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Thread: The Greatness of British Actors/Actresses.

  1. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by LRK View Post
    I was supposed to feel sorry for Gwyneth Paltrow because her character ended up married to... Colin Firth? Yes, a suitably and convincingly caddish Colin Firth - but still... Colin Firth? Well, cry me a river...
    Totally. He's my favourite Mr.Darcy anyway.

  2. #47
    Yuzulia & Ruslena Team Alba's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BusyMom View Post
    Totally. He's my favourite Mr.Darcy anyway.
    He is the ultimate Mr.Darcy.

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    Kisdom Title TMC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alba View Post
    He is the ultimate Mr.Darcy.
    He is Mr Fitzwilliam Darcy. The others are just actors playing at trying to appear like they are Darcy...

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    Quote Originally Posted by TMC View Post
    He is Mr Fitzwilliam Darcy. The others are just actors playing at trying to appear like they are Darcy...
    I adore Colin Firth as much as anyone, but I must respectfully submit that when Laurence Olivier was about 35, and at the peak of his fabulous good looks and charisma, he portrayed Mr. Darcy opposite Greer Garson. He was pretty spectacular, and he certainly managed to embody the pride of a member of the higher ranks of British society.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4z0WjWGvPAw

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    Quote Originally Posted by Olympia View Post
    I adore Colin Firth as much as anyone, but I must respectfully submit that when Laurence Olivier was about 35, and at the peak of his fabulous good looks and charisma, he portrayed Mr. Darcy opposite Greer Garson. He was pretty spectacular, and he certainly managed to embody the pride of a member of the higher ranks of British society.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4z0WjWGvPAw
    Wow, I have never seen this movie. Thank you Olympia.

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    My pleasure! It has a lot of charm and some good performances. One unusual wrinkle is that the clothing is not from the Regency era but from closer to 1820 or so, when the natural waistline was back in fashion. I have thought about why that was done, and I inferred that the filmmakers decided it would be more to the liking of movie fans of the time. In addition to Olivier and Greer Garson, the film also featured Edna May Oliver, a splendid American-born character actress, as Lady De Bourgh. She was the go-to Hollywood grande dame, and she also portrayed Miss Pross in the Tale of Two Cities that starred Ronald Colman, as well as Betsy Trotwood in David Copperfield.

    Which reminds me: English actors of another era with great voices and screen presence include Ronald Colman and Leslie Howard.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Olympia View Post
    My pleasure! It has a lot of charm and some good performances. One unusual wrinkle is that the clothing is not from the Regency era but from closer to 1820 or so, when the natural waistline was back in fashion. I have thought about why that was done, and I inferred that the filmmakers decided it would be more to the liking of movie fans of the time. In addition to Olivier and Greer Garson, the film also featured Edna May Oliver, a splendid American-born character actress, as Lady De Bourgh. She was the go-to Hollywood grande dame, and she also portrayed Miss Pross in the Tale of Two Cities that starred Ronald Colman, as well as Betsy Trotwood in David Copperfield.

    Which reminds me: English actors of another era with great voices and screen presence include Ronald Colman and Leslie Howard.
    I found the movie and I'm gonna watch it. Thanks again.
    I have the Tale of Two Cities but haven't watched yet. Speaking of David Copperfield I just looooove that book, and Betsy is fantastic character, love her.
    My mother loved the classic british and russian writers, some french as well like Mopasan and Balzac, and she made me read those book when I was very young . I guess I'll never thank her enough for transmitting that to me.

  8. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by iluvtodd View Post
    Angela Lansbury (she's of British descent, right)?
    People thought she is American because she became a household name after "Murder, She Wrote" which was American Drama. She was actually born in London. I remembered from the old interview, she declined the offer for the role of Jessica Fletcher at the beginning because she didn't want to tie down to any long project. The producer who had his eyes on her from the beginning was very persuasive though she changed her mind. Even acquired the ownership of the series at the end too.

  9. #54
    Custom Title LRK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Olympia View Post
    My pleasure! It has a lot of charm and some good performances. One unusual wrinkle is that the clothing is not from the Regency era but from closer to 1820 or so, when the natural waistline was back in fashion. I have thought about why that was done, and I inferred that the filmmakers decided it would be more to the liking of movie fans of the time. In addition to Olivier and Greer Garson, the film also featured Edna May Oliver, a splendid American-born character actress, as Lady De Bourgh. She was the go-to Hollywood grande dame, and she also portrayed Miss Pross in the Tale of Two Cities that starred Ronald Colman, as well as Betsy Trotwood in David Copperfield.

    Which reminds me: English actors of another era with great voices and screen presence include Ronald Colman and Leslie Howard.
    1830s actually - wide shoulders, big sleeves (I think they were called "leg-of-mutton"-sleeves) and big hats/bonnets.

    I absolutely adore Leslie Howard. Ronald Colman was a great Sydney Carton indeed - sob!

    Talking of which - they used quotes from "A Tale of Two Cities" at the end of TDKR:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=onpD6rHlYG8

    Which reminds me of course: Christian Bale, Gary Oldman, Michael Caine, Tom Hardy... a couple of great British actors in there as well... Oh, and Batman Begins had Tom Wilkinson - has he been mentioned yet?

    ETA - My favourite Carmine Falcone quote: "Ignorance is bliss, my friend. Don't burden yourself with the secrets of scary people." Good advice, that.

    And there is actually a Tom Wilkinson and Dickens connection - he was amazing as the hypocritical Mr Pecksniff in Martin Chuzzlewit:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BCzf8arGSVs

    He's so oily it positively oozes off the screen... A definite "love to hate" character.

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    Thanks for the costume correction, LRK! I think this variation makes the 1940 movie an interesting contrast to the other versions that we know and love so well.

    Glad you are a fellow Leslie Howard and Ronald Colman fan. Too many people know Howard just as Ashley Wilkes in Gone with the Wind, and he's got so much more to him. I am especially fond of The Scarlet Pimpernel. Because Mom was such a fan of both, I managed to round up biographies of each of these heartthrobs written by their daughters. Colman's daughter was actually about two generations younger, because Colman married so late and became a father in I think his late forties or early fifties. Mom thought I had magical powers when I showed up with the books. This was long before the Internet, and I found them by tireless hunting in secondhand bookstores.

    Yeah, all the Batman actors who are Brits are worth mentioning. I adore Michael Caine, both in the roles he plays and as a charismatic interview subject. He's one of the celebrities I would be happy to meet because he seems so nice. He's a great raconteur and seems to be interested in everything.

  11. #56
    Gotta Have Music iluvtodd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BusyMom View Post
    People thought she is American because she became a household name after "Murder, She Wrote" which was American Drama. She was actually born in London. I remembered from the old interview, she declined the offer for the role of Jessica Fletcher at the beginning because she didn't want to tie down to any long project. The producer who had his eyes on her from the beginning was very persuasive though she changed her mind. Even acquired the ownership of the series at the end too.
    Thanks, for the info!

  12. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by Olympia View Post
    Thanks for the costume correction, LRK! I think this variation makes the 1940 movie an interesting contrast to the other versions that we know and love so well.

    Glad you are a fellow Leslie Howard and Ronald Colman fan. Too many people know Howard just as Ashley Wilkes in Gone with the Wind, and he's got so much more to him. I am especially fond of The Scarlet Pimpernel. Because Mom was such a fan of both, I managed to round up biographies of each of these heartthrobs written by their daughters. Colman's daughter was actually about two generations younger, because Colman married so late and became a father in I think his late forties or early fifties. Mom thought I had magical powers when I showed up with the books. This was long before the Internet, and I found them by tireless hunting in secondhand bookstores.

    Yeah, all the Batman actors who are Brits are worth mentioning. I adore Michael Caine, both in the roles he plays and as a charismatic interview subject. He's one of the celebrities I would be happy to meet because he seems so nice. He's a great raconteur and seems to be interested in everything.
    Love Leslie Howard's Scarlet Pimpernel - hands down my favourite adaptation of the book! I've seen pretty much what I have been able to of his movies: Pygmalion, Pimpernel Smith, The Drunken Forest, Of Human Bondage (I hope I'm remembering the titles correctly)... oh, yes, Romeo and Juliet. Alas, his movies aren't that easy to come by. I think I'm probably fonder of Ashley Wilkes than most people, and I blame that on Leslie Howard! A little bit like if I have a bit of a soft spot for Henry VIII, it's all Keith Michell's fault! He even reprised the role in a '90s BBC adaptation of The Prince and the Pauper... You've seen The Six Wives of Henry VIII I trust? (the series, not the movie). Which brings us to Elizabeth R - Glenda Jackson "is" Elizabeth... Hmmm, seems I'm in a bit of a rambly mood? I try to restrain that tendency of mine here on the forum - but sometimes it cannot be helped!

  13. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by LRK View Post
    Love Leslie Howard's Scarlet Pimpernel - hands down my favourite adaptation of the book! I've seen pretty much what I have been able to of his movies: Pygmalion, Pimpernel Smith, The Drunken Forest, Of Human Bondage (I hope I'm remembering the titles correctly)... oh, yes, Romeo and Juliet. Alas, his movies aren't that easy to come by. I think I'm probably fonder of Ashley Wilkes than most people, and I blame that on Leslie Howard! A little bit like if I have a bit of a soft spot for Henry VIII, it's all Keith Michell's fault! He even reprised the role in a '90s BBC adaptation of The Prince and the Pauper... You've seen The Six Wives of Henry VIII I trust? (the series, not the movie). Which brings us to Elizabeth R - Glenda Jackson "is" Elizabeth... Hmmm, seems I'm in a bit of a rambly mood? I try to restrain that tendency of mine here on the forum - but sometimes it cannot be helped!
    By all means let's ramble! It's such great territory to ramble over. Over here we call it The Petrified Forest, which I think is the name of an actual natural area in the Southwest. That is one fabulous movie, I agree. And I enjoyed all the other Howard movies you mention. Even the Romeo and Juliet is wonderful, though both Norma Shearer and especially Leslie Howard are too old for their roles. If one thinks of it as a theatrical production, then such an issue doesn't matter. In the theater you can have a forty-year-old Juliet and even an African-American Juliet with white Capulet relatives, and why not? The illusion still holds because the theater is a place of magic. The old films are less realistic than current movies to begin with, and one can suspend disbelief in the presence of a production like this. And there is our old friend Edna May Oliver as the Nurse! Not to mention John Barrymore as Mercutio.

    I have indeed seen the old production of The Six Wives of Henry VIII, which is a high point in the BBC's output for me. Each of the wives was masterfully played. Even the briefly married Anne of Cleves was given her due, largely thanks to Elvi Hale's performance. She's generally referred to as the Flanders Mare and is laughed out of town in most other renditions. (Including the film version, renamed Henry VII and His Six Wives, also starring Keith Michell but featuring all different actresses as the wives.) I also loved Thomas Cranmer in this BBC production. In fact, every character was given an expansive development that brought the time to life. I have seen Glenda Jackson in the Elizabeth, but because of the splendid structure of the Henry, with each wife given a separate complete episode, that program holds first place in my estimation. I think the TV version of The Six Wives of Henry VIII is available in the U.S. on DVD, and I recommend it to any history or drama buff! Thanks for bringing it up, LRK.

  14. #59
    Custom Title LRK's Avatar
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    (Smacks forehead) The Petrified Forest! Of course! I had a feeling something was not right, but couldn't put my finger on it...

    I'm so glad you've seen those two BBC productions too! I haven't seen the Henry VIII movie - but, what little I've glimpsed of it, it didn't seem up to par; also, how could it be, being so much shorter? Each wife couldn't possibly be done justice to! Oh, I also loved Anne Stallybrass as Jane Seymour - I somehow now see "my" Jane Seymour as her character... I've of course got a soft spot for her from the Onedin Line... Oh, apparently there is a similar BBC production about Henry VII as well, I've come across it on Amazon, and am considering purchasing it sometime. Though, of course, being the Ricardian I am, I have some doubts...

    I've a confession re The Six Wives - I taped it from BBC Prime when they showed it and then... I erased it. Yes, I'm an idiot. This was when I didn't keep as much stuff as I do now - I thought "Oh, I've seen it now, so who's going to need it again?" I would, that's who. Honestly, I can't fathom how I could have been such a fool - and it's not exactly cheap on DVD! Or wasn't last I checked... Sigh.

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    I saw the Henry VII. It's good, but it's a period that's not as interesting, so it doesn't have that glitter, just all the dangers that people faced living at court. Cruel and difficult times, even for the noble and exalted.

    Jane Asher was the Jane Seymour in the film, and she didn't have nearly enough time to develop her character. In fact, none of the women were tremendously important in the movie. It centered on Henry. Compared to the TV episodes, it didn't have the spaciousness to let the characters develop such depth and dimensions. Well, how could it, in just two hours?

    I don't usually get those large boxed DVD sets because of the cost, but one or two have come my way at a discount. Maybe you'll get lucky!

    Have we mentioned Maggie Smith in here as a supreme British actress? I'm sure we have, but it bears repeating.

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