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21 Days [DVD] [1940]

3.7 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Laurence Olivier Vivien Leigh
  • Directors: Basil Dean
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 12
  • Studio: Strawberry Media
  • DVD Release Date: 7 May 2012
  • Run Time: 72 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B007AMRRGG
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 68,001 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)
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Product description

Product Description

1940s British, black & white drama starring filmic darlings Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh. After Larry Darrent (Olivier) accidentally kills his lover's blackmailing husband, someone else is arrested for the crime. When he is found guilty, Larry and his girlfriend Wanda (Leigh) have just three weeks together before he must give himself up or let an innocent man go to the gallows. The script for this film was written by Graham Greene

Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

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Not a great movie, but I enjoyed seeing a luminous Vivien Leigh and Laurence Olivier together at such a young age, and very much in love - the chemistry between them is potent, and for me this was the main attraction of the film. The screenplay was adapted by Basil Dean and Graham Greene from a play by John Galsworthy, and revolves around whether impoverished playboy and loser, Larry, (yes, Olivier's character really is called that) is going to give himself up for killing Leigh's husband. The death was accidental, but a destitute clergyman, played very touchingly by Hay Petrie, has been accused of murdering the man, and will come to trial in 21 days. Larry grapples with his conscience, but is dissuaded by his selfish and ambitious barrister brother, Leslie Banks, from going to the police. But what if the clergyman is found guilty? Larry has 21 days to make up his mind what to do, and he and Leigh decide to squeeze a lifetime together into those 21 days. Cue some lovely shots of London in 1937, including a boat trip down the Thames from Tower Bridge to the seaside. There are also some terrific sets by Vincent Korda and bouts of good direction by Basil Dean.

It's not a bad little story, but doesn't quite come off, despite good performances from its stars and the supporting cast including Francis L Sullivan and Robert Newton (both in very small roles, sadly.) Alexander Korda reputedly interfered continually, so perhaps this was the problem. Although filmed in 1937 and 1938, it wasn't released until 1940 to capitalise on Leigh's rise to international fame in Gone With The Wind.
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and they were very right to do so. I have read Olivier and Leigh left a private viewing. Well before the films end. They must have been embarrassed I am only surprised they found the courage. To return to any film set. For they are by far the worst thing. In what must have been painfully old fashioned when made. The lead actors are simply awful. The plot is stagy, corny and simply too hard to believe. The dialogue stiff and dated where even good reliable actors such as Leslie Banks. Fail to deliver. As does the entire film. For 40's Brit film completeists only.
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Format: DVD
I can't believe the other reviewer thought this a dull film. I don't know all the ins and outs of its production but I watched it and was enthralled.Great performances by the cast and a fantastic morality tale brought to life by the emotions and hopes of all involved. A tense and gripping finale, I thoroughly enjoyed every minute.
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Format: DVD
21 Days is directed by Basil Dean and adapted to screenplay by the director and Graham Greene from John Galsworthy's play The First and Last. It stars Vivien Leigh, Laurence Olivier, Leslie Banks, Francis L. Sullivan and David Horne.

When Larry Durrant (Olivier) accidentally kills his lover's husband, he decides to hide his crime and the couple embark on a whirlwind romance for the next twenty one days. However, with an innocent dupe on trial for the murder, Durrant's conscience begins to get the better of him.

If it didn't feature Olivier and Leigh then this would have been consigned to the forgotten bin and sealed up post haste. That the stars give it a curiosity value is a given, but one peak at the meagre back story backs up the fact that it really is rather a dull movie. Film was wrapped in 1938 but sat on the shelf for two years and was only released once Olivier and Leigh became big names in 1940. The two stars were more interested in playing footsie under the table than putting any acting depth into the production, something which greatly annoyed director Dean as he was trying to make a gripping crime drama. In fact Viv and Larry were so unhappy with how the film ended up, they reportedly walked out of a screening of it at the halfway point!

Picture is clearly meant to be a scathing observation on the folly of criminal law, wrapped around a male protagonist battling his moral codes as his heart goes pitter patter for a dame. Yet the picture rarely reaches dramatic heights, playing out more as a movie about young lovers inconvenienced by an accident, than one about a cruel twist of fate so pay your penance you loser.
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