4 user 1 critic

Darlings of the Gods (1989)

Biographical dramatization of the tempestuous marriage of actors Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh.


Catherine Millar


Garry O'Connor (book), Roger Simpson | 1 more credit »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Anthony Higgins ... Laurence Olivier
Mel Martin ... Vivien Leigh
Jerome Ehlers Jerome Ehlers ... Peter Finch
Rhys McConnochie ... Ralph Richardson
Anthony Hawkins Anthony Hawkins ... Cecil Tennant
Lindy Davies Lindy Davies ... Antonia Vaughan
Jackie Kelleher Jackie Kelleher ... Elsie Beyer
Nicki Paull Nicki Paull ... June Kelly
Barry Quin ... Dan Cunningham
Frederick Court Frederick Court ... Peter
Shane Briant ... Cecil Beaton
Martin Redpath Martin Redpath ... George
Judith Graham Judith Graham ... Mercia
John Higginson John Higginson ... Terence
Christine Harris Christine Harris ... Georgia


Biographical dramatization of the tempestuous marriage of actors Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Biography | Drama




Australia | UK



Release Date:

21 February 1991 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Az istenek kegyeltjei See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


(2 episodes)

Sound Mix:



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User Reviews

Olivier and Leigh in Australia in 1948
18 March 2015 | by blanche-2See all my reviews

"Darlings of the Gods" is the story of the Laurence Olivier-Vivien Leigh relationship in 1948, when they were working in Australia. It was at this point that Leigh began a relationship with Peter Finch, and her bipolar condition worsened.

The two-parter stars Anthony Higgins as Olivier, Mel Martin as Vivien Leigh, and Jerome Ehlers as Finch.

I've read some interesting criticisms on this board about the acting and the script. I don't entirely agree with the criticism. First of all, where the heck are you going to find actors that look like Olivier and Leigh? You're not. Higgins is referred to on this site as a bad television actor when in fact he was extremely accomplished in theater; his big break came as Edmund in Long Day's Journey.

In some scenes, he actually sounded like Olivier, and I didn't find his acting amateur or television-like. The role is a difficult one, that of a very committed actor with a lot of responsibility who has an unstable wife. It's something he hasn't bargained for.

Mel Martin, normally a blond, is a wonderful actress and incorporated the outward persona of Leigh well, giving a heartfelt performance. The late Jerome Ehlers made a very attractive Peter Finch.

True, the script did put us in the middle of a dysfunctional relationship with no back story. It is based on the book, and the book focuses on this one period. I would say it's really for fans of Leigh's and Olivier's who already have a certain amount of information about them.

Beautiful scenery and high production values -- I found it entertaining.

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