Friday, April 1, 2016

Laurence Olivier Blinks...a lot

He sure does.

You only have to check out his "now is the winter" etc monologue from Richard III (1955) to know what I'm talking about:

Them's some serious blinking.

I've previously noticed those fluttering eyelashes in The Entertainer (1960), Term of Trial (1962), Bunny Lake is Missing (1965), The Beggar's Opera (1953), and The Devil's Disciple (1959).

And it's one of those quirks that, once you notice it, you can never unsee, and once you do, are always on the lookout for. Herbert Marshall's another actor who shares the same distracting habit.

But Larry O is the only performer I can think of with such a visual tick that reoccurs over multiple films; rhythmically batting his eyes as if a bit of dust flew in, and he had to wait until the camera stopped rolling before he could rub it out. 

Sounds like a reasonable explanation. Or maybe Olivier felt that rapid blinking was a good way to convey visual a character's calculating nature.

Or it's just a inconsequential thingamajig I only noticed because The Devil's Disciple was so diabolically dull, and something had to take my notice.

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