Sunday 22 April 2018

Olivier's best screen performances

Paul Whitington

Richard III (1955)

Olivier's Richard III is considered by some critics to be the greatest screen adaptation of Shakespeare's work ever. He wrote, produced, directed and starred in the project, and is mesmerising as Richard, King Edward IV's crippled, scheming brother who dreams of stealing the crown for himself.

Spartacus (1960)

In one of his biggest box-office hits, Laurence Olivier was cast opposite Kirk Douglas as Crassus, a remorseless, corrupt and sadistic Roman general. Obsessed by Spartacus and the blind loyalty he inspires in his slave army, Crassus becomes determined to bring him down, whatever the cost.

Marathon Man (1976)

Visits to the dentist were never the same after Olivier played Nazi war criminal Dr Christian Szell in John Schlesinger's cult thriller (pictured left). In the film's most famous scene, Szell becomes convinced that Dustin Hoffman's character is hiding vital information and performs un-anaesthetised dental procedures on him to find out what he knows.

Irish Independent

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