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Location: Vero Beach, Florida, United States

My name is Pat and I live in Florida. My skin will never be smooth again and my hair will never see color. I enjoy collecting autographs and playing in Paint Shop Pro.,along with reading and writing. Sometimes, I enjoy myself by doing volunteer "work" helping celebrities at autograph shows. I love animals and at one time I did volunteer work for Tippi Hedren's Shambala Preserve.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Basil as Sherlock

As has happened to be on other occasions.. after having just read two books about Mary Russell and her husband Sherlock Holmes, what should come on Turner Classic Movies but two old, black and white, Holmes movies!

The first one was called Secret Weapon. 1942

Holmes was smuggling a man from Switzerland, who invented a bomb-site, into England to make them for the war.

But what got to me about this movie was the hairdo that they had given Holmes! For some reason I think I have a memory of it, but I'm not sure! One side of his hair was brushed forward and the other had a curl onto his forehead. It was so unusual that I couldn't stop watching his hair during the whole movie!

I think my enjoyment of the old Basil Rathbone Holmes movies though was how entertaining Nigel Bruce was as Watson.

When the movie concluded it asked that you go and buy War Bonds!!

The second was called: The Woman In Green. 1945 (I was one year old!)

For this movie Basil had a normal hairdo, and I was glad of that!

Basil was not what I think of as handsome but, to me, he really carries off the persona of Holmes! With each Mary Russell book I read I heard Basil's voice as Holmes. I guess it was ingrained into my mind from the time I was young and would see the Sherlock Holmes movies on television. (this was BEFORE they had to be restored! *I can't believe I said that!)

(Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce or rather Sherlock and Watson)

Sherlock Holmes.

I know there have been many other actors who have portrayed Sherlock over the years, but I believe Basil Rathbone will always remain the definitive Holmes to me.

A small piece of trivia before I close this post...

Many only know Nigel Bruce as "Watson", but over his career Nigel acted in 78 movies and most were not Holmes movies! Here's a bigger surprise... he was born in Baja California!

Rathbone made 119 movies, and was born in Johannesburg South Africa.


Blogger Cath said...

Great movie post, Pat. I laughed at the hair thing... it's so easy to get distracted by these things in my experience. And a bit of triva. Mr Rathbone was mentioned in that Daphne Du Maurier autobiography I read recently. She had a bit of a crush on him apparently. And went to on to say she would never have dreamt that years later he would die filming one of *her* books - Frenchman's Creek. I think he fell down the stairs or something.

9:46 AM  
Blogger Ladytink_534 said...

Well that hairdo is certainly stare-worthy. I'd love to read the Holmes books one day... Hey! Maybe for my first in a series challenge :)

Oh good! There are several uploads of this movie on YouTube.

5:51 PM  
Blogger DesLily said...

Cath: hmm I don't know if it was during a movie or not but the bio. on him says this: Date of Death
21 July 1967, New York, New York, USA (heart attack) It certainly could be why he fell down stairs though.

Tink: I hope if you see any of the Rathbone old movies that you enjoy them...if you have a choice of seeing one though.. see Hound of the Baskerville's!

6:46 PM  
Blogger Cath said...

Hmm. I don't know why but I thought the movie of Frenchman's Creek was much earlier than 1967. Perhaps, DdM got that wrong. It did seem a weird thing to happen.

9:26 AM  
Blogger DesLily said...

Cath: Frenchmans creek was 1944! I was wondering if maybe she meant that Basil died "in her movie"?? That she, although she loved him, would write a scene in which he would die??? I don't know the story so I don't know if that's what she could mean.

9:39 AM  
Blogger Pamela said...

when you picture someone in character, it is really tough when you watch a movie and someone else is in that roll.

Especially if you saw it that way as a kid.

(I'm laughing about you getting distracted by his hair. I've had that happen.. not necessarily hair, but something distracts me from the character. Bugs me)

11:03 AM  
Blogger Carl V. said...

I just love it when coincidences like that occur. It is serendipity!!!

I haven't seen any of the Basil Rathbone Holmes films but I have listened to some old radio plays with him voicing Holmes and they are great fun.

2:48 PM  
Blogger DesLily said...

Pam: yes! once you have a visual or even just a voice in your head... no one else will fit the part!

Hi Carl: some of the old Holmes movies are even a bit campy.. but for whatever reason..he'll always be Sherlock to me!

3:11 PM  
Anonymous Chelle said...

Ah, Basil! My favorite, too. He'll always be the personification of Holmes to me. Nigel Bruce's Watson was something else; I looooved the scene in The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes in which he helps to re-create the crime. Hilarious!!

Fantastic post! Now I'll have to go and pop one of my Holmes dvds in the player; it's been too long since I've watched one.

8:25 PM  
Anonymous Daniel said...

My favorite Nigel Bruce movie:
"Rebecca" ! Basil is the last
word in Sherlock Holmes movies.

1:14 AM  
Blogger Bookfool said...

Oh, those sound so fun! I've heard of Basil Rathbone's Holmes movies, but I can't recall if I've ever seen one. You probably shouldn't admit you saw them on TV. ;)

3:48 PM  

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