The real mystery is, what will future generations think of Lord Olivier? Genius or ham?
Tastes in acting evolve. I’m old enough to remember when Charlie Chaplin’s movies topped every international list of greatest films; over the last 20 years or so, however, Buster Keaton has mostly displaced him.
I expect many critics will come to hail Mrs. Olivier as the better actor, and not just out of feminist-scholarship spite.
(Incidentally, Vivien Leigh had no business playing Scarlet O’Hara, at least based on the novel’s first line. Alert readers overwhelmingly wanted Bette Davis for the role. No wonder she was so pissed (again — after she was pissed the first time around.) But of course, we can’t imagine another actress in the role now.
Anyway, if you’re new to Shakespeare, Richard III is a good gateway drug, in terms of lowish language difficulty.
UPDATE — Thanks to the loyal 5FF reader who reminded me of this: