Latest Issue

10 Curious Things About Brideshead Revisited

By David Herman  

1. Olivier vs Gielgud

Everyone knows that Laurence Olivier is more famous than John Gielgud. But here’s a curious thing. Gielgud was extraordinary in the Granada Brideshead as Charles Ryder’s father. It is unthinkable that the part could be played differently or better. Olivier was OK (as Olivier usually was on TV). But no better than OK as Lord Marchmain. No better, certainly, than Michael Gambon, who plays the part well and differently. He emerges easily from Olivier’s shadow. Gielgud’s shadow is inescapable.This is not to dismiss Patrick Malahide in the film. He’s good. But playing that part after Gielgud…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to

More From Prospect