Vivien Leigh Movies

Vivien Leigh in 1939's Gone With The Wind

Vivien Leigh in 1939’s Gone With The Wind

Want to know the best Vivien Leigh (1913-1967) movies?  How about the worst Vivien Leigh movies?  Curious about Vivien Leigh box office grosses or which Vivien Leigh movie picked up the most Oscar® nominations? Need to know which Vivien Leigh movie got the best reviews from critics and audiences and which got the worst reviews? Well you have come to the right place….because we have all of that information.

One of our goals here at Ultimate Movie Rankings is to write a movie page on every member of the American Film Institute’sTop 50 Screen Legends list.  So far we have written about 21 of the 25 actors on that list but only 13 of the 25 actresses on that list. Well it is time to add the 14th actress to the list of completed pages. Ranked as the 16th best Screen Legend actress ….Vivien Leigh.

Vivien Leigh was a 2 time Best Actress Oscar® winner.   Her roles as Scarlett O’Hara in 1939’s Gone With The Wind and as Blanche DuBois in 1951’s A Streetcar Named Desire might be the greatest one two punch ever for an actressEven more amazing in my mind is the fact that she did not appear in many movies during her 30 year career….and yet she still managed to appear in these two legendary roles.

Her IMDb page shows 20 acting credits from 1935-1965. This page will rank 15 Vivien Leigh movies from Best to Worst in six different sortable columns of information.  Her television appearance, uncredited and 3 of her very early movies which were not released in North America were not included in the rankings.

Vivien Leigh in 1951's A Streetcar Named Desire

Vivien Leigh in 1951’s A Streetcar Named Desire

Vivien Leigh Movies Can Be Ranked 6 Ways In This Table

The really cool thing about this table is that it is “user-sortable”. Rank the movies anyway you want.

  • Sort Vivien Leigh movies by co-stars of her movies
  • Sort Vivien Leigh movies by adjusted domestic box office grosses using current movie ticket cost.
  • Sort Vivien Leigh movies by how they were received by critics and audiences.  60% rating or higher should indicate a good movie.
  • Sort by how many Oscar® nominations each Vivien Leigh movie received.
  • Sort by how many Oscar® wins each Vivien Leigh movie received.
  • Sort Vivien Leigh movies by Cogerson Movie Score.  Cogerson Movie Score puts box office, reviews and awards into a mathematical equation and gives each movie a score.
  • Use the sort and search button to make this a very interactive page.
RankMovie (Year)Co-StarsAdjusted Domestic Box Office (Millions)Critic Audience RatingOscar NomsOscar WinsUltimate Movie Ranking Score
Gone with the Wind (1939)Clark Gable & Olivia de Havilland$1746.3090.0%13896.50
A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)Marlon Brando & Karl Malden$171.3089.0%12486.41
Waterloo Bridge (1940)Robert Taylor & Lucile Watson$110.4078.0%2050.58
Ship of Fools (1965)Lee Marvin & Oskar Werner$60.9076.5%8246.84
That Hamilton Woman (1941)Laurence Olivier & Alan Mowbray$69.8083.0%4146.41
Caesar and Cleopatra (1945)Claude Rains & Stewart Granger$118.6059.5%1045.14
A Yank In Oxford (1938)Robert Taylor & Lionel Barrymore$85.3059.5%0037.88
The Deep Blue Sea (1955)Kenneth More & Eric Portman$34.1081.0%0035.17
Sidewalks of London (1938)Charles Laughton & Rex Harrison$36.5069.5%0031.62
Anna Karenina (1948)Ralph Richardson & Michael Gough$44.7063.0%0030.99
21 Days Together (1940)Laurence Olivier & Leslie Banks$57.7052.0%0029.74
The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone (1961)Warren Beatty & Lotte Lenya$24.4064.0%1027.88
Fire Over England (1937)Laurence Olivier & Flora Robson$34.1059.5%0027.64
Storm In A Teacup (1937)Rex Harrison & Sara Allgood$17.1066.5%0026.70
Dark Journey (1937)Conrad Veidt & Joan Gardner$15.4067.0%0026.53

Stats and Possibly Interesting Things From The Above Vivien Leigh Table

  1. Four Vivien Leigh movies crossed the magical $100 million domestic gross mark.  That is a percentage of 26.66% of her movies listed. Gone With The Wind (1939) was her biggest box office hit.
  2. An average Vivien Leigh movie grosses $148.40 million in adjusted box office gross.
  3. Using RottenTomatoes.com’s 60% fresh meter.  11 of Vivien Leigh’s movies are rated as good movies…or 73.33% of her movies.  Gone With The Wind (1939) was her highest rated movie while 21 Days Together (1940) was her lowest rated movie.
  4. Seven Vivien Leigh movies received at least one Oscar® nomination in any category…..or 46.66% of her movies.
  5. Four Vivien Leigh movies  won at least one Oscar® in any category…..or 26.66% of her movies.
  6. An average Ultimate Movie Ranking Score (UMR) is 39.86.  6 Vivien Leigh movies scored higher than that average….or 40.00% of her movies.  Gone With The Wind (1939) got the the highest UMR Score while Dark Journey (1937) got the lowest Cogerson Movie Score.
Vivien Leigh in her last movie...1965's Ship of Fools.

Vivien Leigh in her last movie…1965’s Ship of Fools.


Check out Vivien Leigh‘s career compared to current and classic actors.  Most 100 Million Dollar Movies of All-Time.  Another wonderful website is Vivien Leigh and Laurence Olivier….tons of great stuff to look at here…..and it is highly recommended for Leigh and Olivier fans.

 

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45 thoughts on “Vivien Leigh Movies

  1. 1 Thanks Bruce. Hope all is going well in Anchorage. I’ve just seen on the internet Crawford dressed up as Scarlett in what purports to be a clip from a screen test for GWTW. However as Burt said in Crimson Pirate “Believe nothing of what you hear and only half of what you see!”
    However I also came across the following extract from DEAR MR GABLE an existing site that claims to “The site that celebrates the King of Hollywood,” and it may interest you in view of all the exchanges that have occurred

    EXTRACT
    “In 1937, Joan was suggested for the female lead in Parnell. Clark personally pleaded with her to take the part. She hated the script, found it boring and trite, and refused to play it. So Myrna Loy was brought in, and Joan took Myrna’s role in The Last of Mrs. Cheyney. Parnell was a giant flop–the biggest flop of both Clark and Myrna’s careers. After that Clark was rather distant to Joan. She said, “I don’t think he ever forgave me for that; I think he believed I bailed on him.” In 1940, Joan was cast in the drama Strange Cargo with Spencer Tracy as her costar. Joan insisted that Clark be her costar instead.”

    BOB/PERSONAL NOTE: You give Parnell a worldwide gross of $205 million and The Last of Mrs Cheyney $233 million and although there’s not much in it according to Wikipedia Cheyney made a healthy net profit and Parnell a big net loss because the latter was twice as expensive to make as the former.

    2 If the above report is accurate she seems to have been permitted to turn down roles (Parnell), reject co-stars (both Gable and Tracy), pick whatever co-stars she liked (Gable even after turning HIM down earlier) ,and take over other actresses’ roles(Loy). My own view is that the stuff about the poor script was maybe hogwash and there was no way in which she was going to make a movie with the masculine title of Parnell !

  2. 1 I warmly welcome the update of the stats for this greatly respected thespian’s movies. Although he was a prominent leading man in the early decades of his career from the 1960s onward Larry mixed occasional lead roles with strong supporting parts in the films that he selected, though for the joint lead role in Sleuth in 1972 along with Michael Caine Larry was nominated for an Oscar as were Michael for that film and Marlon Brando for the Godfather

    2 Marlon won the Oscar but Larry got his revenge when he and MB were both nominated in the same respective roles for the prestigious New York Film Critics’ prize along with Al Pacino for his portrayal of Don Corelone’s son in Godpop. The voters were deadlocked as to whether Brando or Pacino’s performance was the better so Larry was given the prize as what Wikipedia terms as the “compromise” candidate. Michael Caine who has before and since been nominated for other awards and has won some of them showed that year that he could compete for acting honours with three actors who are still perceived as the among the best of all time, with Michael nowadays considered part of that select group***

    3 Larry’s submergence in numerous supporting roles didn’t matter in his case because his prestige as both a cinematic and a stage Great is so awesome that he continues to be revered within both mediums and indeed one got the impression that perhaps the theatre was his primary love where he is credited by many observers as having overshadowed even wonderful stage legends Sir Ralph Richardson and Sir John Gielgud
    ***IMDB’s list of 2 months ago which claims to be the “ultimate” in the ranking of all-time great actors puts Brando 2nd, Pacino 4th, Larry 12th, and Caine 14th. Not bad for a chap with a cockney accent!

  3. 1 Further to my previous post I should add that in my opinion common sense tells us that billing reflects status and in the movie business status is usually related to the power that a performer has to make money for the studio and financial backers. Olivier great and revered actor though he is was always billed second to Monroe, Lancaster, Douglas, Heston, Greer Garson Merle Oberon etc. Accordingly if Crawford was repeatedly place top of the bill by MGM and others seldom were it stands to reason that the money men considered that at lest at that time she was of more valuable to them.

    2 With hindsight I am disappointed and annoyed with myself that i have spent the last 3 days arguing about something that should as said be a matter of common sense especially among film buffs.

  4. 1 I’m one of the few who found GWTW with its almost 4 hours somewhat of a bore though I loved the King in it. Vivien was great in Streetcar but because Brando’s breakthrough is credited with helping change the historical course of screen acting [“He gave us our freedom.” – Jack Nicholson] that film can be at times associated more with MB. As for Caesar and Cleopatra whenever Cleo is mentioned one tends to think of Liz and not Viv. Because of these considerations and the fact that she didn’t make too many other movies I have always tended to think of Viv’s movie career *** as somewhat wasted but it has interested me nonetheless because of her association with the landmark GWTW and her Blanche & I have therefore been pleased that Bruce gave her a page and you have now produced a video.*[She seems to have had a great 30 year stage career with over 35 stage performances.]

    COMMENTS (1) Leigh was so lovely that you could not fail to provide a raft of wonderful posters centred on her and I was not disappointed with especially those for Deep Blue Sea, Dark Journey and of course GWTW, on top of which you gave us a raft of great black and white stills the pick of which were Viv and MB and her and Bob Taylor. (2) John might like to be aware of how the Leigh/Taylor billing changed after GWTW – “Frankly my dear,” not much evidence of “seniority” rules there!(3) you and Bruce are in sync about 3 of the Top 5 but I’m inclined to agree with his low placing of Fire over England [bottom from last and 59.5%] which you had as No 5 [70%] possibly sold by the geography! (4) the scarcity of the entries is offset by the pictorials so 9/10. Great effort based on so little output from its star.

    1. Hi Bob, I’m a big GWTW fan, love the color photography, the music, the actors and the epic length doesn’t bother me. The first half is better than the second. When I first saw the movie as a kid I hated Scarlett O’ Hara but over the years she’s become one of my favorite movie heroines. All thanks to Vivien Leigh’s brilliant portrayal, I don’t think Paulette Goddard or even Bette Davis would have been half as effective.

      The Radio Times reviewer gave Fire Over England 8 out of 10 and That Hamilton Woman 6 out of 10, it’s been ages since I saw both so I can’t say which was better. Still, Fire Over England only managed a score of 7 which is quite low for a film in 5th position.

      Only 3 films managed to score 10 from my sources, GWTW, Streetcar and Ship of Fools.

      Thanks for commenting!

      1. 1 Radio Times is of course an English magazine.

        2 There was talk of Crawford too being considered for Scarlet and according to one report Gable’s agent sought assurances that if Joan landed the part “my boy will have no billing problems,” and was given assurances that there would indeed be no billing problems for Clark.

        3 Ship of Fools was released the same year as another seafaring story Morituri starring Brynner/Brando and the Leigh movie was highly praised by the critics whilst Morituri was severely lambasting. Lamenting that fact the renowned film historian David Shipmman opined “Morituri is worth a dozen Ship of Fools” I can’t remember offhand your ranking for the Brynner/Brando movie but Bruce gives it a respectable 67% and his gap between that film and Ship of Fools with 75% is nowhere near the gap at the time that Shipman complained about.

        Anyway thanks for the chit-chat. I see you have now given us a few more comely maidens to admire !

        1. Bob, I don’t think I’ve seen Ship of Fools or Morituri, I will add them to the growing list of films I should have seen at least once.

          The ‘comely maidens’ series continue this week and I don’t think these two naughty ladies are on Bruce’s index page – clue: they both starred in DeMille pictures during the 1940s.

        2. Hi Bob

          “There was talk of Crawford too being considered for Scarlett”

          “Gable’s agent being given assurances that if Joan landed the part”

          This doesn’t sound real. I read Selznick’s memos once and if I remember the top contenders for Scarlett prior to Vivien Leigh were Paulette Goddard, Joan Bennett, and Bette Davis. I don’t remember Selznick ever listing Crawford as being in the hunt. He dismissed Hepburn, if I remember correctly, as being too old for the role. Crawford was even older.

          As for Gable and his agent. He didn’t want to do the part at all from what I’ve read and was only forced into taking it by MGM when they got involved. His inducement included enough money to pay off his wife for a divorce so he could marry Lombard.

          Selznick really didn’t want to deal with MGM, but in the end had to yield to get Gable, and MGM’s financial backing. The deal with MGM was struck near the end of the game, so I can’t see Gable or his agent being involved in worrying about the Scarlett casting.

          Off the Selznick memos, there might have been some chance of Davis and Flynn being cast as Scarlett and Rhett. At least Selznick wrote about that. Legend has it that Davis turned down the role because she didn’t want to act next to Flynn. Seems weird as she did anyway in 1938 and 1939.

          I recall a memo listing Gable, Cooper, and Flynn as Selznick’s top picks for Rhett. Very soon another memo stated that he just had to go for Gable, regardless of the cost.

          As Vivien Leigh was all but unknown in America, I don’t think there was probably that big an issue about Gable getting top billing. Originally, Leigh got special “and Vivien Leigh as Scarlett” billing, but Selznick eventually moved her up to second billing.

          Legend has Davis and Cooper turning down Scarlett and Rhett, but it might have been just face-saving stuff from their agents, the same as Hepburn, Crawford, Shearer, and other older stars ever really being in the hunt.

          1. Hey John….thanks for sharing all of this great information on the making of GWTW. Can you imagine if after all this effort…that the movie would have flopped? Seems there are lots of stories of Cooper as Rhett….so I think he had to be in the discussion at some point. Good stuff!

          2. 1 CURRENT EXTRACT FROM WIKIPEDIA
            “In 1936, Margaret Mitchell’s Gone With The Wind is published and it is an instant nationwide sensation. As all things in Hollywood go, the movie rights are up for grabs and every studio in Hollywood wants it. While having lunch at the MGM dining room, Louis B. Mayer is talking to his son-in-law David O. Selznick about the film rights. In time, Selznick establishes his own production company, Selznick International Pictures, and wants his studio to have a film that will cement both its fame and his as well.

            Back at MGM, Joan Crawford is negotiating the idea of her portraying the acclaimed heroine, even getting Selznick to come back to her place to spend the night to “seal the deal.” However, other actresses must be tested in order to expand possibilities. One of the first to do this is Paulette Goddard and her screen test is the most praised out of them all. Tallulah Bankhead comes down from New York and auditions for the role and although she herself is a Southerner who could easily play the part, Selznick decides to give her more tests and seek other candidates. But when Louella Parsons gets wind of this, she misinforms her radio audience that Tallulah has gotten the part, thanks to the influential power of her father William Brockman Bankhead. When this is announced, Joan Crawford throws her radio at a mirror and Paulette makes a beeline to the study of her lover, Charles Chaplin, announcing that Tallulah has gotten the part.”

            2 EXTRACT FROM THE SEARCH FOR SCARLETT BY ALEX TRENOWETH
            Within a month, Vivien Leigh had perfected a deep Southern accent and had proven she could act the part of such a feisty, spoiled, passionate woman. “Vivien Leigh is Scarlett O’Hara,” sighed a satisfied Margaret Mitchell after the film’s premiere in Atlanta the following year. It is a sentiment echoed by millions of viewers who simply cannot imagine anyone other than Leigh as Scarlett O’Hara even though Katherine Hepburn, Tallulah Bankhead, Susan Hayward, Joan Crawford, Paulette Goddard, Bette Davis and Lana Turner all auditioned for the part and all, at different times, were LEADING CONTENDERS in the search for Scarlett.”
            From Astrology Quarterly – Spring 2006

            3 Anything I say on this site is offered in good faith and as far as I can I will check a number of sources. I can if required provide further authentic evidence from the internet that Crawford was a leading albeit doomed contender for the GWTW part and that at one stage there were moves afoot in the end fruitless by certain vested interests to team her and Gable for the Butler/O’Hara parts

            4 However whilst other readers are entitled to believe what they think is correct I really cannot be bothered to continually defend every harmless statement that I make and would prefer to limit the information that I convey rather than to have such information repeatedly subjected to aggressive challenges.
            Best wishes BOB

        3. Hey Bob…..I think every female living was considered for GWTW. Good comparison between Ship of Fools and Morituri. I have seen Ship of Fools but not the Brando movie. I will add that one to my list of movies to watch.

      2. Steve and Bob

        On the GWTW issue, I come down on Steve’s side. Certainly valid to question the historical take on the old South, but just as a movie, I find it uniquely interesting and well paced.

        A question which has always occurred to me is to what extent Scarlett paved the way for the femme fatales of the 1940’s. She was certainly not the typical wilting sweet-young-thing heroine type, and the success of the movie might have opened the door to other gutsy female roles in subsequent years, including as outright villains.

        1. Hey John….I can see both sides. Good question on Leigh’s influence on women in that era….caught up on the comments….just in time as I am being told to turn off my devices….next stop Seattle.

      3. Hey Steve…..I am right there with you about GWTW. The first time I watched I could not believe how long the movie was….it was actually making mad…..which rarely happens to me. But as time has passed the length is no longer an issue. Maybe I matured….I doubt it….but maybe. ..lol.
        I am sure Fire Over England got some bonus points for having England in the title….lol.

        1. It ain’t fittin’… it ain’t fittin’. It jes’ ain’t fittin’ Oh fiddle dee dee… But miss Scarlett I don’t know nuthin’ about birthin babies… after all tomorrow is another day… …as God is my witness.. but… but Bruce isn’t Atlanta a long ways from Anchorage, in the other direction? How is Tara these days Mr. Butler?

          Well I suppose ‘Fire Over Wales’ didn’t quite have the same ring to it.

          I might be wrong but I think GWTW was the longest film ever at time of release?

          1. Good GWTW quote. Yep for some reason we went south first. Then west. Now we are leaving the Continental US. This has been one long day.

    2. Hey Bob. Good comment on Steve’s video and Vivien Leigh. My first viewing of GWTW was brutal as I was bored out of my mind. But as I have gotten older I appreciate it much more now. As for Streetcar……seen it three times now and still have not enjoyed it. Maybe if John Garfield had gotten the lead role……lol. Glad Steve and I have the same Top 3. Good thoughts as always.

      1. Sorry Bruce but you’re right; the play is essentially a study of the morally ruptured; I don’t think it was ever written to be liked…and I don’t like it……but man what a script!

        Blanches morally inept capacity to weigh the consequences of her vanity. Stanley’s eagerness to destroy anything that threatens his virility or control. Stella’s selfish capacity to forgive her husband of raping her sister in the name of love and Harold’s sleazy self indulgence. I mean it can’t be anything someone wants to see again and again.

        But if it’s done right the parts and the script are an actors dream.

        Give me GWTW anyday and I’ll pay for the popcorn!

  5. I love the movie Dark Journey. It’s a good World War I thriller but it’s hardly ever shown on TV anymore. Of course, Vivien Leigh is quite beautiful in this movie

    1. Hey Pink…I have yet to see Dark Journey….but based on this comment…I will try and track that one down. Thanks for checking out our Vivien Leigh page…it is greatly appreciated.

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