She was born in Tokyo, but three years later she and her sister Joan Fontaine moved with their mother to Saratoga, California. Max Reinhardt was so impressed after seeing her in a college production of A Midsummer Night's Dream that he chose her for his stage and his film versions in 1935. Warners immediately signed her.
When she and Errol Flynn were cast together in Captain Blood, one of Hollywood's great romantic pairings was established. They made eight pictures together (seven of them in our calendar).
In 1939, Olivia was Melanie Hamilton in Gone With the Wind for David Selznick. It is impossible to imagine this great picture without her intelligence, warmth, and humanity.
In the 1940's, she won Academy Awards for To Each His Own and The Heiress, and was nominated for The Snake Pit.
The Library of Congress has made three new prints especially for our program, and the UCLA Film Archive preserved two of the titles in our calendar.
The Stanford Theatre is dedicated to bringing back the movie-going experience of Hollywood's Golden Age. It is one of the few places where you can still watch movies on a big screen projected the way they were intended — in 35mm prints. Great classic films were not made to be watched on a video screen in your living room. They depend on a larger-than-life image, and the shared reactions of a real audience.
The Stanford Theatre first opened in June of 1925. For decades nearly every important Hollywood picture played there on its first release. The people of Palo Alto saw them all for the very first time in this theatre.
In 1987 the Packard Foundation bought the theatre and restored it to its original condition. It quickly became America's most popular classic movie house. More people saw Casablanca there on its 50th anniverary in 1992 than at any other theatre in America.
The non-profit Stanford Theatre Foundation is dedicated to the preservation and public exhibition of films from the Golden Age of Hollywood. This means classic movies in a classic movie palace, complete with Wurlitzer organ rising from the orchestra pit every night before and after the 7:30 show, or providing the accompaniment to “silent” films.
Note: This is an unofficial posting of the Stanford Theatre schedules, from published information. This site is in no way connected with the Stanford Theatre nor the Stanford Theatre Foundation. Please check out the official site at http://www.stanfordtheatre.org in case this schedule isn't quite up-to-date! Programs are subject to change. For information, call (650) 324-3700.
(Showtimes in parentheses are for the Saturday and Sunday screenings.)
Errol Flynn, Basil Rathbone, Claude Rains, Olivia de Havilland, Alan Hale, Patric Knowles, Eugene Pallette, Ian Hunter, Melville Cooper, Una O'Connor, Herbert Mundin, Montagu Love, Howard Hill.
This is (as everyone knows) one of the truly great adventure films of all time. From time to time they try to improve on the original, but there is still no substitute for the genuine article. The dashing Errol Flynn in his greatest role as Robin Hood, speaking treason "fluently", with Olivia de Havilland as the lovely Maid Marian is one of the most indelible images from old Hollywood.
Erich Wolfgang Korngold's score (Academy Award) is a major reason for the film's unending popularity.
"Life and the movies have their compensations, and such a film as this is payment in full for many dull hours of picture-going." The New York Times
first played at the Stanford Theatre May 22, 1938; last played Apr 2012
James Cagney, Olivia de Havilland, Rita Hayworth, Alan Hale, George Tobias, Jack Carson, Una O'Connor.
In this musical set in New York during the Gay Nineties, a dentist (Cagney) marries his sweetheart (Olivia de Havilland), but is almost ruined by his infatuation with the self-centered Strawberry Blonde (Rita Hayworth), who captured his heart in his youth.
first played at the Stanford Theatre March 20, 1941; last played Nov. 1995
Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland, Lionel Atwill, Basil Rathbone, Ross Alexander, Guy Kibbee, Henry Stephenson, Robert Barratt, Hobart Cavanaugh, Donald Meek, Jessie Ralph, Forrester Harvey, Frank McGlynn, Sr., Holmes Herbert, David Torrence, J. Carroll Nash, Pedro de Cordoba, George Hassell, Harry Cording, Leonard Mudie, Ivan Simpson, E.E. Clive.
In 1685 the British arrest a young Irish doctor and send him to Jamaica in chains, leading to a remarkable series of bold adventures. This film made Errol Flynn into an international star.
This was Korngold's first original film score (he was already an established composer). A rousing Korngold score became an almost indispensable part of every Errol Flynn swashbuckler (they made seven altogether).
first played at the Stanford Theatre January 16, 1936; last played June 2001
Leslie Howard, Bette Davis, Olivia De Havilland, Eric Blore, Patric Knowles, George Barbier, Spring Byington, Bonita Granville, Georgia Caine, Veda Ann Borg, E.E. Clive, Valerie Bergere, Sarah Edwards, Thomas Pogue, Grace Fields.
This screwball comedy was the third film Bette Davis made with Leslie Howard. They play a high-strung theatrical couple who fight (even on stage) but intend to marry, until a star-struck member of the audience (Olivia De Havilland) shows too much interest in Howard.
Eric Blore fans (as which of us is not!) should not miss this movie.
35mm print made especially for our 2008 festival from the original camera negative at the Library of Congress.
first played at the Stanford Theatre May 31, 2008; last played Mar 2011
Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland, Patric Knowles, Henry Stephenson, Donald Crisp, David Niven, Nigel Bruce, C. Henry Gordon, Spring Byington, E.E. Clive, Robert Barrat, J. Carrol Naish.
Inspired by Tennyson's famous poem about the suicidal charge of the British at Balaclava in the Crimea. The cavalry charge itself is an impressive example of Hollywood action.
"Someone had blunder'd:
Theirs not to make reply.
Theirs but to do and die:
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred."
first played at the Stanford Theatre November 29, 1936; last played Aug 1990
Olivia de Havilland, Richard Burton, Audrey Dalton, Ronald Squire, George Dolenz, John Sutton, Tudor Owen.
A wealthy Englishman dies mysteriously in Italy. His fortune is bequeathed to his younger cousin, who falls in love with his fascinating widow Rachel.
first played at the Stanford Theatre Jan 25, 1953; first showing by the Stanford Theatre Foundation
Olivia de Havilland, Ralph Richardson, Montgomery Clift, Miriam Hopkns, Vanessa Brown, Mona Freeman, Ray Collins.
The shy daughter of a wealthy New York doctor is courted by a young man, whom her father suspects of fortune hunting.
Olivia de Havilland won her second Oscar for her performance. Aaron Copland's score also won the Oscar (he had been nominated three times previously). The music played under the opening titles is not by Copland.
first played at the Stanford Theatre Jan. 14, 1950; last played June 1995
Olivia de Havilland, Mark Stevens, Leo Genn, Celeste Holm, Glenn Langan, Helen Craig, Leif Erickson, Beulah Bondi, Lee Patrick, Natalie Schaefer, Ruth Donnelly.
A young woman struggles to regain her sanity after she is institutionalized. Olivia de Havilland received critical praise as the bewildered, troubled mental patient.
first played at the Stanford Theatre Feb 4, 1949; first showing by the Stanford Theatre Foundation
Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland, Arthur Kennedy, Charles Grapewin, Anthony Quinn, Sidney Greenstreet, Gene Lockhart, Stanley Ridges, John Litel, Walter Hampden, Regis Toomey, Hattie McDaniel.
The story of George Armstrong Custer, played by Errol Flynn, is given the classic Hollywood treatment. Olivia de Havilland plays his loving wife.
first played at the Stanford Theatre Feb 22, 1942; first showing by the Stanford Theatre Foundation
Olivia de Havilland, Lew Ayres, Thomas Mitchell, Richard Long, Charles Evans, Gary Owen, Lela Bliss, Lester Allen.
A woman is suspected of murder, but did she do it, or is the killer her identical twin sister?
Olivia de Havilland plays both sisters brilliantly in this fascinating film noir, restored by the UCLA Film Archive.
first played at the Stanford Theatre Mar 28, 2003; last played Jan 2013
Bette Davis, Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland, Donald Crisp, Alan Hale, Vincent Price, Henry Stephenson, Henry Daniell.
The aging Queen Elizabeth is infatuated with the handsome young Lord Essex. He uses her feelings to his advantage, but he loses his head over her in the end.
The same year as her triumph as Melanie in Gone With the Wind, Warners relegated Olivia de Havilland to this third-billed role as Errol Flynn's love interest.
first played at the Stanford Theatre Nov 26, 1939; last played Aug 2008
Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland, Raymond Massey, Ronald Reagan, Alan Hale, William Lundigan, Van Heflin, Gene Reynolds, Henry O'Neill, Guinn "Big Boy" Williams, Alan Baxter, John Litel, Moroni Olsen, David Bruce, Hobart Cavavaugh, Charles D. Brown.
West Point graduates Jeb Stewart (Errol Flynn) and George Custer (Ronald Reagan) pursue fiery abolitionist John Brown (Raymond Massey), who is portrayed unsympathetically from the southern point of view. They also compete for the attentions of Olivia de Havilland.
"A travesty of history but nonetheless a rousing adventure yarn... with colorful characterizations." Baseline Movie Guide
New print from the Library of Congress.
first played at the Stanford Theatre Jan 18, 1941; first showing by the Stanford Theatre Foundation
Charles Boyer, Olivia de Havilland, Paulette Goddard, Victor Francen, Walter Abel, Curt Bois, Rosemary de Camp, Nestor Paiva, Mitchell Leisen.
A handsome Rumanian dancer and refugee (Charles Boyer) stranded in Mexico cynically marries an American schoolteacher (Olivia de Havilland) in order to obtain an entry visa, never counting on falling in love, but he is ennobled by a near tragedy.
first played at the Stanford Theatre Dec. 7, 1941; last played Mar. 1994
Errol Flynn, Rosalind Russell, Olivia de Havilland, Patric Knowles, Walter Connolly, Hugh Herbert, Melville Cooper, Franklin Pangborn, Herman Bing, Margaret Hamilton, Carole Landis.
Entertaining newspaper-room screwball comedy proving that Olivia de Havilland and Errol Flynn could do more than adventure movies. Rosalind Russell gives a hint of what's to come with His Girl Friday.
New print from the Library of Congress.
first played at the Stanford Theatre Oct 14, 1938; first showing by the Stanford Theatre Foundation
Olivia de Havilland, John Lund, Mary Anderson, Roland Culver, Phillip Terry, Bill Goodwin, Virginia Welles, Victoria Horne, Griff Barnett, Alma Macrorie, Bill Ward.
An unwed mother gives up her child for adoption by the wife of a past suitor. She tries to remain a part of the boy's life, without letting him know who she really is.
This was Olivia de Havilland's return to the screen after a three-year absence, following her landmark lawsuit with Warners. Her choice of this film as a comeback vehicle allowed her to show her great dramatic depth. She won the Oscar for Best Actress.
"What might have been a trite soap opera is elevated to the status of superior emotional drama by a wise script, sensitive direction, and an Oscar-winning performance by de Havilland." Baseline Movie Guide
first played at the Stanford Theatre Nov 10, 1946; last played Nov. 1995
Brian Aherne, Edwrad Everett Horton, Olivia de Havilland, Lionel Atwill, Melville Cooper, Luis Alberni, Étienne Girardot, Marie Wilson, Lana Turner, Albert Dekker, Fritz Leiber, Linda Perry, Dorothy Tree, E.E. Clive, Harry Davenport, Chester Clute.
The famous 18th-century British actor is invited to France by the Comédie Française, who plot a prank at a country inn to show they are the better actors. Olivia de Havilland is a real countess who arrives unexpectedly at the inn and disturbs the plans.
New print from the Library of Congress.
first played at the Stanford Theatre Mar 16, 1938; first showing by the Stanford Theatre Foundation
Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh, Olivia de Havilland, Leslie Howard, Thomas Mitchell, Barbara O'Neil, Hattie McDaniel, Butterfly McQueen, Victor Jory, Evelyn Keyes, Ann Rutherford, Laura Hope Crews, Harry Davenport, Jane Darwell, Ona Munson, Ward Bond.
July 1 is Olivia de Havilland's 100th birthday.
Everyone knows the famous names and the drama that "made" Gone With the Wind. Let's therefore mention a couple who get less attention: production designer William Cameron Menzies, who conceived the look of the movie and story-boarded most of it; and Jack Cosgrove, who painted matte backgrounds on glass for effects scenes. Their art is all through the picture and testifies to Selznick's command of detail and painstaking craft — old-fashioned movie-making, to say nothing of magic. There's one other name: Technicolor, a system that came of age with Gone With the Wind. Many in Hollywood doubted color (notably Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer). But after Gone With the Wind, and the enforced economizing of war, color became irresistable. Later on, Technicolor was abandoned for other systems supposedly truer to life. Today we regret the lost, painterly passion of Technicolor and its durability, for the new color systems fade, while Technicolor still burns.
Olivia de Havilland was determined to play the role of Melanie, even though the film was being made at a different studio. She auditioned in secret and was offered the role. The great difficulty came in convincing Jack Warner to make a deal to lend her to Selznick for the filming. According to Olivia, she invited Mrs. Warner to tea, explained her predicament, and Mrs. Warner agreed to help her.
A great film epic deserves to be seen in a theatre of epic proportions.
first played at the Stanford Theatre May 3, 1940; last played Nov 2014