Thursday, April 16, 2009

Poll's closed #6

The last day of the Basil Rathbone week was yesterday, Wednesday, and also the day when the last poll was closed. Here are your favourite Basil Rathbone non-Sherlock-Holmes characters:

I was not surprised that his character as the Holmes-like Philo Vance didn't get any votes at all. Not that it doesn't seem like a lovely character (intelligent, suave, witty, debonair), but I guess that not many people have seen the film The Bishop Murder Case (1930). I have, myself, tried desperately to get a chance to see it, but I have so far failed in my mission.

Poor Philo Vance. He and his glorious Errol Flynn like moustache is ignored by the modern movie goers and receives zero votes.

But Philo at least got to share his defeat with three other characters, all stranded with no food, water or votes:

Pontius Pilate, The Last Days of Pompeii (1935).
Is it the hair? He is angry with you.

Tybalt from Romeo and Juliet (1936) just shrugged his shoulders and took a cigarette. Could it be the long, turkish Fatima cigarettes? Or perhaps Chesterfields?

Levasseur, Captain Blood (1935) has better things to care about than a silly poll. After all, Errol Flynn is standing just beside him - he is far more interesting.

There were however four characters sharing the second place with one vote each.

Mr. Murdstone, David Copperfield (1935) is very pleased with his vote.

Gerald Lovell, Love From a Stranger (1937), is a little suspicious over the intentions of receiving a vote. But yes, I thought he earned one. Why do I like charming, psychotic villains?

Baron Wolf von Frankenstein is busy working, but thanks for the vote. Son of Frankenstein, (1939).

Sir Ravenhurst, The Court Jester (1955), is happy that he was not overlooked.

Interesting enough, there are no obvious winner neither. Three wonderful characters receive a gold medal and two votes each:

Captain Esteban Pasquale says it is lucky for you that he was one of the winners. Otherwise he might just have to run you through with his not-so-firm blade. The Mark of Zorro (1940).

Sir Guy of Gisbourne always knew he was a winner. The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938).

Karenin shares his moment of victory with Greta Garbo and a little boy they picked up from the street. Anna Karenina (1935).

I guess that the conclusion is that Basil Rathbone managed to play a various share of characters, many of them very famous. He decides to celebrate by dressing up as King Richard III and picking up Marlene Dietrich from the set of Destry Rides Again (1939).

Funny trivia: Margaret Mitchell, the author of Gone With the Wind (publ. 1937), actually wanted Basil Rathbone to play the role of Rhett Butler instead of Clark Gable. How film history could have looked different...


Sebina said...

I'm so sad I missed out on your posts (due to a busy schedule) on Mr. Rathbone whom I LOVE watching.

I have so many fond memories of watching him as a kid. One of the first full lenght films I ever saw was 'The Adventures of Robin Hood'. I mainly grew up watching him in all the Sherlock Holmes movies he made, though.

Besides 'The Adventures of Robin Hood', it really wasn't until my mid-teens that I discovered him in other types of roles than the Holmes character.
I always love seeing how he plays the different types of villian roles as he does them to perfection. whether good or evil he is always fantastic to watch though!!!

That color image from 'Mark of Zorro' reminds me of how much I love his sword fight with Ty Power.

That image of him and Dietrich is wonderful :)

Kate Gabrielle said...

Basil Rathbone as Rhett Butler... no, I actually can't picture it! I really just can't imagine anyone else but Clark Gable in that role! (And this from someone who often spends her free time imagining what movies would be like with different stars! lol)

So sad to see Basil Rathbone week come to a close! Who's up next?

Christopher said...

ah..I'd forgotten about his sympathetic Pontius Pilot character in Last Days of Pompeii...great little movie..
..and Mark of Zorro,another good one..

Lolita said...

Feel free to comment on older posts too, I get an email every time someone made a comment! It's so nice that people are interested to read what I write on classic films and stars.
Rathbone is the best actor I know when it comes to playing the sophisticated villains!
You can see the colourized version of that wonderful scene in my original Rathbone post here:

Kate Gabrielle:
Perhaps this picture can help you picture him as Rhett Butler:

Haha. Well, I don't know yet! I'll have to think about it for a little while ;)
Feel free to give me suggestion, though!

I haven't seen that film yet! Shame on me. But that curly hair brings down his sex appeal a lot!
As I've stated before - I adore Rathbones suave villains!

Nicole said...

my favorite role that he did was in the mark of zorro, he was such a great villain. :)

Elizabeth said...

I voted for him as Mr. Murdstone. He was excellent, even if his part was very long.

Lolita said...

I love him as Esteban Pasquale! He and Tyrone Power had a great chemistry on screen.

Was his part too long, or how do you mean? I haven't yet seen the film, I'm working hard on it! His expression on the picture I chose for this post is priceless.

Anonymous said...

The little boy with Basil Rathbone and Greta Garbo in the picture from Anna Karenina is, of course, Freddy Bartholomew, one of the great child actors -- who also played in such movies as Little Lord Fauntleroy.