Dr. Zhivago’s ”ice-palace” (1965, dir. David Lean) (via)
Valerie Hobson & Jean Simmons in Great Expectations (1946, dir. David Lean) (via bafta.org)
‘Let me see you play cards with this boy.’
‘With this boy! Why, he is a common labouring-boy!’
I thought I overheard Miss Havisham answer - only it seemed so unlikely - `Well? You can break his heart.’
-Charles Dickens, Great Expectations
Celia Johnson in Brief Encounter (1945, dir. David Lean)
“I’ve fallen in love. I’m an ordinary woman. I didn’t think such violent things could happen to ordinary people.”
Loew’s Commodore Theater, circa 1942, photo by Arthur “Weegee” Fellig
“I would look at that light as a pious boy might react to a shaft of sunlight in a cathedral. I still find it a slightly mystical experience. Something to do with forbidden and secret things.”
-David Lean, remembering sitting beneath the projector’s beam in the movie theater as a child
Geraldine Chaplin on the set of Doctor Zhivago (1965, dir. David Lean) (via)
Geraldine Chaplin: I shall get married, certainly. Everyone in the Chaplin household gets married. But I don’t know when, I don’t know to whom. You see…for anyone like me who has witnessed a love as great and incredible as the love that has bound, binds, my father (Charlie Chaplin) and mother (Oona O’Neill)…well, you feel crushed by the fear of never finding one like it. You search for it, a love as great as the love of your father and mother, and you know very well you’ll never find it, because miracles like that only happen once in a hundred, two hundred, years. And so you feel jealous, unhappy.
You think: I’ll never have what my father and mother have had, such a miracle, such luck. My father’s had such luck in his life! He’s also had griefs, troubles, humiliations, but in the end everything turned out all right for him, everything! And he’s had fame, respect, riches, love, everything! Even love! Everything! And a child, once he’s grown up, compares himself with him…and thinks things will never turn out as well for him, he’ll never be as good…as lucky…he’ll never have so much love…
Q: I’m going to ask, and I beg you to answer me sincerely because, I believe, it’s a very important question. A question that, obviously, concerns your father. This, Geraldine: are you afraid of him?
Chaplin: Certainly I’m afraid of my father… Certainly. Very, very afraid. And not only because he’s so unbending, so difficult, so strict. Not only because he always turns out to be right in the end, whatever he says or does. But because… because… how can I put it… I feel this constant reproof, this constant comparison, because I feel I’m in his shadow all the time, all the time, like all of us….yes, I feel that only when I’m no longer in his shadow, when I’m no longer afraid of him, that only then will I be able to do something myself.
-1965, published in The Limelighters (Michael Joseph, 1967)
Another excerpt from this interview previously posted here.
Peter O’Toole communes with his co-star on the set of Lawrence of Arabia (1962, dir. David Lean)
“[In Lawrence of Arabia,] there was a famous scene of a charge in which my face was described by Time magazine as with a look of ‘messianic determination’ as we charged.
…The day of the charge, we were given Moroccan plow camels, who had never had a human being on their hump. We were doing a mile down a shaley hill - 50 camels and 400 horses. It was going to be very dangerous indeed. So I went to the caravan which Omar [Sharif] and I were sharing. As you may know, Omar is a gambling man. He was looking very solemn.
He said, ‘I’m working up the odds, Peter….whether or not the camel will fall over, or whether I will fall off the camel. The odds on the camel falling over are 6:4 against, but the odds of me falling off the camel are even money.’ I saw the sense of that so I asked, ‘What do you intend to do?’ He said, ‘I’m going to tie myself onto the camel.’
I thought, well, I don’t really fancy being adhered to a camel. So I said, ‘I’m not going to do that, Omar. I’m going to get drunk.’ And Omar said, ‘Oh, I’m going to get drunk as well.’ So we got a bottle of brandy and two bottles of milk and we drank the brandy and the milk. And of course by this time we were supremely confident of doing anything. So he was tied to the camel. Off went the rockets - boom! - and of course the camels, out of sheer terror, bolted.
And this look of ‘messianic determination’ on my face was, in fact, a drunk actor.”