Olivia de Havilland, RIP

July 31, 2020

By John McClaughry

Olivia de Havilland died last week at the age of 104. She was remembered by most  for her role as Melanie in Gone with the Wind, but for me she will always be Maid Marian in the 1938 Warner Brothers production of Robin Hood. For years I have held that up to my children as the finest movie ever made.

Actors Ronald Reagan and Olivia de Havilland eating lunch together at the Warner Bros Studio commissary, Los Angeles, 1938. (Photo by Archive Photos/Moviepix/Getty Images)

Olivia playedin it the sweet, ingenuous Maid Marian, a ward of the crown. She played off against the handsome, dashing, courageous and infinitely charming Robin (Errol Flynn), learning in his Sherwood Forest hideout of his battle against the tyrannical oppression of AngloSaxon peasants by the bad Prince John (Claude Rains) , the evil Sir Guy of Gisborne (Basil Rathbone)  and the greedy Sheriff of Nottingham (Melville Cooper)..

In real life, Olivia was a sincere American liberal. Like her contemporary and sometime Flynn co-star Ronald Reagan, she stood up for American liberties and denounced the extensive communist infiltration of Hollywood. In an address in 1946 she said the liberal movement “is controlled by those who are more interested in taking orders from Moscow and following the party line than they are in making democracy work.” The only answer was for liberals to distance themselves from Stalin and his followers, the American Communists. “We believe in democracy,” she told the crowd, “and not in Communism.” Bravely spoken, Maid Marian!

She took much furious abuse from the communists for that, but earned the praise of those who, like Ronald Reagan,  shared her idea of America as a  land of freedom. Rest in Peace.

John McClaughry is vice president of the Ethan Allen Institute.

{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment

{ 1 trackback }

Previous post:

Next post:

About Us

The Ethan Allen Institute is Vermont’s free-market public policy research and education organization. Founded in 1993, we are one of fifty-plus similar but independent state-level, public policy organizations around the country which exchange ideas and information through the State Policy Network.

Latest News

Do Black Opinions Matter?

August 7, 2020 By Rob Roper As the House Judiciary Committee began virtual public hearings on police reform, and VPIRG, the Vermont ACLU and other groups hop on...

Massachusetts TCI Bill

August 7, 2020 By John McClaughry Last week the Massachusetts House , with its large Democratic supermajority, passed a lengthy bill that claims to “create a roadmap to...

Is “White” River Junction Racist?

August 6, 2020 By David Flemming Yes, that’s apparently a serious question. Online petitions have become a popular way to rally around various social issues in recent years....

Olivia de Havilland, RIP

July 31, 2020 By John McClaughry Olivia de Havilland died last week at the age of 104. She was remembered by most  for her role as Melanie in Gone...

Covid Is the Iceberg that Sinks the Public School System

July 31, 2020 by Rob Roper Covid 19 is going to change how many things are done around the world even long after it’s gone, and some for...