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Olivia de Havilland, Oscar Winner and ‘Gone with the Wind’ Survivor, Dead at 104



Olivia de Havilland, the elegant star of Hollywood’s Golden Age — and one of its last surviving ambassadors — died Sunday of natural causes at 104.

Her publicist Lisa Goldberg confirmed de Havilland’s death to The Hollywood Reporter.

De Havilland had celebrated her 104th birthday on July 1. At the time of her death, she had been the oldest living Oscar winner (that honor now belongs to 96-year-old Eva Marie Saint), and one of only two living credited cast members of the 1939 classic “Gone with the Wind” (the other being 87-year-old Mickey Kuhn, who played little Beau Wilkes).

De Havilland was born in Tokyo on July 1, 1916, to British parents, 15 months ahead of her sister, Joan Fontaine, who would also go on to Oscar glory and longevity (she died at 96 in 2013). Her mother moved with the girls to San Francisco when they were toddlers, and her father abandoned the family for their housekeeper in Japan.

Raised to respect the arts, de Havilland made her amateur debut as an actress in a 1933 production of “Alice in Wonderland.” A new stepfather forbade her from acting, threatening to bar her from the family home — so de Havilland simply moved in with a friend. Her interest in stage acting led to an understudy assignment as Hermia in a production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” When the lead actress — Gloria Stuart, later of “Titanic” (1997) fame — departed, de Havilland inherited the role and excelled. The director adapted the Shakespeare as a film, resulting in de Havilland being offered a contract with Warner Bros. in 1934.

After the release of her debut in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” de Havilland nearly disappeared into undistinguished ingénue parts, but a starring role opposite Errol Flynn — her unrequited passion for him caused her to literally clutch her pearls at the memory in a TV interview over 40 years later — in “Captain Blood” (1935) put them both on the fast track toward superstardom. They became one of the screen’s great duos, making eight films together, including the classic “The Adventures of Robin Hood” (1938), which established de Havilland as the definitive Maid Marian.

De Havilland became iconic with 1939’s “Gone with the Wind,” having been producer David O. Selznick’s only pick to play “ideal Southern woman” Melanie Hamilton, and also having been one of the only actresses in Hollywood not interested in playing Scarlett O’Hara. Her work on the film earned her her first Oscar nomination, and her only for Best Supporting Actress. She lost to Hattie McDaniel, also for “Gone with the Wind,” who made history as the first, and for many years the only, Black woman to win the Oscar.

“Gone with the Wind” in many ways defined de Havilland’s later life — she regularly visited fan conventions to extol the virtues of the film, and was a sought-after speaker on the topic of what was considered by many to be the greatest film ever made. It is worth noting that she survived long enough to see a cultural re-examination of how “Gone with the Wind” presents race, and a controversy over the film’s enduring appeal and legacy.

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After appearing in other notable films like “The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex” (1939), “Hold Back the Dawn” (she lost a Best Actress Oscar for the 1941 film to her own sister, who became the only woman to win for an Alfred Hitcock movie, 1941’s “Suspicion”) and “Princess O’Rourke” (1943), de Havilland finished her contract with Warner Bros. only to discover it had been extended due to her frequent suspensions over creative differences with the studio. Like her friend Bette Davis had before her, de Havilland sued Warner Bros. Unlike Davis, she won, striking a blow for actors forced to endure restrictive contracts that threatened to decide the courses of their careers — or even to end them. The decision was regarded as a landmark in Hollywood history, and led to the seven-year rule — the De Havilland Law.

It also led to de Havilland losing work for years.

For de Havilland, it was worth it. As she recalled in 2006, she knew as early as age 18 that what she wanted out of life was “respect for difficult work well-done.” She did not want to continue making substandard films to fulfill a contract, especially when she had demonstrated her abilities.

During her down time in the early ’40s, de Havilland — who became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1941 — threw herself into the war efforts, visiting soldiers and dancing with them at the Hollywood Canteen. She toured the U.S. and abroad to boost morale and was recognized toward the end of her life in part for her good work with France’s Chevalier of the Légion d’honneur, a U.S. National Medal of the Arts, and was made a Dame Commander of the British Empire at 100.

Never known as one to kiss and tell, de Havilland nonetheless dated the likes of Howard Hughes, James Stewart, John Huston and screenwriter Marcus Goodrich. She married Goodrich in 1946, divorcing him in 1953.

When she resumed her acting career, it was with a bang — she won her first Oscar for Best Actress for “To Each His Own” (1946), about an unwed mother who gives up her child for adoption and has regrets. She was Oscar-nominated again for “The Snake Pit” (1948), which sensitively approached the issue of mental illness long before such portrayals were the norm, and won her second Best Actress Oscar for the film version of the play “The Heiress” (1949), which she had seen on Broadway and sought out as a vehicle for herself.

By the ’50s, de Havilland’s film career had cooled — mostly by design, as she’d become a mother and relocated to Paris to live with her second husband, Pierre Galante, an editor at Paris Match. She remained with him until his death at 88 in 1998.

Among her best work in the twilight of her career was in the drama “The Light in the Piazza” (1962), which was released the same year as her best-selling memoir “Every Frenchman Has One,” about her efforts to adapt to Paris as an expat.

She continued working, logging starring roles in the cult-classic exploitation thrillers “Lady in a Cage” (1964) and “Hush… Hush, Sweet Charlotte” (1964), the latter of which found her replacing Joan Crawford and reuniting her with old friend Bette Davis. This and other aspects of the Davis-Crawford relationship were explored in Ryan Murphy’s limited series “Feud” (2017) on FX. Portrayed by Catherine Zeta-Jones in the project, de Havilland was repulsed that the series besmirched her “professional reputation for integrity, honesty, generosity, self-sacrifice and dignity,” and that it portrayed her as a gossip who called her sister Joan Fontaine — with whom she had a well-documented, decades-long feud — a “bitch.” She was so incensed she sued, but she lost the suit, with the Supreme Court refusing to review it in 2019.

Already a movie icon, de Havilland became the first-ever woman jury president at the Cannes Film Festival in 1965.

De Havilland explored mental illness again, this time in her first TV movie, “The Screaming Woman” (1972). She also made a striking appearance in the miniseries “Roots: The Next Generations” (1979), made all the more resonant due to her identification with “Gone with the Wind.”

The work she was offered was increasingly beneath her, including disaster movies like “Airport ’77” (1977), in which she nearly went down with the airship, and the killer-bee flop “The Swarm” (1978), which offered her a delightful romantic triangle with Ben Johnson and Fred MacMurray, only to have all three die in a bee-driven trainwreck.

Following her last feature film, 1979’s “The Fifth Musketeer,” and limited TV work — she booked passage on “The Love Boat” in 1981, played the Queen Mother in 1982’s “The Royal Romance of Charles and Diana,” and appeared in the miniseries “North and South, Book II” (1986) and “Anastasia: The Mystery of Anna” (1986) — she ended her acting career with the 1988 TV movie “The Woman He Loved.”

Her last public appearance was apparently at the 2011 César Awards in France, at which she received something to which she’d long grown accustomed — an extended standing ovation.

de havlilland bike getty handout

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De Havilland seen riding a bike in 1938 and again past age 100

She is survived by her daughter, Gisele, her son-in-law Andrew, and her niece, Deborah.


Disney Plus Mulan Fails to Make an Impact




Disney Plus’s most anticipated movie of the year was Live-Action Mulan, the infamous remake of the 1998 version of the Disney classic Mulan. With a budget of almost $200 million and alot of hard work involved, the film release’s expectations and excitement were at an all-time high. Disney’s marketing team left no stone unturned in promoting the film throughout the world as Mulan was one of the most influential female protagonists in a Disney movie. 

Mulan was known for her power and courage to take a step towards change and create a name for herself instead of becoming a burden for her family. She brought them honor but not through finding a compatible suitor, but through her bravery in fighting amongst the opposite gender when it was considered a taboo. 

But did the real Mulan walk in the footsteps of the animated one? Did it create an impact as strong as the classic version, which people love and adore even after 23 years? Sadly, no. The live-Action Mulan was nothing like the 1998 Mulan because it was not supposed to be that way. 

The old Chinese folklore inspired the Live-Action Mulan. The Balad of Mulan, which was different, more serious, and portrayed a much more feminist approach by eliminating any romantic or cartoonish elements or characters from the remake. 

The elimination of the character of Mushu came as a surprise for all the die-hard Mulan fans who were anticipating the voice-over of Eddie Murphy in a better-animated dragon who is by Mulan’s side, aiding in tough times. We did see a dragon, but it was a silent companion only coming in need. The remake also got rid of all the eventful songs which were hummed as we watched the animated version all the time.

Another setback was the mediocre release of Mulan during the Pandemic, which basically ruined the official March release. Mulan eventually made the screen on September 4 on Disney+ Premier Access, a pay-to-view for $30 across the US. In contrast, countries where Covid-19 was under control, saw a theater release like China. But that hardly made 50% of the total movie budget. Disney hoped to make some dollars in China by accurately depicting the Chinese culture and actors, but that didn’t happen either. 

Viewers with access to Disney+ also did not venture enough on the Premier Access service. What further disappointed the release was Mulan’s availability on multiple torrents and platforms for free in HD quality on its release. VPN users worldwide watched the movie for free without paying a whopping amount of $30 for a single film, while the whole service along with other streaming services cost ⅓ of the price. 

Live-Action Mulan was also under scrutiny for shooting in the Xinjiang, the region of China where Uighur Muslims were detained and imprisoned in concentration camps. This sparked outrage over the entire social media, where Muslims worldwide protested against the Chinese government’s actions. Disney+ did not state an official apology on their platform, nor did they acknowledge their wrongdoings, probably to stay clear of the Chinese government’s atrocity. 

Meanwhile, even within China, Mulan failed to impact the Chinese audience as they have a much better take and approach to recreating any Chinese epic or myths. Their cinema is far more advanced in portraying their culture with local actors and a local production house. As we all know, China has a strict censorship policy on international content, and they have an alternate of their own. It applies here as well. 

Lastly, the ill-natured tweet of the lead actress Liu Yifei, openly supporting the Hong Kong Police’s atrocities when China was implementing new security policies on Hong Kong, claiming it as a part of the Chinese government. The Hong Kong police came under fire for mistreating peaceful protestors and using harsh means to disperse the crowd. This tweet leads to #boycottmulan across the regions of Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Thailand. 

Liu Yifei made no outright apology. 

Despite so much anticipation, live-action Mulan came under alot of controversy and failed to make a solid impression on the audience, despite holding a strong message for its feminist audience. Wrong timing and a few wrong decisions cost Disney millions of dollars and somewhat tarnished the reputation of their remake sagas. 

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5 Underrated Shows on Netflix USA You Must Watch Right Now!




American Netflix is home to hundreds of TV shows across multiple genres. Still, it could be hard at times to find something binge-worthy on it. Now we all have that one friend that’s perfectly content with re-watching their favorite TV series, but the rest of us normies find it a tad boring. We’re on a never-ending hunt for the next big show hoping to inject some excitement into our otherwise mundane existence. However, with so much to choose from, it’s only natural that a few gems go unnoticed when scrolling through the recommendations. 

Don’t sweat it! After spending endless hours of research, we’ve compiled a list of the top 5 underrated shows on Netflix USA that are definitely worth your time.

Can’t access US Netflix in your home country? There is an easy way around. Just download a Netflix VPN, connect to a US server, and start streaming. 

  1. 1994

Genre: Documentary

Season(s): 1 season; 5 episodes

Year of release: 2019

1994 is a modest 5-episode docu-series offering the perfect guilt-free, binge-watching experience. The show revolves around a promising presidential candidate in Mexico who stands to threaten the status quo. Seen as a threat by the powerful elite, he gets shot during one of his televised political rallies. If the events of the first episode seem unusual, then what follows is downright bizarre. 

Viewers are in store for surreal events backed by actual interviews and real-life footage that ups the ante with each passing episode. 1994 is a fascinating, informative, and rich account of one of the most turbulent times in Mexico. It not only gives viewers a glimpse of the past but also a story that follows a narrative very close to what we’re seeing in our present political climate.

  1. Rise of Empires: Ottoman

Genre: Drama

Season(s): 1 season; 6 episodes

Year of release: 2020

Following the wildly popular show Ertugrul—at least in the eastern part of the world—Rise of Empires: Ottoman features a historic mix of immaculate production value and dramatic re-enactment of the 1453 fall of Constantinople. A Turkish production, the show is entirely in English and revolves around the life of a young Ottoman Sultan named Mehmet. It shows how the 21-year old leader risks everything to conquer a city his father and so many others failed to take before him.

This point marked a crucial juncture in history: The fall of the Roman Empire and the transition of a local regional entity to that of a global superpower. While the show does have its set of drawbacks (such as the frequent History Channel-type flashbacks), the appeal of our protagonist is sure to have viewers in for a memorable ride. 

  1. Wild Wild Country

Genre: Documentary

Season(s): 1 season; 6 episodes

Year of release: 2018

The mere mention of Wild Wild Country in front of veteran Netflix viewers is sure to garner you some respect points. Based on a true story, Wild Wild Country tells the tale of an Indian cult that’s decided to relocate to Oregon. What ensues is a series of unusual events as the locals struggle to come to terms with the new inhabits and in particular, the eccentric leader of this cult: Bhagwan. This mini-series manages to capture and re-tell a significant—albeit unusual—event in American history and media and retell it in a way that’s sure to leave some viewers scratching their heads!

  1. Lenox Hill

Genre: Documentary

Season(s): 1 season; 9 episodes

Year of release: 2020

For those looking to embark on a roller-coaster ride of emotions, look no further than Lenox Hill. While we do recommend this docu-series especially if you’re a fan of Grey’s Anatomy or ER, Lenox Hill is not your average watch. It’s a far cry from what you’d call a feel-good series as it reveals the brutal reality associated with people diagnosed with really bad things.

Set in New York, the show follows the story of an ER physician, an OB-GYN, and two brain surgeons that are part of a small-time hospital competing with bigger establishments. It lifts the curtain from the otherwise romanticized emergency-ward that we’ve grown accustomed to and accurately depicts the struggles of both patients and doctors.

This highly emotional series might not sit well with everyone but if you want to watch a story about individuals that sacrifice everything to save others then this one’s for you.

  1. Borderline

Genre: Comedy

Season(s): 2 seasons; 12 episodes

Year of release: 2016

The Office is the most viewed show on Netflix according to Chicago Tribune which is a pity because its contract is set to expire on January 1, 2021. Enter Borderline, a British comedy series and ‘mockumentary’ of sorts that follows a similar pattern and humor as The Office. Set in the fictional Northend Airport instead of an office, viewers are quickly introduced to a slew of funny and ridiculous personalities.

The best part of the series is that it has its own version of Pam, Dwight, Jim, and a Michael type-boss. It also doesn’t try too hard to resemble its more popular counterpart and a few episodes are enough to make you wonder why more people aren’t watching it!

Agree with our list? Know of some underrated shows that need more love? Let us know in the comments section below!

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The Advantages of Online Casino Welcome Bonuses




When it comes to online gambling, the industry is thriving in 2020. Although casinos are banned in many countries, people still find ways to enjoy their favorite games of chance. However, considering the level of competition on the market, it may be difficult for a beginner to find a good online platform and take advantage of all offers. In this article, you will learn the benefits of casinos’ welcome bonuses.

What Is a Sign-Up Bonus?

As we have already established, the industry is growing rapidly and companies are desperately looking for new ways to attract customers. A welcome bonus is often used by online casinos to get new leads and players in the future. However, the best casino bonuses can be easily used to the player’s advantage. Here are the main reasons you should not neglect this offer.

  1. It saves your money

Quite obvious, right? Well, this is the main reason why you should always use welcome bonuses in online gambling: it is always better to not risk your own money. It is especially true for beginners. Since they have no experience, it is fairly common for beginners to lose their initial investment and be done with gambling for good. However, if you use your welcome bonus as a way of getting the basics skills, the chances of success will rise significantly.

  1. It allows you to try several games

Another common issue beginners face is a lack of understanding of which types of games they want to try: slots, roulette, baccarat, blackjack, etc. If you use your sign-up bonus, you will be able to play several games and choose the ones you like better. Moreover, you can take advantage of a welcome bonus on several online gambling platforms. That way you will try out even more options.

  1. It will make future gambling more profitable

Besides beneficial sign-up bonuses, good online casinos usually have great loyalty programs. For instance, the company may double up to five first deposits on the platform. If you invest 100 USD, you will get 200 USD to your account. More money — more games — more chances of winning.

Although a welcome bonus is a great way of upping your gambling game, there are a few things you should pay attention to. Firstly, a good bonus does not equal a good platform. Before choosing a casino, make sure that the company is legal and trustworthy. Since there are many scams right now, it is essential if you want to save your money. Moreover, check the available deposit/withdrawal methods and their terms.

We hope that this article has shown the true power of online casinos’ welcome bonuses and how you can use them to your own advantage. Follow our tips while choosing a platform and enjoy the best gambling experience.

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