Heiress, based on Henry James’s Washington Square, and also starring Montgomery Clift and Ralph Richardson.  In the film, Olivia plays a plain and rather boring young heiress, who desparately seeks romance and the approval of her father.  There are suprises in the plot that I don’t want to reveal, but suffice it to say de Haviland gets to show both her sweet and cruel sides in this film.

If you’ve not seen the film, I highly recommend you do.  Happily for us all, it is finally out on DVD.

Advertisements

1 Comment so far
Leave a comment

I LOVE this movie! I also love the ending! She is so smart!

Comment by moviesmusic




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s



%d bloggers like this: