Tuesday, 23 October 2018

On DVD - The Vivien Leigh Anniversary Collection - Four films from 1937 - FIRES OVER ENGLAND, DARK JOURNEY, STORM IN A TEACUP and ST MARTIN'S LANE

A weekend of bliss. The set must have sat around the house for years. Long enough anyway that I bought another copy of one of the films while I was in Italy in June. I suspect that its now out of print but is offered at least by DVD Land 

If you didn't know just what it was about Vivien Leigh that got her early attention this DVD set, issued in Australia by Madman, is just the ticket. Was there ever, except maybe Hedy Lamarr, anyone who was simply so astonishingly beautiful....and could  act. 

In this set of four films, all of them produced by Alexander Korda, she stars opposite Laurence Olivier in Fires Over England,  Conrad Veidt in Dark Journey, Rex Harrison in Storm in a Teacup   and Charles Laughton in St Martin's Lane.

St Martin's Lane
The image quality is very good. Clearly the Cohen group which put this Korda package out first in the US got hold of some material that has some proximity to good 35mm prints.

Storm in a Teacup
Leigh took herself to Hollywood the next year and pursued Selznick for the role of Scarlett O'Hara. According to the bonus material interview with biographer Anne Edwards, Selznick  succumbed after seeing her in St Martin's Lane. Easy to see why.  
Dark Journey

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