A Feather in Hert Hat (1935), MOVIES
Comments 61

A Feather in Her Hat (1935)

A FEATHER IN HER HAT (1935) is a weird little film, and the Baz’s presence in it is hard to explain in some ways, though interesting and engaging to watch. He plays Captain Courtney, a WWI vet, psychologically scarred and taken to booze to ease his pain, who is adopted by “cockney” widow, Pauline Lord, as a live-in life and speech coach for her only son, in the hope he can turn him into a Gentleman. The plan succeeds brilliantly as the son turns into Louis Hayward, with cut glass Bertie Wooster vowels and patent leather hair – but this is only the start of the angst, pain and misunderstandings…

Basil is grayed up for much of the film and evidently intended to be playing someone considerably older than his real age (60+ presumably, though this doesn’t really fit with his having been active in WWI), and he is also required to be a colorless, retiring sort of chap, which doesn’t fit easily with his always vibrant (in those days) on-screen persona and general physical beauty. But he does a decent job within those limitations, and it’s interesting to see him allowed to do some subtle bits of character acting for a change. Pauline Lord, playing the widow, was only two years older than him, though she looks old enough to be his mom, even when he’s grayed, which makes the hinted romance between them a little jarring.

Still I recommend the movie to anyone who enjoys classic Hollywood, creaky curiosities in film – and of course the Baz.

Here is the complete movie. It might not be here very long, so make the most of it while you can 🙂

And now, as it’s Sunday, here are some more caps – courtesy of A Folded Umbrella on tumblr



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61 Comments

  1. I have been wanting to see this film ever since I stumbled across some stills from the film on eBay. Thanks for the post and for the film link! Rathbone always enjoyed taking on different roles and perhaps he liked the challenge this one provided, even if he wasn’t entirely suited for the role. His haracter’s grey hair probably came from worry and drink. 😉

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    • Glad you liked the movie. I’m planning to upload a few of his more obscure films in the future. So stay tuned 🙂

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  2. Hot Chick says

    Anyone have any idea who his other lovers were? X says one or two were big names. Hmm…*starts scanning lists of likely names*

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  3. Ellen Foley says

    Speaking about Louis Hayward,anyone catch a goreous Peter Cushing in that film?He was Capt of Guard,I believe,too bad his film career didn’t take off from there.Just equate his friendship w/Christopher Lee with that of Baz & Nige.Too bad OR didn’t appreciate some of his “kitchen pals” that is where I would prefer to hang at a stuffy old party,if I even decided to force myself to go-the ultimate wallflower,that is me!

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    • GRETCHEN says

      Peter Cushing sure was SEXY!! 😉

      Such gentle, KIND eyes; such a WARM, tender heart and soul……what a TOTAL SWEETIE!

      He waited to be reunited with his wife Helen for over 20 years, after her passing…considering his life after her death as “just killing time”, until they could be together again—to join her was his “only ambition”.

      Gee, I’ll bet Basil didn’t feel that way about Ouida! 😮

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      • the countess says

        vision of Mr Rathbone at gate of Heaven dancing a jig,tossing halo into the air. when St. Pete say’s ..”Till death did you part..after that it’s all your own choice.my boy.Go Yee and be free”

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        • Ellen Foley says

          Love it-Baz yelling “Made it,ma,top o’ the world while waving to Weeds in the other place,and Baz surrounded by all his well-wishers he accum during a life of self-sacrifice and kindness.Weeds pushing to get to head of table of Hades,being tied up,Lucifer sells tickets to those she scre—-d over during her BR marriage/H’wood and there’s a line going up o Heaven for those to take their best shot and give her a literal taste of being b- slapped.Sorry,bad influences on me from cleaning up after too many arguments I could never win and just imaging how retribution could be in afterlife.But Baz did deserve to be led to head of line in Heaven,maybe not a saint to his wives,but a true friend to any deserving his attention.In Heaven,and a sell-out crowd every night to show him love he deserved,but was often lacking from selfish so-and-sos (choose to be nicer than what some of those so-and-sos deserve.Think he took anything another person perceived as unkind very hard cuz he was so sensitive,and can only imagine some unkind things said to him thru his life.

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    • Ellen Foley says

      Sorry,film w/young Peter Cushing was The Man In The Iron Mask.Peter had a beard.

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  4. Clancy says

    I just watched the film. That is a beautiful man and a fine actor. I wish he had had more chance to play quirky parts like this. What a waste.

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    • Ellen Foley says

      Didn’t Baz say pics like “Feather” were his “bread & butter roles”?Think it way up there,even more than KIND LADY as truly mustsee movies of his.Love pic of Vinnie/light of his life.LOL Coral comment.Why 2 true gents had such wives.Most Vinnie comments I’ve heard on Baz was how smart/funny he was-still love that Malmsey scen from their Tower of London,and the reward of a case of coke,cuz it made those 2 sick.Wonder if they shared coca cola in the kitchen at OR’s party with no spending limit.Hope he had a little “dust” handy too (I picture outtake from a Matthau/Lemmon film when Walter asks Jack “Got any crack?).I know that’s not a funny thing to mention,but those 2 jokers sharing that scene,even if a blooperwas LOL funny (think it might’ve been Out To Sea).

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      • the countess says

        Well haveing seen every Vinny interview I colud see when I was youn belive me he spoke with great love for Basil and always had funny things to relate about him and Karloff. Pitty we couldnt record all that stuff back then..i never even had a tape recorder till i was in highschool Some one gave me a old reel to reel which i couldnt even find reels for so that christmas fter much plading i got a cassett recorder for my present.

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        • the countess says

          …Christmas after much pleading..jezzze louise.Keyboards without letters on them are hard to use.need to repaint soon.presently without e r t i a s h n and m and o are mostly gone too.

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  5. About Louis Hayward, there is a “fan”of his who goes round to all the sites that talk about him saying he wasn’t gay and Noel Coward as a liar for saying they were lovers. She like even says Noel was a “sad old perv” and really homophobic things like that. She just messaged me on Tumblr and you can see it on my page. She is now saying Louis was bisexual because now she knows she can’t claim he was straight any more because so much has come out, like about Noel calling him “Sugar”. So I say s**w her and her homophobia 😀

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    • GRETCHEN says

      Hannah—

      Sounds like another “Alyssia”…maybe it IS her, going by a different name! 😉

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      • Hannah says

        And there’s also a man who claims he was Louis’s manager and who posts everywhere saying Noel was a liar and Louis was straight, but it turns out he didn’t even know Louis until years after he was with Noel, that is if he really even knew him at all and isn’t just a faker. Maybe “he” is the same person as the one on Tumblr?? It’s rally weird anyway.

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        • Ellen Foley says

          Louis strikes me as underappreciated actor deserving more notice.Unfortunate the character assassinations of celebs,living & dead,but here,even the facts disputed when presented w/conclusive evidence.Don’t like facts being disputed by someone claiming to be in the know when so many have spent great deal of time & their own money to share pertinent info here,even if there are people offended by that info (ie same sex partners,extra marital affairs,depth of his feelings for X,protecting hearth & home for someone who exhibits murderous rage,then either before/after attempts suicide,trying to say it never happened).Always liked X,David,too,glad Baz had friends like B.Yurka/Constance Collier,who could essentially do nada to intervene,sure Ms Yurka’s comment brought unladylike response (the F-bomb wouldn’t surprise me from Mrs Rathbone-DeFarge).

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    • the countess says

      Well I aint Gretchen but thanks from me too.I’ll share Vinny with you in Heaven, Gretchen..If I can keep Basil all to myself. Oh and in that pic Coral looks like shes been on a diet. :}

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      • Hannah says

        LOL!! I don’t know if I like Coral Browne, what do you guys think? And I wish Vincent had talked more about his friendship with Basil.

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        • GRETCHEN says

          Coral had “narcissistic personality-disorder”, JUST like Ouida. Too bad Vincent got stuck with one of those, TOO! 😦

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      • GRETCHEN says

        I think we can ALL share Basil in heaven!! 😉

        I’m sure he wouldn’t mind, since he NEVER got that kind of love HERE (at least, not without paying a price—and by “price”, I mean both in money AND pain)! 😮

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  6. GRETCHEN says

    WOW……THANKS, HANNAH!!! 🙂

    (Oh, Vincent—how I MISS you so!)

    This photo is PERFECT for Halloween, as well as the 20th anniversary of Vinnie’s death (on October 25th).

    Yup; for ME, it’s a “toss-up” between Vincent and Basil—I’d have taken EITHER of them…or even BOTH—hee, HEE!! 😉 LOVE YOU GUYS!

    (Well, their just gonna have to FIGHT over who gets me, in heaven……unless they can learn to “share”!)

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    • Hannah says

      I wanna do a Vincent/Basil compilation vid for Halloween, but I don’t know if I have time with all the school work. 😦

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  7. Hally says

    I am!!!! 😀 I have been letting my Basil blog slide because of schoolwork (bah!!), but I read The Baz every day!!! *waves at Hannah*. Your blog is so amazing now, mine looks a bit cruddy.

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  8. This is one of my totally favorite films ever. Ever. I’m a huge fan of Louis Hayward even more than Basil, in fact my Tumblr blog features him. He doesn’t have a lot of fans now, but I think he deserves to be remembered. He’s wonderful in this film. And he was a lovely sweet man in real life.

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  9. rosebette says

    I sure could see my golden years in a little cottage with him….
    One thing I noticed in the movie is how tall he was! In so many films, such as those he made with Flynn, who is also a big guy, he seems of the same height as others, but in this one, he towered over everyone, even Hayward, and he often was stooping in dialogue scenes, especially with Lord, who was very tiny.

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    • I noticed exactly the same thing. You suddenly realise he was a big guy, and could probably take care of himself in a fight.

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      • Ellen Foley says

        If OR so short,how did she beat on him?She must’ve needed Lithium,and that’s no fresh remark to anyone who is being treated for bipolar conditions.Too bad what Lithium contributing to demise of Jeremy Brett cuz of childhood heart prob..Some places Baz listed as 6’1 and 1/2″,others 6’1″.Always thought he & Flynn same ht,now Flynn listed as 6’2″.How tall was sluggy Bergere Fitzmaurice,Rathbone?If he prob wasn’t ashamed of cheating,like so many other Hollywood stars,doubt she would’ve won any rounds.Studio should’ve sent their minions around to get after her for damaging studio property,esp since under contract,unless she threatened him with contract morals clauses.After WWII she could’ve decorated homes for returning Veterans.

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        • the countess says

          Ellen you said”If OR so short,how did she beat on him?She must’ve needed Lithium..” should that have read Helium?Or mabey she stood on a chair?

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          • Ellen Foley says

            Can’t believe he would bend down to get knocked around.She sounded like a street brawler when reading X’s story.Maybe she inhaled helium,talked like Minnie Mouse,he laughed,she saw her chance and struck.Great action scene for her renewed script writing career in 1950s SH play/flop.She prob did push it to go right to the great white way,and hence it was seen as flop.Heck had no fury like Weedy on Warpath!

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  10. Ellen Foley says

    Yes,Rosebette,that was my fav scene,too,and it’s too bad he never had that in real life,too.Peace,togetherness in a tranquil setting,tending the garden,enjoying the young ones and Nature.Seems he was in real life what Pauline’s character was in movie-working til dying day to provide for another.

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  11. rosebette says

    Lovely little film, with some touching moments and nice underplaying by Basil. I must admit it’s hard to believe he’s an “old gent” since he was actually a WWI vet and only in his early 40s. That last scene with the close-up where he says he wishes the Pauline Lord character could have lived a little longer so they could spend the rest of their years in that little cottage is especially well-done.

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  12. GRETCHEN says

    Oooohhh……even his EARS were sexy!! 😮

    How come the pattern of Basil playing “the battle-scarred WWI vet” is repeated in some of his film-roles…like in “Love From a Stranger”? Perhaps this was difficult for him emotionally, since he really WAS one—thankfully, NOT a “murderous, psychotic one”, however! 🙂

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    • BASIL says

      *Reading your comment*
      Pfft, how can his ears be..
      *Scrolls up*
      ( °д°) …… just….. just…..how? How can he BE like that? WHY IS THERE NO-ONE ELSE WITH EARS LIKE THAT?

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    • Ellen Foley says

      Watched SH &Voice Of Terror-where in bar scene was OR-at bar turned to keep constant watch on hubby-he seemed so down in spirit in the film.She should’ve been in more films as extra to help earn her keep.,and staying out of shops.Can you imagine her enduring rationing/shortages in England before,during,after WWII?Which cheek did she claw,his (Baz’s) left cheek looked a little worse for wear in SH&VOT,unless it’s just the makeup.Baz still so much more going for him on screen over Henry Daniell,his fav Moriarty.I think Body Snatchers Daniell’s most sensitive film appearance.Hope he thought as highly of Baz as Baz praised him.

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        • Ellen Foley says

          If it wasn’t OR in Voice,which I never even paid attention to before,it was someone who looked an awful lot like her.She kept looking back at camera,I’m sure she was on barstool.

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            • If anyone can link to the scene in question that would be great. I’d look for it but I just don’t have the time. Is it on Youtube?

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              • BASIL says

                13 minutes and 33 seconds in. 😀

                She’s sat to the left of the screen, it’s easier to tell it’s her if you watch it in better quality though. 🙂

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