Monday, April 13, 2009
As I've stated earlier, Basil Rathbone by the end of his career signed up for roles in films he was not particularly proud of later. The answer is supposed to be found in his wife Ouida's expensive taste in living that exceeded their income, and made Basil take whatever roles he could get.
I am a little sceptical, though, to put the blame entirely on Ouida. I can't imagine Basil did. From the look on their devoted marriage I can't really fit egoism into that picture. What wife would force his husband to work with something he really he detested?
I think a lot can be answered with Basil's sence of humour and will to work with variable roles. And if you take a look in film history - what kind of films were popular in the 1950's and 1960's? It was not Shakespeare and melodramas that attracted the attention of the every day audience, it was horror films. And it was in horror films you could get the parts. Therefore - The Black Sleep (1954), The Magic Sword (1962), Tales of Terror (1962) and Queen of Blood (1964). The title of The Comedy of Terrors (1964) is saying plenty of the serious intentions of that film.
Basil did not only appear in doubtful horror and fantasy films in his late career. Something that is shown all through his career is the commercials. Beer commercials, cigarette commercials... you name it. No, I name it. I'll post a lot of commercial photos after this bore of an entry...
What I want to say is - how can you blame a person making a lot of money and getting free beer and cigarettes by promoting a few brands? I sure as hell would do it, and it would keep me busy between the Shakespeare and Sherlock Holmes characterizations.
If you didn't see the stylish Leisy Beer commercial on TV (included it in my original Basil Rathbone post), you can watch it in YouTube here.
So... what can one do commercials about, if not alcohol or tobacco? Let's see what Mr. Rathbone figured out... (just click on them to see a bigger picture)