SHIP OF FOOLS
1965, Sony Repertory, 149 min, USA, Dir: Stanley Kramer

An all-star cast sails aboard this thought-provoking drama, adapted by Abby Mann from Katherine Anne Porter’s 1962 novel. As an ocean liner travels from Veracruz, Mexico, to Bremerhaven, Germany in 1933, few among the diverse group of passengers – which includes Oskar Werner, Simone Signoret, Lee Marvin, George Segal and, in her final role, Vivien Leigh – suspect the dark future ahead of them as the Nazis rise to power. Nominated for eight Oscars, with wins for B&W Cinematography and Art Direction.


STORM IN A TEACUP
1937, Cohen Film, 87 min, UK, Dir: Ian Dalrymple, Victor Saville

This Alexander Korda production has much of the charm the Ealing comedies would display 20 years later. After Scottish provost Cecil Parker condemns an old woman’s pet dog, reporter Rex Harrison (in his first leading role) pens an article that puts in hot water. Furious, the politician sues – but that’s not enough to stop his daughter (Vivien Leigh) from falling for the writer.


ST. MARTIN’S LANE
1938, Cohen Film, 83 min, UK, Dir: Tim Whelan

Street entertainer Charles Staggers (Charles Laughton) has eyes for beautiful pickpocket Libby (Vivien Leigh) and convinces her to work the crowd as a busker instead of a thief. But Charles realizes that the posh Harley Prentiss (Rex Harrison) can do a lot more for Libby than he can. Featuring three outstanding performances, this clever comedy was released in the U.S. as SIDEWALKS OF LONDON – after GONE WITH THE WIND had made Leigh a star.


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