In the film The End of the Affair (Graham Greene book),
an Olivier movie appears very briefly on the screen when the lovers go to see
a film the hero (part Greene, part Bendix) wrote. It is 21 Days. (Link the IMDb)

Contents

NEWS

Biography

Links

Films & Awards

The Entertainer

The Matinee Idol

Rebecca

Henry V

Time Magazine 1946

Hamlet

The Divorce of Lady X

Wuthering Heights

Spartacus

Favorite Pictures

More Pictures

The Stars At Play

Theatrical Chronology

This & That - I & II

Send Me A Comment

The Women In His Life

Richard III

Olivier/Leigh Homes

The Musical "Time"

LO at age 8

Olivier at age 8

Speeches

Olivier on Acting .. his own words

 The career of Laurence Olivier (pronounced O'livvy yay) was decided at fifteen, when he played Katherine in a boys-school production of The Taming of The Shrew. When he announced that he wanted to go on the stage, his father, a rural Anglo-Catholic clergyman, did not groan: "Better that I should see you dead." Instead, he gave his endorsement and financial support. At seventeen, young Olivier enrolled at the Central School of Dramatic Art, which is second only to London's Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. At eighteen, he was able to tell the Oliviers' old housekeeper, who asked what Laurence did in his first professional engagement: "When you're sitting having your tea during the interval [intermission], and you hear the bell summoning you back to your seat, you'll know that my finger is on the bell."

Later, more substantial parts in plays like Journey's End, The Green Bay Tree, No Time for Comedy proved Olivier to be one of the thoroughly good English actors. His performances as Hamlet, Sir Toby Belch, Macbeth, Henry V, Romeo, Iago, Coriolanus, Mercutio earned him a solid, if by no means pre-eminent, reputation as a Shakespearean actor -- and gave him invaluable experience. He also picked up a good deal of experience, which he scarcely valued at all, acting intermittently in movies.

For years Olivier just thought of movies as a quick way to earn money." In the '30s, his work with sincere, painstaking Director William Wyler made him realize that they can amount to a lot more. His fine performance as Heathcliff in Wuthering Heights first suggested that Olivier might be a great actor in the making. But Olivier was never really happy in Hollywood. He disliked the climate; he was homesick for the stage.

When England went to war, he planned, like his good friend Cinemactor David Niven, to join the air force. But he could not get out of his contract. While sweating it out, he took flying lessons and, in an unusually short time, piled up 200 hours.

In two years' service Olivier became a lieutenant in the Fleet Air Arm. He stepped unhurt out of a number of forced or crash landings, gave ground and gunnery instruction, never saw combat. But when he got back to work once more as an actor, theatrical London realized that a remarkable new artist had appeared. Olivier has no explanation for the change in himself except to say: "Maybe it's just that I've got older."

Now, as co-manager (with his friend, fellow flyer and fellow actor Ralph Richardson and with John Burrell) of London's Old Vic Theater, Olivier works at least ten hours a day. For recreation he spends quiet evenings after work at the home of friends, listening to phonograph music (Mozart is a favorite). When possible, he runs up to his country home, the I5th-Century Notley Abbey in Buckinghamshire, where his second wife Vivien Leigh is convalescing from tuberculosis.

Next month (this was written in 1946) Olivier and Richardson will bring the Old Vic troupe to Manhattan for six weeks of Sophocles, Shakespeare, Sheridan and Chekhov. Later Olivier would like to film Macbeth, Hamlet and Othello. But he is in no hurry. He has not had enough plain rest to satisfy him since Britain went to war.

James Agee - Agee On Film