Marcia Jessen from BasilRathbone.net has very kindly sent The Baz these wonderful pdfs of articles advertising “Hollywood Tours.” Interesting to us mainly because amongst the delights offered the lucky tourists is a “cocktail party at Basil Rathbone’s home!” But almost as interesting is the glimpse of the culture of 1930s America. Fascinating to see the beginnings of present-day fear-marketing aimed at women. Warnings of the fire consequences of not being “dainty” enough, and post-Victorian coy recommendations for Kotex. And then, the culture shock of an ad aimed at “skinny girls”, promising they can “add five pounds!” Anyway, enjoy, and download the full pdfs from the link below. *** *** *** ***
There is a wonderful and fantastically in-depth new review of RHYTHM ONTHE RIVER on BasilRathbone.net. CLICK TO READ It’s a fun film even if it’s not one of his greatest screen-moments. Here’s an extract to whet your appetite. And here are some lovely caps (also borrowed from basilrathbone.net):
Hi all. Yes, I am still here. Reading all your comments and appreciating the photos etc being sent in. Things have taken a turn on Friday and I’ve finally got a bit more leisure. So – Sunday Pic!
Some cool updates on BASILRATHBONE.NET this month. Including new information on Rathbone’s various homes in the UK., and this pic of Ouida’s “country house on the Thames” where she and Basil (and Jack Miltern) spent the summer of 1924.
Madam X left behind a detailed transcript of her personal memories of Basil and it tells a very painful story of their eventual break-up
A while back I did a review of Kind Lady for basilrathbone.net. Thought I’d add it here, with thanks to MJ And check out the Kind Lady caps KIND LADY(1935) is a strange little package. Put together as a quite unambitious thriller, based on the story “The Silver Casket” by Hugh Walpole and adapted from the play “Kind Lady” by Edward Chodurov, who also co-wrote the screenplay, it tells the story of a middle-aged spinster – (Aline McMahon)– who takes pity on an impoverished but charming and educated pavement artist (Basil Rathbone) – only to get herself in a lot more trouble than she bargained for. As a film it’s not especially well constructed or original. The plot and character development have sometimes massive hole and lapses of credibility. It seems rushed in places, badly edited and incoherent in others. The end is predictable and underdeveloped. But…there are still things about it that surprise and impress, and moments when this unpretentious little film suddenly wanders into genre-defiance and dares to play with audience expectation in …
Basilrathbone.net has just unveiled a new page dedicated to Rathbone’s troubling second wife, Ouida Bergere (or whatever he real name was). basilrathbone.net/biography/ouida.htm Go and check it out. Lots of info. I focused on this pic of Ouida in 1919, sitting in a huge car: She would have been married to George Fitzmaurice at the time I think, and had just launched her short-lived multi-functional uber-agency for just about everything. That giant car is so Ouida isn’t it. Wonder if she ever actually managed to pay for it 😉
BasilRathbone.net has launched a new page today, devoted to the women in BR’s life. It’s a must-see as it features at least two pieces of evidence never previously published. http://www.basilrathbone.net/biography/women.htm It also features this marvellous high-res image as “photo of the month” – have to borrow it:
Marcia Jessen has just created a fantastic page about Rathbone and the Great War. All admirer of the Baz need to visit. Included is this quote from Rathbone, when asked, in a 1940 interview, what constituted real horror to him: “War! . . . Going into an attack, paralyzed with fear, knowing that if we had our own free will, not a living man of us would go! Every living man of us would funk it. We go because we cease to be individuals. We become a mass machine. We are dominated by mass psychology. We become a composite Thing of arms, legs, heads and wills. We move into the attack only because it is the only way out. If we do not go into the attack, if we turn back one quivering inch, we are sot down like dogs – deserters. So we are forced to go forward, not because we are brave and gallant gentlemen, but because we are in a trap. War is a trap, a monstrous, gigantic, inconceivably barbarous trap. And …
Well, The Baz is spanning the entire spectrum of Basil Rathbone’s career this week. From 1923 to 1967, and from the sublime (THE SWAN) to the…well, I’m not sure what word of choice would do justice to AUTOPSY OF A GHOST, but it is indeed this film that is the subject of Marcia Jessen’s latest review on basilrathbone.net I haven’t seen this movie, so I am perforce neutral, but my other Two Sisters have divergent views about its qualities. Marcia thinks it’s awful. Anna likes it quite a lot. I understand this polarity extends to most people who watch it. If I ever summon up the courage to actually sit through it, I’ll let you know what I think,but if any of our readers want to share their thoughts, it might prove an interesting counterpoint to the question of how and why Basil Rathbone managed to start his career as a Broadway Prince and end it, not playing King Lear or Prospero (oh, imagine his Prospero!), but as a guest player in Mexican Absurdist Cinema. …