Monday, July 27, 2020

Monday, July 27, 2020 12:30 am by M. in ,    No comments
As many news outlets are reporting, 2020 does not spare even the last Hollywood legend, Olivia de Havilland (1916-2020), who died on Sunday. The star of Gone with the Wind, Captain Blood, The Adventures of Robin Hood, They Died with Their Boots On or The Heiress (among so many more), has also a place in the Brontë story. She played Charlotte Brontë in the (in)famous film
Devotion in 1946.

Technically she was not the first Charlotte on the big screen, the first one was Molly Lamont in the short film Three Sisters of the Moors in 1944. But arguably she was the first Charlotte to be filmed as the film was shot in November 1942-February 1943 and was shelved by the studio in the middle of the famous legal case in which De Havilland sued Warner Brothers and she de facto made the first crack in the fall of the studio system.

Her Charlotte was particularly devious and quite unsympathetic, establishing a character profile that is still going on (Juliet Barker or Samantha Ellis would agree with it). The atmosphere on the set was also not the best one and Ms De Havilland was accused of being a troublemaker by Paul Henreid (quoted by Jeremy Arnold on the TCM website). Probably part of the problem, if not all, was the fact that she was billed the third in the film when she was playing Charlotte, the author of Jane Eyre.... when her much loved sister, Joan Fontaine was going to star in a lavish Jane Eyre adaptation by Fox.

Let's give the last word to Olivia herself on the Devotion set:

via ytCropper


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