Life Begins For Greenbriar Picture Shows
After struggling five years with a too-often recalcitrant Blogger system, it looks as though happy days are here to (hopefully) stay, thanks to a brand new blog editing feature my online host has introduced. This is so much easier to use than a predecessor that more than once took hours to upload, and even then looked unlike what I'd hoped for. Now it's possible to caption photos, properly space paragraphs, and feature ads/stills without seeing the whole structure collapse once up and published. Best of all, I can post LARGE images where needed, so there's more visual variety on the page. No longer is posting a dreaded chore to follow enjoyment of writing and selection of pics. By way of testing the new format, I submit most recently watched Spider Woman ...
In case you're fence-bound over lately released Blu-Rays of the fourteen Rathbone/Holmes mysteries, take a tip here and grab the set, which is in all ways an improvement on standard DVD's previously available from the same distributor. These transfers represent a best this series can look, which is to say, while not perfect, is miles beyond frayed prints of yesteryear and certainly past Public Domain wrecks visited upon 8 and 16mm collectors back when Niles and Thunderbird Films peddled same on narrower gauge. I for one like Holmes better than horror shows from Universal during that same 40's period. They work as mysteries, chillers, and showcase for what this company delivered best on limited budget. Were theirs borrowed sets from "A" pics done previous? --- for none look cheap, ever.
Among favorite aspects of the Holmes series is Universal's penchant for moody cast gatherings come still/promotion time. Always there were shadows for a backdrop, low lighting, intense expressions. I wonder how much kidding went on among Rathbone, Bruce, Dennis Hoey, and Gale Sondergaard when posing for these. The posters remain highly collectible, one-sheets routinely selling for thousands. I'd call Spider Woman a favorite Holmes, save for fact they're all wonderful and as easily viewed a twentieth time as a first. This was always a roughest-looking entry in televised days ... even "original" prints looked like dupes, but on Blu-Ray ... Spider Woman's a pip.
|Yet another Holmesian disguise that should be readily transparent, but never is, except to criminal masterminds only momentarily fooled by unmistakable Rathbone profile and diction.|
Among benefits of Universal's series was pitting Holmes against worthy opponents, thesping counterparts equal or nearly so to task of holding own with Rathbone. Repeat runs are easy on eyes, but mostly ears, for verbal jousting among players not too seriously engaged by proceedings at hand. I hear Holmes filming was jocular much of the time, and don't wonder at that.
|Holmes has just stabbed a crawling spider in a darkened room with deadly accuracy and only a flashlight to guide his master-stroke. One of myriad delights in the 63 minute Spider Woman.|
Also I read that Nigel Bruce was annoyed when Rathbone turned down Universal's offer to go another season with Holmes. The actor didn't want to be forever associated with the role. As things turned out, that boat had sailed. Kids to henceforth request an autograph from "Mr. Holmes" were peremptorily turned down by a Rathbone sick to death of this character he'd never rid himself of. Sherlock and horror films BR was occasionally obliged to do (for the $) would follow him like grim death right to the end.