Leslie Howard: The Man Who Gave a Damn
- 1h 24m
Intimate and compelling documentary on the life and career of Leslie Howard (1893-1943)Intimate and compelling documentary on the life and career of Leslie Howard (1893-1943)Intimate and compelling documentary on the life and career of Leslie Howard (1893-1943)
A kid whose parents wanted to send him into some humdrum business career, you could not contain his creativity which only at a last resort channeled itself into acting.
I found it fascinating how the two children, Ronald and Leslie seemed to take with equanimity their father's womanizing. Merle Oberon and secretary Violette Cunningham were only the two most prominent. Something that Ruth Howard just put up with as did Robert Mitchum's wife.
Interesting also that the two films he didn't think much of were the two that he co-starred with Clark Gable. In A Free Soul, Gable was a newcomer and Howard was a distinct 4th behind Lionel Barrymore's Best Actor performance and Gable's roughhewn gangster and Norma Shearer's woman with an itch. And he could never convince David O. Selznick he wasn't quite right for Ashley Wilkes. It would have been interesting had he lived another two decades with a few revivals of Gone With The Wind and seen the response to it even today what he might have thought.
Enough great roles to remember him in any event. The Scarlet Pimpernel, Of Human Bondage, Pygmalion. We are fortunate also that preserved on film are Broadway starring roles in The Petrified Forest and The Animal Kingdom and Berkeley Square.
Of course the speculation grows even now about the doomed airline flight from Lisbon to London where he was shot down over the Bay of Biscay by the Germans. He was most active in the war effort. He served in the trenches during the first World War. He died in the second as surely as any soldier, sailor, or airman.
The film is a great tribute to a great star.
- Jun 5, 2018