Basil Rathbone is currently featured on TCM, and here are some very Baz-centric user reviews of the epic SIN TAKES A HOLIDAY
And Frank Miller’s review of the same includes this rather nice para on the Baz that helps reassert his heretofore forgotten stint as matinee idol:
Rathbone’s presence has also helped generate the film’s cult status. Before his rise to become one of the screen’s best villains (in films such as 1935’s David Copperfield and Anna Karenina), Rathbone was a matinee idol with a horde of devoted female fans. His first stint in talking films, starting as Norma Shearer’s suave love interest in MGM’s 1929 version of The Last of Mrs. Cheyney, were designed to build on that image. The eight films he made in just over a year present only a hint of what was to come thanks to his casting as society sleuth Philo Vance in The Bishop Murder Case (1930), a chance to do detective work long before he became the movies’ most famous Sherlock Holmes. Sin Takes a Holiday marked the end of his early Hollywood period. He would return to Broadway for two more seasons before making a full-scale move back into the movies.
It’s perhaps also noteworthy that this movie was a commercial success, and that Basil garnered the best of the lukewarm reviews – both of which seem to further undermine the suggestion made in some quarters that he quit Hollywood in 1932 because of bad public reception and poor reviews. Where did this idea originate? And upon what is it actually based?