Close
Close

Search Results

Advanced Search

1 to 15 of 44 results

Sort by:

Filter by:

Contributors

Article Types

Authors

Subjects

Robert and Randy

Carey Harrison, 27 June 1991

Curtain 
by Michael Korda.
Chapmans, 415 pp., £14.95, May 1991, 1 85592 005 0
Show More
Show More
... In Michael Korda’s Curtain a thinly disguised Laurence Olivier puts at risk his marriage to a thinly disguised Vivien Leigh by having an affair with (stop me if you’ve heard this one) a no less thinly disguised Danny Kaye. Well! Well? As a piece of writing, the novel is aimed with charming accuracy at the station bookstall trade, where it should thrive ...

Olivier Rex

Ronald Bryden, 1 September 1988

Olivier 
by Anthony Holden.
Weidenfeld, 504 pp., £16, May 1988, 0 297 79089 7
Show More
Show More
... Anthony Holden’s is the 16th book about Laurence Olivier, and his foreword tells of two more biographers, John Cottrell and Garry O’Connor, too intent on their own deadlines to discuss their common quarry with him. All this activity may puzzle the lay person. Holden’s final pages report Olivier alive, as well as can be expected at 81, residing tranquilly in the Sussex countryside, still swimming occasional lengths of his pool in the altogether and attending the first nights of the three children who have followed Joan Plowright and himself into the theatre ...

Everybody

Craig Raine, 3 February 1983

Confessions of an Actor 
by Laurence Olivier.
Weidenfeld, 305 pp., £9.95, October 1982, 0 297 78106 5
Show More
Show More
... of an Actor is, unsurprisingly, more an impersonation than a real piece of writing. In it, Laurence Olivier acts writing – an uneasy mixture of the chatty (‘All right, I can hear you, reader dear’) and the belle-lettrist flourish (‘Fortunately for the restoration of my depleted coffers ... ’). What good bits of writing there are (not ...

At the Movies

Michael Wood: ‘Rebecca’, 20 July 2006

Rebecca 
directed by Alfred Hitchcock.
June 2006
Show More
Show More
... and it goes with the tone of the voice, if not with what the voice is saying. Lateish in the film Laurence Olivier, as Maxim de Winter, who has married the narrator, says she no longer has the ‘lost, funny look’ she used to have, which may be true, but she has shed it only temporarily. The voice tells us – and in this it is quite unlike the voice ...

The Tooth-Pullers of the Pont Neuf

Will Self: The Art of Dentistry, 28 June 2017

The Smile Stealers: The Fine and Foul Art of Dentistry 
by Richard Barnett.
Thames and Hudson, 255 pp., £19.95, April 2017, 978 0 500 51911 0
Show More
Show More
... Man as one of ‘the most unsettling moments in 20th-century cinema’. But I don’t need to cast Laurence Olivier as a Nazi torturer in order to wince – only summon up memories of Mrs Uren, the risibly named (to an English child’s puerile ear) French dentist who had to fill every single one of my milk teeth, such was my sugary lust. Etruscan ...

Kiss and Tearle

Robert Morley, 2 June 1983

Godfrey: A Special Time Remembered 
by Jill Bennett.
Hodder, 186 pp., £7.95, May 1983, 0 340 33160 7
Show More
Show More
... child companion. ‘It would be nice,’ he remarked, ‘to stay on a few days.’ He telephoned Laurence Olivier, who had engaged Miss Bennett for a season at the St James. Would it be possible for Jill Bennett to be two days late for rehearsal? he asked, using his most charming manner. The answer was brief. No. Their last holiday together was spent in ...

Fashion Flashes

Zoë Heller, 26 January 1995

Kenneth Tynan: Letters 
edited by Kathleen Tynan.
Weidenfeld, 669 pp., £22, November 1994, 0 297 81076 6
Show More
Show More
... Tynan angry about the Cuban missile crisis; Tynan really upset about unemployment; Tynan lecturing Laurence Olivier on the social responsibility of the Theatre: ‘At a time when – as I Cassandra-like keep saying – audiences even for good theatre are dwindling all over Europe, we are doing nothing to remind them that the theatre is an independent ...

Sour Notes

D.A.N. Jones, 17 November 1983

Peter Hall’s Diaries: The Story of a Dramatic Battle 
edited by John Goodwin.
Hamish Hamilton, 507 pp., £12.95, November 1983, 0 241 11047 5
Show More
Show More
... skills of play directors are not those of performers (like his predecessor at the National, Lord Olivier). Play directors pride themselves on their ability to give what they call Notes. This sort of Note (scarcely recognised by dictionaries) is not the sort manual workers make, in notebooks or on notepaper: it is mouth work. Sometimes it is like the tuning ...

Remembering the taeog

D.A.N. Jones, 30 August 1990

People of the Black Mountains. Vol. II: The Eggs of the Eagle 
by Raymond Williams.
Chatto, 330 pp., £13.99, August 1990, 0 7011 3564 6
Show More
In the Blue Light of African Dreams 
by Paul Watkins.
Heinemann, 282 pp., £13.99, August 1990, 0 09 174307 9
Show More
Friedrich Harris: Shooting the hero 
by Philip Purser.
Quartet, 250 pp., £12.95, May 1990, 0 7043 2759 7
Show More
The Journey Home 
by Dermot Bolger.
Viking, 294 pp., £13.99, June 1990, 0 670 83215 4
Show More
Evenings at Mongini’s 
by Russell Lucas.
Heinemann, 262 pp., £12.95, January 1990, 0 434 43646 1
Show More
Show More
... once a Nazi film-maker, working for Dr Goebbels. He was employed to suborn or assassinate Laurence Olivier, while the actor was making the film Henry V in neutral Eire. It is claimed, on the dust-cover, that Purser met Friedrich Harris in California in 1979. This is, presumably, a blague, but the book is a plausible imitation of published memoirs ...

Meaningless Legs

Frank Kermode: John Gielgud, 21 June 2001

Gielgud: A Theatrical Life 1904-2000 
by Jonathan Croall.
Methuen, 579 pp., £20, November 2000, 0 413 74560 0
Show More
John G.: The Authorised Biography of John Gielgud 
by Sheridan Morley.
Hodder, 510 pp., £20, May 2001, 0 340 36803 9
Show More
John Gielgud: An Actor’s Life 
by Gyles Brandreth.
Sutton, 196 pp., £6.99, April 2001, 0 7509 2752 6
Show More
Show More
... his wild behaviour as a director, and the same difficult relations with the sometimes ungenerous Olivier, the invariably envious Wolfit and the amiable but rather straitlaced Richardson. And of course both books have to deal with the crisis of 1953. Gielgud was arrested for soliciting, and although Morley and his publishers claim to have dealt for the first ...

Et in Alhambra ego

D.A.N. Jones, 5 June 1986

Agate: A Biography 
by James Harding.
Methuen, 238 pp., £12.95, April 1986, 0 413 58090 3
Show More
Subsequent Performances 
by Jonathan Miller.
Faber, 253 pp., £15, April 1986, 0 571 13133 6
Show More
Show More
... in his 1924 first-night review of Saint Joan (not an easy assignment) and in his review of Laurence Olivier as Macbeth in 1936. No italics for ‘Macbeth’. This is a report of ‘Olivier as Macbeth’, not ‘Olivier in Macbeth’. Agate wanted to remind readers of the ...

Laertes has a daughter

Bee Wilson: The Redgraves, 6 June 2013

The Redgraves: A Family Epic 
by Donald Spoto.
Robson, 361 pp., £25, November 2012, 978 1 84954 394 1
Show More
The House of Redgrave: The Lives of a Theatrical Dynasty 
by Tim Adler.
Aurum, 336 pp., £20, July 2012, 978 1 84513 623 9
Show More
Show More
... season in 1963 Michael Redgrave played Claudius to Peter O’Toole’s Hamlet. Apart from Olivier, the theatre’s first director, Redgrave, then aged 55, was its greatest star. Known to the public from his many film roles, and having just been named actor of the year by the Evening Standard for his Uncle Vanya at Chichester, which one critic called ...

Such a Husband

John Bayley, 4 September 1997

Selected Letters of George Meredith 
edited by Mohammad Shaheen.
Macmillan, 312 pp., £47.50, April 1997, 0 333 56349 2
Show More
Show More
... the courage, as he certainly had the skill, he might have created a classic play, and a part which Laurence Olivier or Ralph Richardson could later have made their own. A dramatised version of The Egoist was written by Sutro, but by then time and fashion had moved on. The turn of the century was the moment either for Ibsen’s realism or Maeterlinck’s ...

Ghosts in the Palace

Tom Nairn, 24 April 1997

... cranked out his own version of the Royal thousand-year thing, and everyone remarked how unlike Laurence Olivier he sounded. This was actually rather unfair. It is the whole echo-chamber of Anglo-Brit imagined community which has fallen away; today, I doubt whether even the greatest of hams could successfully replace it. Fintan O’Toole posed the ...

Diary

Robert Walshe: Bumping into Beckett, 7 November 1985

... his lady, I like to believe, were the Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton of the day, if not the Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh, with knobs on. Centuries pass. La maison is up for rent. Appears out of nowhere, circa 1909, exactly as in the central London of our own day, an American Amazon, chequebook in hand. Lady named Natalie Clifford Barney by no ...

Read anywhere with the London Review of Books app, available now from the App Store for Apple devices, Google Play for Android devices and Amazon for your Kindle Fire.

Read More

Sign up to our newsletter

For highlights from the latest issue, our archive and the blog, as well as news, events and exclusive promotions.

Newsletter Preferences