Laurence Olivier : One of the greatest actors

One of the greatest actors

One of the reasons I think Laurence Olivier was a better actor than his Shakespearean contemporaries [Gielgud, Richardson, Redgrave and Guinness] was because he always seemed to add just a little more flamboyance to his characters. This made him a fascinating man to watch and observe.

Re: One of the greatest actors

That flamboyance was the thing that put me off him a bit. I guess I prefer understated acting.

Re: One of the greatest actors

It's really interesting how the one quality we can admire in some performers can put us off from other performers. I think Olivier's flamboyance sets him apart greatly from Gielgud, who seems to be bored by the whole thing [with exceptions]. I think the flamboyance of Olivier, Paul Muni, Charles Laughton, Bela Lugosi works for them, but I think it's cringey when I see Bette Davis, Mickey Rooney, Rod Steiger etc do it.

Just as the low key style works for Gregory Peck, Rock Hudson, James Stewart, Gary Cooper and Henry Fonda but doesn't work for Charlton Heston, John Gavin, John Gielgud or Dirk Bogarde.

Re: One of the greatest actors

Baby he was born that way

Re: One of the greatest actors

With Olivier you could tell he was acting. He put a lot of work into changing his appearance and his voice, but somehow he made it work. There's just something likable about his performances even though you can see "the wheels turning." He is a joy to watch and truly was one of the greatest actors of all time.

Re: One of the greatest actors

There's something rather unique and different about Olivier that his Shakespearian contemporaries didn't have. It was a larger than life presence and a "give them a show" attitude that made him stand out. Was he subtle like the others [Gielgud, Richardson and Redgrave]? Not often, but, as I said, he stood out among them as a giant. He was also unique in that he was a part of Hollywood's Golden Age whereas the others only had minor careers in the movie capital. Olivier was also a director and took chances where the others played it safe. Of all his contemporaries, Olivier only had one person who was anything like him and that was Orson Welles.

Re: One of the greatest actors

Baby he was born that way.
-

Ha ha. Actually, Olivier became great through hard work.

Re: One of the greatest actors

I wonder what he really thought of Marilyn Monroe when they made that film together.

Re: One of the greatest actors

Olivier always respected Monroe's charisma and was sympathetic with the problems that Hollywood had created for her, but he was annoyed with her unprofessionalism [let's be honest] and did not enjoy the experience.

I wish Olivier had directed more Hollywood stars and also wish he had directed at least one American movie.

Re: One of the greatest actors

"One of the greatest actors"

———————————


Agreed!

Most Definitely!

Re: One of the greatest actors

Olivier's versatility was matched mostly among his American peers like Fredric March or Orson Welles.

Re: One of the greatest actors

Olivier gave his performances something extra. Yes, he wasn't subtle, and you can see "the wheels turning", but he was still a charismatic presence. His obvious technique just seems to add to his charm.

Re: One of the greatest actors

One of the reasons I think Laurence Olivier was a better actor than his Shakespearean contemporaries [Gielgud, Richardson, Redgrave and Guinness] was because he always seemed to add just a little more flamboyance to his characters. This made him a fascinating man to watch and observe.
-

Olivier was known to take chances whilst other actors like Guinness played it safe.
Top