Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Memories of Britain's Finest Actress



A propos of my recent article to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the death of Vivien Leigh (above) 'anonymous' writes:

Just last night I watched Ship of Fools on video. I had seen it when it first came out 40 years ago and remembered Leigh's performance as being wonderful. My memory did not fail me. She was heartbreaking, especially remembering her health, both physical and mental, at that time, and knowing that she died not long after. The scene of her drunk walking back to her cabin, and then breaking into a Charleston dance is brilliant. A must see film for those who appreciate Leigh.


If you have never seen Ship of Fools, you're in for a real treat. In the words of the New York Times review: "There is such a wealth of reflection on the human condition, so subtle an orchestration of the elements of love and hate, that it is not fair to tag this with the label of any other film".
Oskar Werner, Simone Signoret, Lee Marvin and Michael Dunn all turned in amazing performances, but the performance that will break your heart, as anonymous says, is Vivien Leigh's. Leigh had already won two Best Actress Oscars, for Scarlett O'Hara in Gone With the Wind and Blanche Dubois in A Streetcar Named Desire. But for her portrayal of Mary Treadwell in Ship of Fools she really should have won a third.

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