Starring Laurence Olivier

Starring Laurence Olivier

9 Episodes

Heralded by many as the greatest actor of his generation, Laurence Olivier wed the gravitas of a classically trained thespian with the dashing charisma of a modern movie star. After conquering the London stage in the 1930s, he went on to cement his reputation as the leading Shakespeare interpreter of the era by directing and starring in some of the finest adaptations of the Bard ever committed to film, including the lavish Technicolor spectacle HENRY V and the Academy Award–winning HAMLET, to which he brought fresh psychological insight and a dynamic expressionist style. Continuing to work tirelessly throughout his later career, he was lacerating as a washed-up music hall performer in Tony Richardson’s THE ENTERTAINER.

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Starring Laurence Olivier
  • The Divorce of Lady X

    Episode 1

    Directed by Tim Whelan • 1938 • United Kingdom

    Droll comedy of manners and morals that was based on a play and made as a film once before in 1932 as COUNSEL'S OPINION, directed by Allan Dwan. The four screenwriters' literate script of Biro's adaptation of the stage work takes Oberon to a London ...

  • Q Planes

    Episode 2

    Directed by Tim Whelan and Arthur B. Woods • 1939 • United Kingdom

    A test pilot (Laurence Olivier) and a secret service operative (Ralph Richardson) must uncover the secret behind disappearing military aircraft and their crews.

  • That Hamilton Woman

    Episode 3

    Directed by Alexander Korda • 1941 • United Kingdom
    Starring Vivien Leigh, Laurence Olivier

    One of cinema’s most dashing duos, real-life spouses Vivien Leigh and Laurence Olivier live their greatest on-screen romance in this visually dazzling tragic love story from legendary producer-director Al...

  • 49th Parallel

    Episode 4

    Directed by Michael Powell • 1941 • United Kingdom
    Starring Laurence Olivier, Raymond Massey, Anton Walbrook

    At once a compelling piece of anti-isolationist propaganda and a quick-witted wartime thriller, 49TH PARALLEL is a classic early work from the inimitable British filmmaking team of Michae...

  • Henry V
    2:17:03
    Episode 5

    Henry V

    Episode 5

    Directed by Laurence Olivier • 1944 • United Kingdom
    Starring Laurence Olivier, Leslie Banks, Robert Newton

    Olivier mustered out of the navy to film this adaptation of Shakespeare’s history. Embroiled in World War II, Britons took courage from this tale of a king who surmounts overwhelming odds ...

  • Hamlet
    2:33:57
    Episode 6

    Hamlet

    Episode 6

    Directed by Laurence Olivier • 1948 • United Kingdom
    Starring Laurence Olivier, Leslie Banks, Basil Sydney

    Winner of four Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Actor, Sir Laurence Olivier’s HAMLET continues to be the most compelling version of Shakespeare’s beloved tragedy. Olivier is ...

  • Richard III

    Episode 7

    Directed by Laurence Olivier • 1955 • United Kingdom
    Starring Laurence Olivier, Ralph Richardson, Claire Bloom

    In RICHARD III, director, producer, and star Laurence Olivier brings Shakespeare’s masterpiece of Machiavellian villainy to ravishing cinematic life. Olivier is diabolically captivat...

  • The Entertainer

    Episode 8

    Directed by Tony Richardson • 1960 • United Kingdom
    Starring Laurence Olivier, Brenda de Banzie, Roger Livesey

    “Life is a beastly mess,” states the great Laurence Olivier in this superb drama of the seedy music-hall life. He plays Archie Rice, a third-rate vaudevillian whose song-and-dance ro...

  • Laurence Olivier and Dick Cavett in Conversation

    Episode 9

    In this 1973 episode of “The Dick Cavett Show,” actor Laurence Olivier reflects on his decades-long stage and screen career.