Has success spoiled Scarlett O’Hara?

Screen Guide, 1941
* Sent to vivandlarry.com by Laura M.

Strictly on the spot from the moment cameras rolled on her last scene as Scarlett O’Hara in “GWTW,” Vivien Leigh has faced situations such as no other star must. You can see how this is so in “Lady Hamilton,” her new picture with Laurence Olivier, her husband.

Jealousy over the fact that a foreigner won Hollywood’s prize role of 1939 has not faded. Indeed, it has become a two-headed monster menacing her: First, the ghost of Scarlett shadows her so that people can’t resist comparing her every role with one even she may never equal or surpass; second, producers, given such a good thing, are tempted to “type” her in Scarlett- like parts – as Lon Chaney Jr. was typed after playing Lenny in “Of Mice and Men.”

Being a wise lady, Vivien won’t discuss this subject. But she would hardly be human if she failed to sense Hollywood’s jealous delight when she and Olivier were less than triumphant on the stage in “Romeo and Juliet”. And there is no doubt that more than one critic will see “Lady Hamilton” with an axe in his hand instead of a pencil.

On these pages are two movie scenes. Only those familiar with the pictures will be able to recognize that the one on the left is from “GWTW”, and the one at right from “Lady Hamilton”. Take our word for it, the producer didn’t attempt a parallel; yet won’t audiences draw comparisons?

So- here is a star who is twice the actress any other star is. With that, can she overcome the shadow of Scarlett? Her work in “Lady Hamilton” should prove she can.


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