featured, Love from a Stranger (1937), MOVIES, PHOTOS
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“Love From a Stranger” in ten seconds or less




Meet Carol…

Who’s fed up with routine and  engaged to Ronnie…

All you need to know about Ronnie is that he’s not easily uprooted and  has spent five  years in the Sudan with one end in view. So that when Carol tells him he can give up his office job because she’s won the French National Lottery he looks like this…

And when Gerald turns up being romantic and gazing out of windows looking like this…

Carol ditches Ronnie, marries Gerald and starts doing this a lot…

Unfortunately Gerald has pressure in his head due to a bad war and it sometimes makes him look like this…

or this on a bad day…

Ronnie warns Carol he’s not to be trusted, but since Ronnie  still looks like this…

and Gerald still looks like this…

Carol decides to take the risk so she can keep on doing this…

However, the pressure in Gerald’s head also means he quite enjoys murdering people – mostly his wives  – and being in his  basement like this…

And when Carol discovers this she looks like this..

and persuades Gerald she poisoned him, which  makes him look like this…

And then die just before Ronnie breaks in with the police and rescues her. Carol and Ronnie then live happily ever after (we are left to assume)

Sadly Ronnie still looks like this…

But then a girl can’t have everything


  1. This is brilliant and sums it up so well! I wish you could do this for more films…you made me want to rewatch the film…Nb: I feel like Rowland V. Lee brings out the sth in Rathbone that is inherent but that many other directors tried to stifle by making him just the supporting actor…incidentally, I’ve been reading lots of the vintage fan and film biz mags & it seems he was initially given the Casanova/great lover/ladies love baz/ratters has their clothes in tatters…I wonder what it was that changed that? Also, I find many contemporary film academics will go on and on about Coleman, George Brent, George Sanders, etc as suave debonair erudite uk transplants (all great yes!) but they leave baz out…he’s usually a footnote to Errol or Tyrone…what gives?


  2. MIKUFAN says

    So I just watched this movie.
    I’m good.
    Not that Basil scared me in it.
    Not at all.


    ;-; Gerald’s going to haunt my dreams for the next five months omg.


  3. GRETCHEN says

    Oh, and I also thought this role was the MOST “Vincent-Priciest” one Basil EVER played…in fact, Vincent would’ve been GREAT in it, too! If only HE’D been “Ronnie”!!

    Even BETTER— Basil as Ronnie and Vincent as Gerald…yeah, THAT’S more like it! 🙂


    • Ellen Foley says

      At least we wouldn’t have had the constipated look all the film.And prob some even funnier stories with Vin & Baz.2 comedians who seemed to enjoy working together.Vinnie should’ve been in The Mad Doctor,too,but I don’t know in what part,maybe in lieu of an ex


  4. GRETCHEN says

    Just watched this movie a few days ago, for the FIRST time…Basil is realistically CREEPY, as he goes from sweet to psycho. But, his female co-star is AMAZING in that last scene! She’s scared to DEATH, and at the same time, uses reverse-psychology on him to keep him at BAY until she’s ultimately rescued. I think it’s the most FRIGHTENING role Basil ever played, because it’s very close to how ACTUAL sociopathic murderers are…they mimic love and charm to win-over their victims, then when they have the money they suckered them out-of, they get a sexual THRILL out of murdering them.

    In this case, I actually felt SORRY for “Gerald”, because he’s fighting something evil within him, aroused by the war, and he’s UNABLE to control or stop it. Plus, he’s having all these heart-problems and headaches, too. I wonder how difficult it was for Basil to talk about the war in those lines he speaks in the film, since he’d actually BEEN there, and all. (TOTAL-FLASHBACK-CITY!!) And, how hard it was for him to pretend to be so physically-cruel and violent, being such a LOVING and gentle person.

    VERY well-done…I only wish he’d had the chance to act in MORE movies as good as this, in his lifetime. I know he’d have felt GREATLY rewarded both as a human being, and an actor.

    The above vignette is pretty FUNNY, I must admit. I found a hilarious YOUTUBE vid called “Gerald What”, which is a repeated loop of the scene where Carol is on the couch and says “Gerald?”, and Basil indignantly yells “WHAT?!”. That’s a GOOD one, too! 🙂


      • GRETCHEN says

        You can find the vid “Gerald What” on the “bing” search-engine. Type-in “Basil Rathbone” and the search-results page will have a section called “videos of Basil Rathbone”, with a group of photos under it. Clicking on this will bring you to the HUGE video-page…you can ALSO find this vid on YOUTUBE, on the channel “Bill Yarrow”.

        Three films I watched off-of “bing” videos last week, are: “Love From a Stranger”, “Make a Wish” (Basil’s most NATURALLY-acted role as basically HIMSELF, with a different name), and “Sin Takes a Holiday”. “Bing” has MANY rare sound-recordings of Basil reading poems/stories on records and wax-cylinders, too. You can find MORE Baz-stuff on YOUTUBE, of course, which I also LOVE to check-out!

        Here is a list of OTHER great vids (for DIE-HARD Baz-fans) I found on “bing”, most of which are imported from YOUTUBE…

        “The Deaths of Basil Rathbone” (on YOUTUBE channel “Sopmylo”), is an AWESOME vid of ALL 4 sword-fighting deaths of BR at the SAME time!! Films featured: “Captain Blood”, “The Adventures of Robin Hood”, “The Mark of Zorro”, and “The Court Jester”.

        “Vincent Price VS Basil Rathbone” (by “cinemassacre” on BLIP) is a cute vid featuring ALL the different film-scenes in which VP attempts to dispatch BR (from “Tower of London”, “Tales of Terror”, and “A Comedy of Terrors”), ending with the last of “Mr. Black”…too BAD they don’t continue that scene to include the part when he comes to life ONE last time, and Vincent dies from the poison; then Baz would WIN!! It’s hilariously-narrated, as well. (They also produce other VS-vids of famous horror stars— FUNNY stuff!)

        Some BEAUTIFULLY-DONE, short photo/video-montage vids set to music, are:

        “Basil Rathbone (Augusto Mariante)” (on YOUTUBE channel “AntonioAugustoMarianteFurtado”), which is set to a popular ’30s Bing Crosby song.

        “There’s No Face Like Holmes” (on YOUTUBE channel “jigsmave”), this is VERY well-done, with GREAT film-effects and music.

        “Movie Legends- Basil Rathbone” (on YOUTUBE channel “BasilNelson”), includes some charming pics of Baz, and soft, pleasant music.

        “Perpetual Motion (Original) Adam B. Harris” (by Adam B Harris on METACAFE), with a NEAT original song, set to video-images from “The Magic Sword”.

        “You’re My Best Friend- Holmes & Watson” (on YOUTUBE channel “TheDreamWorldReality”), is a cute BROMANCE- sequence between Basil and Nigel, set to the famous “Queen” song— PERFECT choice!

        “I Wanna Do Bad Things With Sherlock Holmes” (on YOUTUBE channel “ShiksWithChutzpah1”), is a VERY SEXY vid of scenes from both Jeremy Brett AND Basil Rathbone as the famous sleuth.

        “My Favorites/Beautiful Boy” (on YOUTUBE channel “AliceVonFrankenstein”), features MANY handsome male stars of the Golden-Age of Hollywood, as well as Basil from some of his SILENT film-scenes…quite touching, and well-worth watching! (GREAT song-choice, too!)

        (A few from YOUTUBE channel “GoodOldBaz”): “basil the great new!_0001.wmv” uses the haunting theme-song from “Edward Scissorhands”, and “Basil Rathbone- Sherlock Holmes” uses the song from the INTENSE basement-scene, from the film “Love From a Stranger”. (SO many “FROMS”!) There was ONE more I wasn’t sure about, but I BELIEVE it’s also from this same channel, called “Basil Rathbone-A Life In Scenes”.

        There are two interesting excerpts from interviews…one from William Shatner (about Basil and the “bucket-incident”!) at the YOUTUBE channel “ThePaleyCenterForMedia”, and one from Tommy Kirk at a trade-show, telling how wonderful and “fun” Basil was to be-around and talk-to, on the YOUTUBE channel “MatthewRettenmund”.

        A sweet little film-short using scenes from “The Great Mouse Detective” (re-done in black & white), called “Basil Rathbone of Baker Street” (which has vocal-overdubs from Baz and Nigel), can be found on YOUTUBE channel “aj3tmnt”.

        You can find the film “Queen of Blood” from the show “Creature Feature Theatre”, on YOUTUBE channel “tarogoji”. (Fun-fact: the “control-room” scenes Basil does in “Voyage to the Prehistoric Planet” were done on the SAME set, probably the SAME day, as his scenes in this film…guess it saved money AND time, that way!)

        The movie “Hillbillys in a Haunted House” is on YOUTUBE channel “dumptv”, and on “dumptv.com”, which is the website of the TV show “Dumpsterpiece Theatre”. The picture-quality is AWFUL (like the film), copied from a badly-mangled VHS tape! To make it WORSE, there’s NO hillbillys in it…just some unknown country-singers and bands with little-to-NO acting-talent, showcasing their forgotten music— EXCEPT for Merle Haggard, who probably only did this thing for extra PUBLICITY. Yup, if you were expecting “Jethro” and “Ellie-Mae”, you’re in for a BIG let-down. Sadly, poor Baz, Lon, and John only appear in 1/3 of it… and, doing GOOFY cliche-scenes straight out-of 1930s-’40s “Ritz Brothers”, “Three Stooges”, and “Abbott & Costello” horror-pictures— including, of course, a guy in a GORILLA-suit! WARNING: The song “Gowns” may get stuck in your head for DAYS…I’m not KIDDING!!

        There’s a NEAT vid of an episode of the ’50s TV show “Lights Out” with Basil in it, called “Dead Man’s Coat”, on YOUTUBE channel “publicvideos4u”. It’s NOT that well-acted, and seems like a kiddie-show, but it’s still FUN to watch.

        Last but CERTAINLY least, we have the rather CHEEKY, comical “Cheap Animation- Sherlock Holmes ep. 2- The Missing Lesbian”, on YOUTUBE channel “youtalking2me”. Don’t ASK!

        YAY! I’m finally DONE with this thing…at long, LONG-last!!!

        So, these were the BEST vids I could find on “bing”…if I see more ELSWHERE, I may give those-out, too. If you’re wondering WHY I went to ALL this trouble, I just figured it would help you guys to discover some NEAT Baz-stuff, without having to go through the HOURS of work, yourselves!! Oh, and perhaps they can be LINKED to this blog, and to basilrathbone.net, by Neve, and Marcia!

        ENJOY!! 🙂


  5. Woah, so many comments… You’re doing great, Neve! Just wanted to say that I also laughed a lot, and that I’d rather take the risk of being poisoned by staying with Gerald than seeing that hideous expression of Ronnie all day and every day…


    • Love this,esp Ronnie comments.George Sanders was supposed to have said to Baz on his return to Hollywood after getting parts for years thatwould’ve gone to Baz,”I thought you’d died,”and included how unfortunate,and Baz got a great kick out of it.Vincent Price quite enjoyed Baz’s stories and often talked quite fondly of him.Like the scene with Baz,Vinnie drinking malmsey,and Boris and Basil throwing Vinnie in the vat (and the story of the coke as malmsey and Baz and Boris littering the vat with trash before Vinnie gets dunked)


  6. Is he supposed to be – you know – “giving himself a good time” to that music? I always thought the way it reaches a (ahem) climax is kinda suggestive


    • Odette says

      I always assumed he was supposed to be getting off on it, though obviously not actually doing anything since both his hands are in view (blush)


  7. FredaKowlie says

    Hi, I’ve been a fan of Basil for years and just found this blog through IMDB. Great job. I enjoy this movie, but can NOT get my head round his “illness”. What is it exactly? His head hurts and then so does his heart and it’s all to do with the war? How, pray? It’s a Movie Disease, like Bette Davis’s brain tumour in Dark Victory.


    • BazBabe says

      like Movie Disease. Bette Davis in Dark Victory is just right. wtf was that? LOLS


    • Ellen Foley says

      Maybe his illness was so many admirers and not enough time,or too much wifely spending,at least in LFAS,it was Gerald who wanted the money and did anything to get it


  8. i think this film was pre-ww2.basil and ouida did live in england at some point before the war .he even took his beloved dog moritz .i think{it was a rule}the dog had to be quarantined for 6 months.so,they must have been there awhile.
    he did offer his service when the war broke out but was turned down due to age.he was 47 at the time.he did do alot for the war cause here in the states.however,i think he and other brits were put down for not going home to live,especially during the blitz.
    i do not thing this is fair.i would not have went back either.tho leslie howard was in his 50s and went back.his plane was shot down and he was killed.


      • AnnaPindurka says

        In “The Brits in Hollywood”, Sheridan Morley writes at length about the attacks in the British press on all the British actors remaining in Hollywood during the war, regardless of their age (and the fact that their government had specifically told them to help British propaganda by remaining there).


          • yes,read that book also.the authors father was a british actor .i think his name was robert morley.i read the book quite awhile ago.
            the remarks he made about basil and ouida seemed negative.i took it he{or maybe his father}did not care for them.
            he thought alot of ronald colman.


          • searched for the book the brits in hollwood.i no longer have it.so,i cannot quote exactly mr.morleys remarks.he spoke of ouida thinking she was the first lady or hostess of hollywood.basil was too english.basil was bothered too much about his performances.where as ronnie did his thing and moved on to the next movie without dwelling on it.ronnie also did not act soo english.


            • rosebette says

              I was able to read snippets of it online. While Morley is rather unflattering about Ouida, he has some rather nice remarks about Basil in the context of actors being different from their screen personas. He mentions that while some actors, like Cary Grant, were charming on-screen, off-screen he was insecure and aloof, while Basil, despite his film roles, was a charming and warm man who loved a good joke. x


              • AnnaPindurka says

                Sheridan Morley’s grandmother, Glady Cooper, played Basil’s wife in The Black Cat. I was looking for clues there as to chemistry or otherwise, but they just come across as polished and professional in that film together. There is an interesting little quote from her from a letter in 1940, when the Hollywood Brits put on a stage production of Noel Coward’s “Tonight at 8.30” for the British Relief fund:
                “… I am playing the wife in “The Astonished Heart” with Basil Rathbone as the psychiatrist: he is awfully nice to direct and I am getting all the ‘ham’ out of him at last!”
                (This is from Morley’s “Glady Cooper: A Biography”)


              • i finally reached the person i gave this book to.i bought it in 1983,its first publishing .then it was called tales from the hollywood raj.
                so,now i need to take myself to task{partly}.the above very nice remark was a quote from george sanders not mr. morley
                the kinda nastiest quote was from vincent price calling ouida as behaving like some mad duchess and throwing gardenias in the swimming pool smelling appallingly.
                there were a total of 22 mentions of basil and ouida in the index.
                i felt it not fair to ask my friend to read them all.
                he did say that the author said that no longer was it ok to be british and get by like that in hollywood.basil could no longer get by being two profiles pasted together as described by dorothy parker.also his career was minor in stardom.
                i disagree.
                again i just wanted to correct myself.i do not own a kindle or a nook.i still read those old books.i only keep the ones of sentimental or monetary value.the others get passed on.


                • Fancy Pants Mare says

                  Wow, Sheridan Morley sounds like a resentful bitch. 😉 “Minor Star?” He was famous all over the world for Sherlock Holme alone.

                  What was the remark made by George Sanders?


            • Ellen Foley says

              I remember reading Hollywood Raj when it 1st came out,and sorry I gave it away.Seemed like Baz sounded like a minor part of Brit Colony w/Ronnie as king.Oh to see H’wood Cricket club on Sundays,drinks tent and hobnob with members.Was Rodionpart when staying w/Baz in late ’30s,as he was in cricket uniform in some pic w/Baz &Ouida


          • AnnaPindurka says

            Just to add to what embechtel and rosebette have already said in response to your question, this is from When Hollywood Loved Britain by H. Mark Glancy.
            Criticisms began with an article in Picturegoer magazine in January 1940. Then producer Michael Balcon spoke highly indignantly about the subject in the same magazine in May that year. He praised David Niven and Leslie Howard for returning and mentioned no names in his attacks (other than referring to Alexander Korda and his brothers).
            A few weeks later actor-manager and Equity official Sir Seymour Hicks wrote a letter to The Times. He said things like his colleagues were “gone with the wind up” and “gallantly facing the footlights in Hollywood”, and said that the government should “explain quite plainly when they arrive in Britain on Armistice Day whether they are to be fined, imprisoned or welcomed back as charming prodigal sons.” This also seems to be directed at the British community in Hollywood as a whole, who turned for help to the British consul in Los Angeles, Eric Cleugh, who even asked for help from the Ambassador in Washington DC, Lord Lothian. The book says here: “The Consul, however, could not publicize the fact that the British government wanted to maintain a British presence in Hollywood. Such a disclosure would have been a gift to American isolationists”
            The American press was dismayed by the attacks and came to the defence of the Brits, publishing a major article in The New York Daily News pointing out all the work they have done for war causes and mentioning that many (Nigel Bruce, Ronald Colman, Herbert Marshall, Claude Rains and Basil Rathbone) had served in World War I, that C. Aubrey Smith was “old enough to have drawn a longbow at Hastings” and that younger stars (Errol Flynn, Cary Grant and Laurence Olivier are mentioned) were also past the conscription age.


            • Ellen Foley says

              Let’s see,you want the Rathbones working for Brit War Relief,visit the wounded,act how many hours a day,other Brits to attend the parties and donate from their salaries,then go back to Britain and starve,put their lives on the line to be in Britain,be a part of rationing.Makes little sense why any H’wood Brits would return home,chance U-Boats to pacify the grumblers when they greatly contributed to fund raisers.While Ouida may have bs’d her bio,she still helped the War Efforts.I doubt if any extravagant War-related parties weren’t funded by Baz’s checkbook.He doesn’t strike me as denying anyone helpThis alone should’ve earned a Knighthood.


  9. FreddysFriend says

    I came here on a link fromGreenbriar. This is an excellent blog. I literally can’t stop laughing at this”qwik-guide”.! The expression on Ronnie’s face!!! That is the best screen cap anyone has ever done ever.


  10. Anita Vaudricourt says

    Yeah this bring up a question about the movie for me (as well as being funny). Did Gerald have a war wound or not? I never can decide whether all that stuff about pressure in his head just him going for sympathy or if he’s really messed up.


      • Anita Vaudricourt says

        I don’t see Gerald Lovell as a man scarred by war. He’s just a psychopath and he probally made up the war stories


      • yea,the war came up several times.also,i think an episode of him being beaten in school.i think he tellls it while he is winding up that old clock.


  11. Fred Singer says

    Very well done. Was the actor playing Ronnie ever in anything else? And why was Basil in England at the time, was it to do with the war?


  12. Lemony Snicket says

    I always wonderd why they didn’t equip Carol with a slightly more attractive fiance, even if not charismatic he could be reasonably good-looking, could he not? Given the choice between him and Mr Rathbone, what girl will think twice?


  13. WnniethePooh says

    I haven’t laughed so much in ages, you have to do more of these, and I have to watch Love from a Stranger again!


  14. Basil's Girl says

    This is mega-funny. I haven’t seen the movie, but I don’t care, it was worth the spoiler


  15. rosebette says

    This is delightful and very funny. Yes, Gerald is so much more interesting. Why are nice guys so boring-looking?


  16. Katoodlel Lolly says

    You did this very, very well! I am still laughing, because you have hit the nail right on the head. I adore this movie. The whole movie is on youtube, and can be rented from netflix. Good for a a girl to watch, who is becoming bored of routine to realize that, all is not gold that glitters! But I still love Baz here, even if he is a murderer! Oops, sorry! His acting in this movie gave me the chills, it is so real. Thanks for reading!


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