British Universities Film & Video Council

moving image and sound, knowledge and access

Laurence Olivier

Alternative title
J’Accuse: Laurence Olivier
Synopsis
Television polemic. Russell Davies questions Laurence Olivier’s position as the pre-eminent Shakespearean actor, arguing that his performances are all show and no substance. This belief is compromised by using clips from films to illustrate his argument. Davies concentrates on OTHELLO (1965), a stage performance which the film version fails to capture.
Series
Without Walls
Language
English
Country
Great Britain
Medium
Television
Technical information
Colour / Sound
Transmission details
3 Mar 1992 (Channel: Channel Four)
Duration
26 mins

Credits

Director
Jeff Morgan
Producer
Jeff Morgan
Contributor
Anthony Holden; Hermione Lee; Michael Bogdanov; Russell Davies; Snoo Wilson

Additional Details

Production type
Documentary/Educational/News
Subjects
Drama
Keywords
acting techniques; cinema; Shakespeare, William (1564-1616); Olivier, Laurence (1907-1989)

Notes

General
J’ACCUSE is a series within the WITHOUT WALLS slot where speakers challenge the status of revered figures in the arts.
Reviews
Luke McKernan notes in Walking Shadows: Shakespeare in the National Film and Television Archive (London: BFI, 1994). p.199 ‘It is sobering that Olivier may ultimately be judged thus, and not favourably, for performances suited to the tenor of their times’.

Production Company

Name

Fulmar Television and Film

Phone
029 204 55000

Archive

Name

BFI National Archive

Web
http://www.bfi.org.uk/archive-collections/searching-access-collections/research-viewing-services External site opens in new window
Phone
020 7255 1444
Fax
020 7436 0165
Address
21 Stephen Street
London
W1T 1LN

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