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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…

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