Thursday 7 July 2016

Olivia De Havilland turns 100 - Noel Bjorndahl gets nostalgic

In spite of the inconveniences of mastering movement on crutches and being holed up for weeks with a plaster cast on my left leg, I'm starting to enjoy the scope it has given me on a daily basis to re-visit a number of favourites from the DVD/Blu-ray collection. 

Yesterday I paid tribute to Olivia de Havilland who has recently turned 100 by watching her in one of my favourite films They Died with their Boots On, directed robustly by a master of action, Raoul Walsh, It had been some years since I saw it on the screen. in fact it was close to 50 years ago. 

The action scenes were as exciting (and beautifully executed) as I had recalled but the core of this superb epic film is in the graceful chemistry that dominates every scene between Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland. It lights up the screen with its tenderness and creates a beautifully balanced antidote to the brutal action scenes that dominate the rout at Little Big Horn. It's a robustly beautiful script which contains the memorable moment where Flynn says his final farewell to de Havilland: ('Walking through life with you, m'aam has been a very gracious thing'). 

It's enough to make a grown man sob.

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