6 The Daily Tar Heel Thursday, October
Actress Vivien Leigh as
By CHESTER HUNT
It is strange how a certain
performance can color one's attitude
toward a play, when in print the play
reads as a classic. The Playmakers
Repertory Company's recent
production of Tennessee Williams' A
Streetcar Named Desire left this writer
disillusioned with the role of Blanche
Dubois, the play's central character.
Ellen Barber's portrayal of Blanche
presented a woman who was an
emotional ruin, neurotic, weak and
helpless. Was this the role that was
regarded as one of the best female roles
in all American literature?
My faith in Williams' masterpiece was
restored when I attended a showing of
the 1951 Warner Brothers' film of
Streetcar at Duke University. The film
with its close adherence to Williams'
original stage script, muted black and
white photography, sensitive direction,
fine acting and tense Alex North music
was superb. Notwithstanding Elia
Kazan's sleazy New Orleans atmosphere
and Marlon Brando's larger-than-life
acting, it was Vivien Leigh's portrayal of
Blanche that haunted me long after the
film was over.
Blanche Dubois is Vivien Leigh's
most compelling screen
characterization. (No, fellow
Southerners, I have not forgotten
Scarlett O'Hara.) Vivien Leigh gives life
and credibility to a role which can easily
Ben Cornelius, Managing Editor
Ed Rankin, Associate Editor
Lou Bilionis, Associate Editor
Laura Scism, University Editor
Elliott Potter, City Editor
Chuck Alston, State and National Editor
Sara Bui.lard, Features Editor
Cm Ekbslin, Arts Editor
Gene Upchusch. Sports Editor
Allen Jernican, Photography Editor
Drops: Prevailing upon the
Faculty Council's goodwill
For months now, the Educational Policy Committee, Student
Government, the Daily Tar Heel, faculty and students have weighed the
pros and cons of a four-week drop period. Despite justified claims to the
contrary, though, it seems likely the Faculty Council will endorse the
shortened drop period. Unless students and their concerns are finally heard
and comprehended, that likelihood will become a certainty.
The University can hang its head in shame if the Faculty Council, like its
Educational Policy Committee, fails to acknowledge the needs and rights of
nearly 13,000 undergraduates. The needs are too clear to be ignored a
need for ample time to determine the value of a course or the ability of an
instructor, a need to fully gauge the demands presented by a course, a need
to find out exactly what a course is about. The rights are equally obvious
the right to academic freedom, the right to pursue a valuable and
worthwhile education, the right to have as much information as possible
about the product they are getting ready to purchase.
Those who oppose the four-week drop period feel it will abridge these
needs and rights. The proponents have not answered the argument; they
have merely cited the use of the drop for grade-saving purposes.
Of particular irony in the drop debate is the fact that few professors
guardians of their own academic freedom have been willing to permit
others to share that freedom. Instead, they have chosen to perform as
administrators, too concerned with the fine details of their grading curves to
become concerned with a matter like education.
This irony pervades even today, as a truly modest proposal to extend the
drop period to six weeks encounters difficulty in finding a faculty sponsor.
This difficulty is especially troubling when one notes that a study conducted
last spring found only 34 percent of the faculty surveyed objecting to a six
week drop period. Perhaps the 53 percent who said they would not oppose
the longer period have been scared off by the louder exhortations of their
The six-week proposal, which was drafted by the Campus Governing
Council (CGC), presents in capsule form the most cogent and compelling
reasons against the four-week period. It is a responsible document, a
document which should be read and considered by the Faculty Council
when it meets at 3 p.m. Friday in 100 Hamilton Hall.
The CGC, in its proposal, emphasizes "that the shortening of the drop
period from twelve weeks to four weeks has not significantly reduced the
total number of drops. We agree that student decision-making should be
moved to the earliest possible part of the semester for the good of all
concerned. However, we are convinced that a substantial number of drops
during the four-week period are based on unreasonable 'panic1 w hich might
be dispelled by an additional two weeks of grace.
"We realize that a two-week extension of the drop period will add to the
administrative burdens of the faculty. We are convinced, however, that the
four-week period is placing unreasonable pressure on many students.
Therefore, we appeal to the goodwill of the Faculty Council and urge you to
extend the drop period from four weeks to six weeks."
A survey conducted by the CGC showed overwhelming support among
students for a six-week drop period. However, the Educational Policy
Committee, in recommending a four-week period to the Faculty Council,
was less than impressed with student support for the longer period. Perhaps
the committee requires mass protests and marches in the streets to become
convinced of what is, to others, an obvious sentiment. After all, every
student who enters this University is entitled to expect the best quality of
education an institution of higher learningcan offer. And every student who
enrolls at UNC is entitled to expect the academic freedom which institutions
of high calibre normally permit.
We prevail upon the goodwill of the Faculty Council to safeguard this
freedom and ensure that the University is a worthy bearer of the title
"institution of higher learning." The CGC asks that "the wishes of all parties
concerned ... be considered as passionately as possible." We second that
request and strongly urge that the council consider the needs and rights of
students this Friday and study the CGC's proposal. If it does, we feel sure
that a four-week drop period will be deemed too short.
slip into comedy or melodrama. Vivien
Leigh's Blanche is bold. She fights. She
even grows a little. Most of all, Vivien
Leigh's Blanche is human.
Miss Leigh attributed much of the
success of her characterization of
Blanche Dubois to the influence of Sir
Laurence Olivier, who directed her in
their 1949 London stage production of
Streetcar. However, it was Miss Leigh's
refusal to submit to certain script
changes and her views concerning the
reactions of other characters in the play
to Blanche's behavior that heavily
influenced the final shape and content of
the film. In an interview with critic John
85th year of editorial freedom
magical in life as she was
Gruen, Miss Leigh said, "I'm absolutely
convinced that my screen performance
turned out well through Larry's
(Olivier) remembered direction than
through Elia Kazan's film direction. 1
recall having a bit of a row with Gadge
(Kazan) over Blanche's
characterization. He really didn't like
the character preferred Kowalski, the
Brando part. He kept robbing Blanche
of her poignancy and vulnerability thus
making her more and more
unsympathetic. Finally we had a very
serious talk - and luckily I won out on
a good many points." Miss Leigh lost
her battle for inclusion of the one line in
Williams' play that she felt revealed the
motivation for Blanche's behavior. This
was the line which revealed that
Blanche's young husband had been a
homosexual, "I came into a room and
found my husband with an older man
who had been his friend for years." (The
line was changed in the film to. "He
wasn't like other people.") Miss Leigh
was successful in retaining lines such as
Stella's revelation to Stanley that in her
youth, no one had been more "tender
and trusting" than Blanche. These were
lines which Miss Leigh considered
central to the understanding of
Blanche's character, lines which Kazan
thought minor and wanted cut from the
Vivien Leigh was an actress of great
ambition and determination. She was,
at times, ruthless in her quest to insure a
character's qualities and revelations that
i w s hi f w i rm ii ii i i 1 1 xi i - . . i r l
Flipper and friends
Animal mania: Is anybody human?
By MARC FINLAYSON
All that walk on four legs are good. All that walk on two
legs are bad. That's what George Orwell said in Animal
Farm, and it seems he was right. In today's society, animals
play quite a big role. Just where would humans be without
their beastly friends'?
From an early age you listened as your parents read to you
about the three little pigs, the tortoise and the hare and Br'er
Rabbit. As you became more sophisticated, you marveled at
the misadventures of Donald Duck, Woody Woodpecker
and Huckleberry Hound. You always liked them betterthan
Huntley and Brinkly, didn't you?
When you turned 16 you must have thought you would
never be able to decide between a Mustang, Cougar or
lmpala. One thing was certain though you had to put a
tiger in your tank.
Gentle Ben, Flipper and Lassie warmed your hearts as
they cavorted across your T.V. screen. I'll bet you can't
remember the names of their human owners. You even
found yourself talking to Mr. Ed. Come on, admit it.
In high school, you learned about the American eagle and
what it stood for. You were taught about the threat of the
Acceptance of lesser sum
Editor's Note: This advice, was prepared
by Student Legal Services which
maintains an office in Suite C of the
"Accord and satisfaction" is a doctrine
followed by courts in North Carolina
which states, among other things, that
acceptance of a lesser sum than that
which you feel is owed to you under a
contract acts as "satisfaction" and results
in a complete discharge of the entire debt.
Assume your landlord holds a security
deposit of $100. At the end of your lease,
he or she claims that you have damaged
the apartment (which you deny) and
returns to you a check for only $75. North
Carolina law considers your cashing of
that check to be an "accord and
satisfaction" and a discharge of the entire
$100 debt. You may accept the check
from the landlord and still retain your
right to demand the additional $25, but
once you cash the check, you can no
longer assert any right to a return of the
ADVICE FOR THE DAY: 1) Explain
to your landlord why you object to his or
her w ithholding of a part of your security
deposit. 2) Accept the check for the
smaller amount but do not cash it. 3) If
your landlord continues to refuse to
return what you consider to be a fair sum,
seek legal advice.
she considered necessary to make that
character more complete and
believable. During the filming of her
first Hollywood film. Gone with the
Wind, Miss Leigh and director Victor
Fleming quarreled frequently over their
interpretations of Scarlett O'Hara.
Fleming directed Miss Leigh to "Ham it
up" and demanded more bitchiness;
Miss Leigh complained that the
dialogue was "stupid" and refused to
make Scarlett the shallow creature that
Fleming wanted. Alter one such
confrontation, Fleming exploded.
"As in Shelley's poem,
'walks in beauty like
saying, "Miss Leigh, you can insert this
script up your royal British ass!"
Fleming then left the set and called in
the next day to report having had a
nervous breakdown. Of this and other
incidents, the film's producer, David O.
Selznick, would only say of Miss Leigh,
"She's no Pollyanna."
During much of her lifetime, Vivien
Leigh's acting talent was underrated.
She was an actress hampered by beauty.
Critics praised her beauty, charm, wit
and grace of movement but devoted
little or no attention to her actual
performance. Such critical oversight
infuriated Miss Leigh. She often
confronted critics and verbally chastised
YES, M'soV I REftUE IT YvASMV V0UR
FAill-T that that ucon ir? mh
TROUGH THE GAZEBO - SO, WEU GET
TUE: -REMAtfma AMOUNT To OU (N TUP
MAU- SOnETIME NEXT WEK MEANWVW e
YOU 3E -SORE Ap CASH THAT CVEQ '
X SHY ENTOV vm r- - JV1' .
l I 1 J 1 I 1 1 l I I I I 1 ) "V V! f . I
m l ' r v.:-..-- .
1 WW M .1
on stage, screen
them lor trivial or ambiguous' reviews.
In 1970 Sir Laurence Oliver (Miss
Leigh's husband from 1940 until 1960),
told a reporter, "It always made me so
angry when people said that Vivien
Leigh wasn't talented. A person has to
have talent to be beautiful on the stage
or on the screen.
On the stage Vivien Leigh displayed a
more versatile acting range than on the
screen. She appeared with great success
in comedies such as Thornton Wilder's
"The Skin of Our Teeth" and Terence
Rattigan's "The Sleeping Prince" and in
on film Vivien Leigh
the night' "
dramatic roles such as Antigone and
Cleopatra (in a double production of
both the Shaw and Shakespeare plays).
In 1964, she was awarded Broadway's
Tony Award as "Best Actress in a
Musical" for her singing and dancing
role in "Tovarich." Her limited vocal
range prevented her from being effective
in some roles. Lady Macbeth and Juliet
being notable examples. In many
instances, her acting appeared more
cerebral than heartfelt. But when
portraying a willful, scheming beauty
determined to survive (as in Gone with
the Wind) or an aging beauty beauty
exquisitely on the skid (as in
"Streetcar"), Vivien Leigh was divine.
Russian bear and you surely you didn't call Rommel the
"Desert Person." You learned about the bulls and the bears
of Wall Street and the Swamp Fox. You found out that
Eisenhower was an elephant and Stevenson was a donkey.
High school also taught you about the birds and the bees.
After all that knowledge gained, didn't it feel good to sip
that Schlitz Malt Liquor bull on Friday night or watch the
Rams play the Dolphins Sunday afternoon?
It seems nobody's human any more. Your boss is stubborn
as a mule but his secretary is a fox. Your poor grandmother
was wise as an owl before she went ape. Your uncle made a
pig of himself last night at dinner and you felt like such a goat
for saying something. But he was always a turkey anyway,
right? Your best friend is crazy as a loon and runs around like
a chicken with his head cut off. What can you do?
You could get away from it all and see the country in a
Greyhound. You could curl up with a good book how
about A Lion In Winter! Or go see a movie maybe Dog
Yep, there's no hope for people any more. The cat's out of
the bag, we've literally put the horse before the cart. The
country is going to the dogs.
a junior, is a journalism major from
Anne Edwards recent book, Vivien
Uigh, A Biography, has brought to the
public's attention many aspects of
Vivien Leigh's personality not unlike
those of the women she portrayed on the
screen. From the early Forties until the
end of her life, Vivien Leigh battled with
the conflicting effects of tuberculosis
and manic-depression. Many
psychologists diagnosed her as
schizophrenic. In her later years, her
deep depressions were treated by the
administration of electric shock. The
collapse of her marriage to Sir Laurence
Oliver and their divorce in 1960 further
contributed to her inability to deal with
her personal and professional life. Her
last two films, The Roman Spring of
Mrs. Stone and Ship of Fools, presented
roles which reflected her state of mind:
confused, aging beauties, drifting
aimlessly through life. Many of Miss
Leigh's closest friends insist that she lost
her desire to live and wilted herself to
die. She died in 1967.
Critic Pauline Kael writes that
Blanche's plea, "I don't want realism
I want magic!" is central to Streetcar.
Vivien Leigh created something magical
in many of her roles on the stage and the
screen and in her personal life as well. As
long as films are preserved and
filmgoers exist, Vivien Leigh will .
continue to fascinate audiences with her
acting and her screen presence.
Chester Hunt, a film history buff and
devotee of Vivien Leigh, is a resident of
Jock raid repulsed
To the editor:
It grieves us to have witnessed the
apparent lack of enthusiasm displayed by the
North Campus Men's Dorms on Tuesday
night. Is chivalry dead? On a friendly
impulse, 18 residents of Mclver Dorm tried
to maintain the age-old tradition of the
Carolina Jock Raid. Not only did we fail to
receive the "support" of the North Campus
guys, we were actually chased out of the
Upper Quad. In the past, we have come to
expect more from these dorms, and quite
frankly, we are disappointed. Must we resort
to South Campus to find some real men?
Come on, North Campus, give it up!
Signed by 18 residents of Mclver Dorm
Stop the resentment
To the editor:
Concerning Mr. Lancaster's letter of Oct.
14th ("Affirmative action is not reverse
Rights are for everyone, not just blacks.
Do you, Lancaster, think discriminating
against whites now is the way to correct the
injustices of the past? (Of course you don't
call it discrimination but instead use the
euphemism "affirmative action.") It's a
cliche, but two wrongs don't make a right.
Being a M arine, "who knows nothing but
how to shine shoes, guard gates and march,"
I know the feeling of prejudice. It bothers
me, but it hasn't made me ashamed of
myself, and it hasn't kept me from still
striving to prove them wrong. Why can't you
be the same way? You and too many others
rationalize that blacks need special
considerations because society is against
you. If this is true, is it actually preventing
you from trying to be the best? Are you
closed-minded enough to believe those
unqualified minority students who were
admitted to the California medical school
were unqualified because society made them
feel they couldn't succeed rather than
because they just hadn't studied as hard? If
so, you're using color as a crutch. I suggest
you have some more "hours of reflection and
study" and strive to prove you can succeed.
Most blacks I know and read about seem
pretty proud of themselves. If you are, I
challenge you to show good cause for being
so. With your pride and intelligence you
should be good enough to require no special
considerations. Besides, how much pride can
a person have who's been honored or given a
position not because he merits it but because
he is the "right" color?
I may sound prejudiced. I can only say I'm
not. Too bad I'm not black while writing this
letter people might call me "rights
conscious" instead of "bigot." I realize, that
because the very bad conditions social
and economic blacks were forced to live
through lingered somewhat, they have been
put at a disadvantage. I don't like this, and I
condemn disliking and discriminating
against a person because of his color. But
things have changed. Surely you will admit
this. The door is open, and despite the ever
present cynics who say otherwise, you can go
a long way in the country. But this country
won't improve much if one group of people
continue harboring resentment and hatred
against another fueled by the past. If this
continues, what's to prevent the latter group
from resenting the former? I borrow a
quotation: "If I open the door for someone
and he slams it in my face, I'm not reopening
it so he can slam it in my face again."
To the editor:
In view of the facts presented in the article
on the inadequacy of the UNC library.
("UNC officials upset over library declines,"
Oct. 17), how can anybody on this campus
call UNC one of the better state-supported
schools in America? It's no wonder that the
interlibrary loan office in Wilson is such a
necessary part of the library system. By the
way, whatever happened to the plans for the
new central library? We could use it now
more than ever.
in Slavic Languages