CAROLE LOMBARD - My Favorite Actress

Saturday, July 30, 2011

The Essential Olivia de Havilland Films that you must watch...

As Olivia has been my classic movie goddess of the month, now is the time for me to list her essential films. The films that you must view that show Olivia at her very best. In no particular order we begin with:
Olivia de Havilland in To Each His Own 

TO EACH HIS OWN (1946) Olivia won her first Oscar as Best Actress in this drama about an unwed mother, forced to give up her child to avoid scandal, who follows her son's life from afar even as she prospers in business.
Olivia de Havilland and Errol Flynn  

CAPTAIN BLOOD (193) Olivia's first pairing with Errol Flynn for this swashbuckling adventure. The pair would go on to make 7 more films together and pretty much all of them are cinema classics.
Olivia de Havilland and Errol Flynn 

THE ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD (1938) The quintessential Robin Hood movie with Flynn as the dashing archer and Olivia as the lovely Maid Marian. Doesn't get any better than this.
Vivien Leigh and Olivia De Havilland 

GONE WITH THE WIND (1939) You knew this Civil War epic was going to be here. Grand film making at it's best and Olivia gives one of her best performances as the valiant and quiet Melanie. Vivien Leigh's performance as Scarlett O'Hara may have gotten all the attention and awards but Olivia is equally as good.
File:Dark mirror.jpg 

THE DARK MIRROR (1946) A twisty whodunit film with another great performance by Olivia or should I say two great film performances?
Olivia de Havilland in The Heiress 

THE HEIRESS (1949) Olivia won her second Oscar as a young naive woman falls who for a handsome young man who her emotionally abusive father suspects is a fortune hunter. Olivia went to great lengths to look plain and simple as Catherine Sloper and her acting was excellent as usual.

IN THIS OUR LIFE (1942) Top notch women's flick with Olivia sharing the screen with grand diva Bette Davis. They play sisters who have conflicting love lives. That putting it nicely as Bette is just a vixen who just wrecks everything in sight, even stealing her sister's husband. Bette is all volcano fury in this one while Olivia is the quieter sister. It's one hell of a movie.
Olivia de Havilland and Errol Flynn 

THEY DIED WITH THEIR BOOTS ON (1941) This is a notable film because it marks the last time Olivia and Errol would be in the same film together.  And after 8 films together, their place in history as one of the screen's best pairs was assured.
Paulette Goddard, Charles Boyer and Olivia De Havilland 

HOLD BACK THE DAWN (1941) Classic melodrama with a powerhouse cast of Olivia, Charles Boyer, and Paulette Goddard.  Olivia plays a naive teacher in Mexico who is romanced by a Romanian gigolo (Boyer) so he legally enter the United States. Complications abound though and this makes for one classic film.
Olivia de Havilland in The Snake Pit 

THE SNAKE PIT (1948) One of my personal favorite Olivia films as she plays a woman named Virginia who finds herself in a state asylum hospital but can't remember how she got there. Olivia gives a knockout performance here in this gritty and stark drama.
Bette Davis and Olivia de Havilland 

HUSH HUSH... SWEET CHARLOTTE (1964) And finally the long awaiting reunion of Olivia and Bette for this gothic thriller that follows up Bette's pairing with Joan Crawford in Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? a few years before.  And it's cool seeing Olivia playing the wicked woman for a change.

So there you have it...eleven essential films of Olivia that you must see if you already haven't. Well in my humble opinion. But these are just the tip of the iceberg, as Olivia's film CV is just loaded with great films and amazing performances.


Patti said...

I have seen 6 of those films, and of the ones I haven't, you can bet I'm going to look for Hold Back the Dawn and The Dark Mirror.

I am SO with you on The Snake Pit. I think that had to be the performance of Olivia's career. She was fabulous in The Heiress, Gone with the Wind, and To Each His Own, but The Snake Pit, in my opinion, topped them all. Totally brilliant.

Laura said...

I got to see HOLD BACK THE DAWN and THE DARK MIRROR within the past year and was so impressed with both. I had to use YouTube to watch HOLD BACK THE DAWN and it was worth the inconvenience of watching it on my computer in multiple chapters! What a beautiful performance. And her work as twins in DARK MIRROR is really outstanding.

A great list!

Best wishes,

MovieFreak said...

I just watched Hold Back the Dawn on youtube the other day and Olivia was fabulous. The Dark Mirror is incredible she was amazing as the twin sisters with totally different personalities. I adore Olivia as Melanie I actually prefer Melanie over Scarlett. I haven't watched To Each His Own, Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte, In This Our Life, or The Snake Pit but I cannot wait to. Great picks as your favorite Olivia de Havilland movies :)

Renata said...

Even though she's not one of my favorites I do like Hold Back the Dawn but being a Mexican myself, I found some scenes really offensive and totally fake but what to do is that's the way Hollywood insists to portray Mexico in their films!
The story is good and I love Charles Boyer. =)

Anonymous said...

I. LOVE. OLIVIA. Every time anyone posts about her I feel compelled to share my experience with her, so everyone knows how incredible she is as a person as well as an actress. She is the most gracious, loving, open celebrity I have ever met. She literally talked to me and my friends for 15 whole minutes, and signed my book "For Lara, with all good wishes from the author of Every Frenchman Has One, Olivia de Havilland." She really takes the time to make you feel special. I can't express how much I adore her. Thanks for this post!


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