This is a big theme for this week and my head couldn’t figure out which way to go. This can be an endless theme and one can pick any era and pick any decade films have been made or even go by one film star. I decided to choose the latter and went with a film star whom I greatly admire not only for his acting ability but because he had to hide the fact that he was gay since he could have been jailed or even killed back in the day never mind ruining his career. It will be interesting what everyone will choose this week. Check out Wandering Through The Shelves to find out what everyone has picked. Here are my 3...
1. THE PRIVATE LIFE OF HENRY VIII-1933
Charles Laughton plays the title role of this nasty, narcissistic, hedonistic king who goes through many wives all while wishing for a male heir. Laughton brings this King to life and you despise him but you end up feeling bad for him mainly due to Laughton’s superb acting. It starts off with Ann Boleyn, in a brief but memorable role played by Merle Oberon, and it continues through all his marriages. The highlight is his brief marriage with Anne of Cleves played by his real life wife Elsa Lanchester. They were comedic gold in their scenes together which brought levity to this drama. On an off note, by this time, they were soul mates but not bed mates since she caught him on the couch with one of his male friends. She told him she loved him but to get rid of the couch. They remained together, strong in each other’s support of one another until Laughton’s death. The above scene became so famous that Laughton was often given chicken, sans utensils, when he went out for dinner:)
2. LES MISERABLES-1935
I have seen the musical and I do like it and am not so negative about Russell Crowe’s singing as many are( any hear Ryan Gosling sing...yikes!) but the film that is better is this version even though there are some big changes to the book. For example, they couldn’t show Fantine as a whore at this time due to the censorship laws, but it does not diminish the strength of this film. Frederic March plays Jean Valjean as the doomed man who goes to jail after stealing a loaf of bread for his daughter. After he is exonerated, Javert, played by Charles Laughton is hard on his tracks and will not give in to the fact that Valjean is a good man no matter what. This relentless cop will do anything to bring Valjean back to prison. This film is well acted and is a must see for the acting chops of March but, especially, Charles Laughton.
Charles Laughton plays the famous artist with such compassion and eloquence that his performance moved me to tears. It starts off with Rembrandt at the height of his fame and richness. He was happily married and was admired until his beloved Saskia dies. He becomes depressed, ends up with a bitch who mistreats him before he begins changing the way he views the world and his painting. He loses everything but gains the hand of his second "wife" whom he adores (played by Elsa Lanchester). Another brilliant performance by this actor who can convey so much just from a glance. If you have never seen any of his films, I highly recommend seeing some
Which period drama would you choose?