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Thursday, August 27, 2015

Video Beaverhausen: Down in the Snake Pit with Olivia DeHavilland

Olivis De Havilland was nominated and should have won, in my opinion, for her role in the 1948 The Snake Pit. She convincingly portrays a schizophrenic who is institutionalized with all the horrors one could confront at the time. I'm not sure conditions are any better today, and perhaps even worse.

Celeset Holmes co-stars along with Leo Genn, Mark Stevens, Natalie Shafer, Beulah Bondi and Glenn Langan -- before he was reduced to portray The Amazing Colossal Man.

The film begins, set in the asylum, and is told in flashback. The title takes its name from Olivia's moment, looking down from aboveat the other inmates and seeing them as snakes.

This is still a sturdy drama with convincing performances and excellent storyline. I feel DeHavilland is somewhat underrated as an actress. Though a representational actress, she always had a pre-Method approach to her performances. Even in Lady in a Cage, she was able to hold her own against James Caan's Actors Studio technique.

Women in prison, or in any way incarcerated and segregated from the rest of society, are usually fascinating film subjects I believe. This is no exception; in fact, it might be one of the best examples.

Directed by the great Anatole Litvak (Sorry, Wrong Number). Don't miss this classic drama.


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