Keith Lodwick of London’s Victoria and Albert Museum writes that the Museum’s touring Vivien Leigh exhibit will open in York September 19 and will continue through December 20.  He also writes that it is possible the materials might reach the United States.  The exhibit is primarily comprised of letters and diaries butt includes photographs as well as annotated film and play scripts.

When interviewed by Scott Simon on National Public Radio here when the exhibit first opened in London, Mr Lodwick  said he thought it “extraordinary that really a classic English rose would play these two very famous roles…”  (Scarlett and Blanche, of course)  “And I think… her accents are very convincing in both those films.”

Pointing out her early death at 53, Lodwick continues:  “…she certainly packed quite a lot in.  I mean, she never stopped working, even after bouts of illness.  She always was able to come back to work on stage and screen.”

Lodwick says further:  “what’s been interesting for me is reading her correspondence with the film director Elia Kazan, who directed the film version of ‘Streetcar.’  And she’d written a very, very long letter to him, really analyzing each scene and putting her thoughts down on paper.  It begins with:  I am 5 foot, 3 and a half tall in my bare feet without shoes on…And there’s  something that struck me later on where they obviously had a telephone conversation and she says in the letter:  You do know that when I said over the phone I’m worried about the way I’ll look, I didn’t mean good.  I meant right.  Really meaning that she was very keen to deglamorize herself if the part called for it.”

Lodwick goes on to discuss Vivien Leigh’s appearance in London on stage as Blanche before coming to America for the film.  “Now, remember,” he says, “that ‘Gone With The Wind’ had been showing throughout the war in London  —  was very, very successful  —  and so audiences were thinking they were going to see the stunning Scarlett O’Hara.  And, of course, they were seeing a rather faded Southern belle in Blanche.  But she really was prepared to look exactly as the character was written, and that was a very brave thing to do because, of course, she was one of the most beautiful women of the twentieth century.”

Rick’s Flicks is grateful to Mr. Keith Lodwick for allowing quotation of his remarks when interviewed by Scott Simon of National Public Radio.

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At the Cleveland Cinematheque John Ewing is showing Tsai Ming-liang’s 1992 Rebels of the Neon God with Kang-sheng Lee on Septmeber 25 at 7:15 and on September 27 at 8:40.  COMING SOON to Rick’s Flicks:  a post on actor KANG-SHENG LEE.

NEXT POST Friday September 25

Until then,
See you at the movies,



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