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Sunday, January 13, 2019

When Rathbone Wrote A Book

Hi There Sherlock, How's Dr. Watson?

No one likes to be teased, let alone someone so accomplished as Basil Rathbone through what should have been a peak of recognition and regard. Teased, unfortunately, was the word, and Rathbone knew it. They'd stop him on streets, address him as "Sherlock," recite lines he knew too well and had grown to despise. This, then, was Basil Rathbone's reward for playing Sherlock Holmes fourteen times in films, hundreds more on radio, and finally on stage for an ill-starred revival. He couldn't evade the character for trying, even 60's TV obliged him to host SH movies he wished would go away and let him act outside the Holmes trap. I lately read Rathbone's memoir, In And Out Of Character. The book revels in his stage triumphs and other artists he befriended. What Rathbone suffered was dignity gone after a public lost sight of him as anything other than the master sleuth. He calls one chapter "Hi there, Sherlock, how's Dr. Watson?," and it's painful to read. Think of being asked that everywhere you go by fresh kids and rude adults. Rathbone had lost admiration for Holmes, part of why he wanted out in 1946. That came at a price, Universal seeking more, as did MCA agents dangling a renewed, and richer, radio deal. The bailout did collateral damage to screen/broadcast partner Nigel Bruce, his ire not concealed (Basil's book: "my long-term friendship with Nigel Bruce suffered severe and recurring shocks").

It was understood by most, if not Rathbone, that you didn't quit Hollywood until they were ready to quit you. He got no movies between a final Holmes in 1946 and Casanova's Big Night in 1954 (voice work for Ichabod and Mr. Toad notwithstanding). Was a punishment poll taken among would-be hirers? He did a lot of television, but larger screens were foreclosed to Rathbone. Did word get ‘round that he was no team player? Unwillingness to stay with Holmes lost dollars for many beyond Bruce, each with Rathbone to blame. His book mentions MCA head Jules Stein's "acceptance of my decision," but that didn't mean Stein liked it. Rathbone got one immediate benefit for ditching Hollywood, a lead as Dr. Sloper in Broadway's The Heiress opposite Wendy Hiller. Nightly applause made a toasty fire, but what of greater number who thought of him only as Sherlock Holmes, the more so once the series began playing television in 1954? A row of Tony Awards (he won for The Heiress) could not put that perception to rout. By time Rathbone wrote memoirs in 1962, he was well sick of the character, limiting mention of Holmes to that single chapter and summing up what a burden SH had become.

Rathbone would even suggest that Holmes himself was by now a dated concept. “Could it be that our efforts somewhat resembled museum pieces?” he asked. Alfred Hitchcock had become the “prime spoofer” of such “purely synthetic hysteria,” which modern audiences could accept only as a “joke.” Re the famous Holmes play penned and played by William Gillette earlier in the century, Rathbone finding it “so ludicrously funny today that the only possible way to present it in the sixties would be to play it like The Drunkard, with Groucho Marx as Sherlock Holmes.” The fed-up actor seemed bent on seeing Holmes out for keeps, the stories “dated” and “unacceptable to an age where science has proven that science-fiction is another outdated joke (and turning out to be a most unpleasant one).” Rathbone figured the “only possible medium” for Doyle’s creation “would be a full-length Disney cartoon” (prophetic, as Disney would do just that years later with The Great Mouse Detective). History may prove Rathbone right if recent events are an indication. Our Flat Rock Playhouse here in North Carolina staged Hound Of The Baskervilles as laff-a-minute travesty on Holmes (above), while recent-in-theatres Holmes and Watson is said to represent a nadir along parody lines. May we assume that those who gag up Holmes do so because maybe they’re not skilled enough to play him straight, like Rathbone did?

Basil Rathbone regarded himself as more typed by a single character than “any other classic actor has ever been or ever will be again” (query then, in the five plus decades since In and Out Of Character was written, has any other performer been so branded, outside of television?). As to horror films he made, Rathbone mentions none. It is known that he disdained them; his only known reference to Son Of Frankenstein was to call it a “penny dreadful,” this to an interviewer who’d be sorry for bringing it up. Rathbone embraced a past era’s concept of quality work on stage and in film, which did not include B mysteries and chill-thrillers. Could he conceive that future generations would revere his Holmes, let alone Wolf Frankenstein or even The Black Sleep’s Dr. Cadman? I doubt any fan, however eloquent, could convince Rathbone, then or today, were he with us, that these merited place among his, or anyone’s, most pleasure-giving work. First editions of In and Out Of Character are quite collectible, the book reprinted at least twice, in 2004 with Rathbone on the cover as Holmes. We can guess what his reaction to that might have been.


Blogger Scott MacGillivray said...

I can recommend the book as a virtual visit with Basil Rathbone. You can hear his voice all through it. His diction, his phrasing, his vocabulary are all vintage Rathbone, totally in keeping with his spoken-word recordings and his radio interviews. And John's right, the chapter on Holmes is mostly about how Rathbone wanted to get away from Holmes: "I sincerely hope that this objective and unprejudiced analysis of a problem I had had to live with for so many years may not offend those who are still truly dedicated to Sherlockiana."

4:19 PM  
Blogger Rick said...

IN AND OUT OF CHARACTER might have been the first movie-related book I ever owned, having bought it as a young teenager with some extremely rare and hard-earned money. As a rabid young Monster Kid, I bought the book to read about SON OF FRANKENSTEIN and, doubtless, all those many other monster flicks in which he had appeared. Of course, I didn't know what those might be, but wasn't he a "horror star"? That's as I understood it in those days.

So, my disappointment in the book was tangible and painful. All these decades later, with more knowledge if not wisdom in my skull, I really need to try it again. Thanks for the reminder.

6:58 PM  
Blogger John McElwee said...

Mitch Waldow writes of his 7th grade group's encounter with Basil Rathbone ...

Hi --

Five years after his book was published, Rathbone was in L.A. to do a play. My seventh grade teacher -- a Brit by birth -- arranged for him to call our class, since we were reading Julius Caesar and she felt the actor could offer some insight. Via speakerphone, Rathbone took our questions, and I asked him if he felt typecast by the Holmes movies. He said no, because he made a good living playing the role. Perhaps he felt this was the most diplomatic answer to give to a bunch of 12-year-olds, since at the time the films were getting a lot of air play on KHJ's "Million Dollar Movie." He was staying at the Beverly Wilshire, just a few blocks from my school. None of us had ever heard someone's voice over a telephone speaker, so that experience in itself was a novelty. As you probably know, the RKO-General stations would run the same picture five or six times a week, so in those pre-cable days, everyone in L.A. probably saw the Holmes films at least once at that time. It was hard to avoid them.

I enjoy your site.

Mitch Waldow

7:47 PM  
Blogger Jim said...

When I adapted The Phantom of the Opera for the stage as part of my college theater's independent production series, I based it on Leroux's original novel, but also added in generous portions of the Lux Radio Theater adaptation starring Rathbone, which itself used lines and parts of scenes omitted from the 1945 film.

The tag line for my production even used one of the "new" lines: "Then the others sang and destroyed my heaven - so I destroyed them!"

Rathbone made a literate, very threatening Phantom in the radio drama, using his rich bariton speaking voice to maximum effect. From what I've read, he greatly relished the opportunity to assume the role Claude Rains shrugged off.

It is indeed unfortunate that so fine an actor was shoe-horned into parts which were so unsuited to his ability; much like Bela Lugosi (who wanted desperately to do comedy) and Boris Karloff.

8:20 PM  
Blogger Phil Smoot said...

The timing of this article is interesting as January 13, 2019 is the 80th Anniversary of the theatrical release of Rathbone's title role in Son of Frankenstein.

8:32 PM  
Blogger Randy said...

Rathbone recorded at least four record albums for Caedmon in the mid-1960s in which he read Sherlock Holmes stories. Presumably, the lure of a paycheck was enough to motivate him to overcome his dislike for the Holmes character. He was a fine actor and it must have been painful for him, at the end of his life, to see his film roles reduced to silliness like "The Ghost in the Invisible Bikini" and "Hillbillies in a Haunted House."

8:46 PM  
Blogger antoniod said...

The Sherlock Holmes movie series probably would have been swept aside by the Universal-International merger anyway! SOMEBODY in Basil's lifetime must have looked up to his Holmes rather than think it was a joke!

8:49 PM  
Blogger Lee R said...

I think it's sad and also a shame when actors or show biz folks who are the very best in playing a role and loved by all for doing so then turn around and hate and even do all they can to deny their most loved trait.

Jean Shepherd who was the very best on radio would, after leaving radio, would deny any love for radio and always put down and insult his radio work, he'd only want to talk about what a great stage actor or stage comedian or TV and movie actor he was. Even though, he stunk at all that. Radio was his forte and where he shined. He was totally oblivious and unappreciative at being the very best at something rather than a much less talented in his other self-touted areas.

Adam West also denied Batman at first but luckily lived long enough to love and embrace his Batman role and have fun with it with his adoring fans. George Reeves was also not happy with being only associated for being Superman and unfortunately was killed before he had time to look back and appreciate his status as the very best at something. There are other examples, of course.

I've seen Basil in other movies but I would say they are either so-so or forgettable, I don't feel anything about them the way I loved him as Sherlock. His '60s records of Doyle stories were enjoyable to hear his voice and style but it was odd because the books are written in Watson's voice or narratative, so to read Doyle is to be Watson talking about your dear friend Sherlock. Sherlock talking as Watson is strange. Too bad he couldn't embrace his status as the very best Sherlock.

Someone who manages to be the very best at something should love it not resent it or as Shep did pretend it never happened. It's the rare person who ever achieves perfection at anything and this should be appreciated by anyone who can do so.

9:30 PM  
Blogger DBenson said...

Okay, I'm going blather a bit on various tangents.

An addition to Lee R's catalog would be Sir Arthur Conan Doyle himself, who got sufficiently fed up with Holmes to kill him off (The Final Problem), eventually relenting when the money became too ridiculous to resist (each new story drew a big paycheck from British AND American magazines, and the book versions meant ongoing royalties). Sir James Barrie wrote a brief satirical piece as a gift to Doyle; in it Sherlock Holmes berates Doyle for being an ingrate. Doyle enjoyed it enough to include it in his memoirs.

Read the Rathbone memoir years ago. He dotes mightily on his wife, but I don't recall any mention of her spending habits. A lavish party giver, she is sometimes blamed for his need to take any and every gig in later years.

Sherlockian misfires are nothing new. Perhaps the most dire is "Hound of the Baskervilles" (1978) starring Peter Cook, Dudley Moore, and a mob of first-string British comic actors. Considering the talent involved, it's depressing in its awfulness. The apparent TV pilot "Sherlock: Case of Evil" (2002) offered a Victorian "rock star" Holmes who'd have threesomes with nubile admirers, while Watson was not a medic but an inventor of steampunk high tech. It was exactly what you'd expect a committee of cable execs to conceive. Matt Frewer (aka Max Headroom) did four Hallmark movies as the detective, not so much awful as ... odd.

The best Sherlockian comedies are Billy Wilder's sincere "Private Life of Sherlock Holmes" and the flat-our farce "Without a Clue". The latter presents Michael Caine as an idiot Holmes and Ben Kingsley as Watson, the real brain; it pulls off the neat trick of mocking the legend while delivering a respectable Holmesian adventure. "The Adventure of Sherlock Holmes's Smarter Brother" is a showcase for Gene Wilder, Marty Feldman and Madeline Kahn; not as pitch-perfect as "Young Frankenstein" but shaggy fun.

In recent years Holmes has done better on television than in movies. The long-running series with Jeremy Brett is the gold standard for lavish straight adaptations, despite suffering in its final years (a decision to pad short stories into movie length, Brett's health, and the fact they'd used up the best Doyle stories). Never got into "Elementary" and its NY-set sleuthing, but evidently a lot of people did.

The stylish BBC "Sherlock" managed to be one of the most faithful adaptations even while being the most radical; inside jokes for Sherlockians are balanced by inspired updating and insights inferred from the Victorian originals. I heartily recommend the whole series up until the final episode, which doesn't so much jump the shark as swallow it whole. Anyone here who hasn't already done so should at least view the first episode, "A Study in Pink".

A footnote to "The Great Mouse Detective": There's a brief scene where title character Basil and friends slip into 221B and hear Holmes talking to Watson. Holmes's voice is Rathbone's, clipped from one of the movies. The name Basil goes back to source material, a children's book titled "Basil of Baker Street" -- a nice touch by the author.

2:01 AM  
Blogger Kevin K. said...

My daughter, around age 10, became a huge fan of the Rathbone/Bruce series thanks to the restored DVD set. They're still the gold standard of the detective genre.

To Donald Benson: I'd forgotten about that Cook/Moore travesty. Holy cow, that was one of the worst movies I've ever seen. I remember it featured a scene parodying "The Exorcist". Just astonishingly bad, proving even the greats can screw up on occasion.

8:51 AM  
Blogger Matthew Clark said...

I believe that Rathbone and Bruce played against the Holmes and Watson type as the two villains in 1944's "Frenchman's Creek" with Joan Fontaine. And, besides "Casanova's Big Night", also with Fountaine, Rathbone was in Danny Kaye's "The Court Jester". I've always liked his performance in what is probably Errol Flynn's best film as an actor, "Dawn Patrol". It is nice to see Rathbone and Flynn as characters who are just talking with each other rather than at sword point. And, it is not only the 80th anniversary of "Son Of Frankenstein", but also "Hound of the Baskervilles".

11:14 AM  
Blogger JonCow said...

@Donald Benson The best "tribute" version, in my opinion, is James Goldman's "They Might Be Giants," where a mental patient played by George C Scott is accompanied by his psychiatrist named Watson, played by Joanne Woodward.

12:03 PM  
Blogger DBenson said...

Musical Rathbone:

In 1956 he played Scrooge in a live television musical, "The Stingiest Man in Town". A kinescope is available on DVD, as is a cd of the original soundtrack record. The DVD is watchable but not great. A bit of live TV magic: Near the end we see Scrooge's hands clinging to Christmas Future's robes and hear Rathbone's voice; a moment later he appears in a different costume. We saw a double's hands while Rathbone simultaneously changed clothes and delivered his lines.

While the DVD is comparatively recent, the LP/CD remained in print for years and a stage version became a staple of community and regional theaters. In 1978 Rankin-Bass turned it into an animated hour with Walter Matthau voicing Scrooge.

3:05 PM  
Blogger Realist said...

What a fine actor! My kids all loved him growing up in the 1980s with showings of the Sherlock Holmes films and his fine costume drams of the 1930s (Adventures of Robin Hood comes to mind). My son always said, "Rathbone made a great bad guy." In retrospect, I wish Rathbone would have recognized the gift horse he had with Sherlock Holmes and renewed his movie and radio contracts and rode the pony as long as he could. One of his last roles was on the Dr. Kildire TV series (the 1960s) where Basil played an aging pianist who developed the shakes. He was terrific.

3:23 PM  
Blogger Barry Rivadue said...

Rathbone and Bruce did a brief and funny cameo as Holmes/Watson in Olsen & Johnson's CRAZY HOUSE.

7:13 PM  
Blogger Lee R said...

In addition to "Stingiest Man..." Basil also played in 2 different live '50's broadcasts of "Christmas Carol" one with Vincent Price and the other with Fredric March. These are also both available on DVD in various Christmas collection sets. In one Basil plays Scrooge I forget what he does in the other, maybe just narrates. By the by, that "Stingiest Man.." broadcast was originally shown in color on early TV, unfortunately only the b/w version is available on DVD. Of the 3 Basil Christmas Carol TV shows listed above I'd rate Stingiest Man as the least watchable unless you like a whole lot of singing and dancing ruining a good story.

8:55 PM  
Blogger Scott MacGillivray said...

In the Fredric March version, Rathbone plays Jacob Marley.

There is also an intelligently condensed half-hour television adaptation from 1959, using no-budget, expressionistic props instead of sets (a window frame hangs in mid-air, representing the exterior of Bob Cratchit's house). March narrates this one, with Rathbone as Scrooge.

"Stingiest Man in Town" has a good musical cast supporting the singing Rathbone (the operatic Robert Weede and Patrice Munsel, pop singers Vic Damone, Johnny Desmond, and The Four Lads, and Gilbert & Sullivan star Martyn Green). Definitely worth a look as a novel treatment of the familiar story.

10:55 PM  
Blogger John McElwee said...

Dan Mercer speculates on why Basil Rathbone might have wanted out of the Sherlock Holmes series:

My first acquaintance with Basil Rathbone was listening to a Christmas Day broadcast of “A Christmas Carol” on a crystal radio set I’d gotten, which was able to pull in the signal of WCAU, the 50,000 watt flamethrower in Philadelphia.

Much later, I became more aware of his work in the endlessly repeated showings of “Mark of Zorro” by WHKY in Hickory, seeing “Adventures of Robin Hood” one memorable evening at the little college I went to, and the package of Sherlock Holmes films that Channel 48 in Philadelphia picked up during the early 70s.

I loved those Sherlock Holmes films made by Universal, but I can appreciate Rathbone’s dislike of them towards the end. Of course, they weren’t done in period style, but the production values were good and the films were at the top of the bill in some markets. The Holmes derivatives, however, like Philo Vance or Ellery Queen, had become cheap programmers offered by the likes of Monogram and PRC. There just wasn’t much interest in the formula any more, or any cleverness in the then-current variations on it.

The public’s taste in detective films had been changing all along. As Raymond Chandler put it in “The Simple Art of Murder,” Dashiell Hammett and other “hard boiled” writers had given “murder back to the kind of people that commit it for reasons, not just to provide a corpse."

That was part of it. The other was that the Holmes stories by Arthur Conan Doyle were based on certain assumptions regarding the laws and principles underlying the affairs of men, no less the universe in which they lived. When a crime disturbed that essential order, it could be readily traced back to its origin by a mind sensitive to such nuances. After the Second World War, however, it was difficult to sustain a belief in such an orderly realm of existence. Men seemed to do the most vile, barbaric things, often arbitrarily or on the spur of the moment, with no greater plan than to vent a moment’s passion, satiate an appetite, or quell a passing irritation. They may have had reasons, but no great purpose. The world of film noir that had come into being had little in common with the pretty displays of erudition in a Sherlock Holmes film.

Perhaps Rathbone’s refusal to do any more Sherlock Holmes films had as much to do with their seeming irrelevancy as with typecasting or the quality of the films themselves.

10:01 AM  
Blogger Lee R said...

Yes, Scott, those are the 2 other Rathbone involved Christmas Carol '50's broadcasts I was referring to. I've seen them both and like them. Thanks for providing details on them. I remember those "expressionistic" sets, odd but interesting. Bonnie Franklin is even a part of the cast in the Fredric March version. You can still recognize her too even as a little kid. Rathbone makes anything worth watch or listening to.

Still the best Scrooge is still Lionel Barrymore as he played him on radio for years. Unfortunately he never did this for the movies, something I still wish he had done every year when I listen to his radio Christmas Carol on Christmas Eve. But the best Scrooge on film was Alastair Sim in 1951. If you can't have Lionel Barrymore on film, Sim is the next best thing as Scrooge.

1:33 PM  
Blogger bufffilmbuff said...

Someone, I think Dorothy Parker, referred to Rathbone as "two profiles pasted together."

11:35 PM  
Blogger Scott MacGillivray said...

I nominate Sir Seymour Hicks as the best Scrooge (and Donald Calthrop as the best Bob Cratchit) -- this was the 1935 SCROOGE produced in England and released here by Paramount.

I also nominate Lionel Barrymore for "Best Actor" of 1938 -- in the trailer for M-G-M's A CHRISTMAS CAROL. He was of course the first choice for the role of Scrooge, when his illness struck and he had to be replaced by Reginald Owen. When Barrymore invites the audience to see the movie and says, "Reginald is Scrooge," THAT'S acting! It must have broken his heart to say that.

10:41 AM  
Blogger Dr. OTR said...

I think many screen actors are still branded by a single character. Think of Mark Hamill or Christopher Reeve, unable to escape the long shadows of their breakout roles. Mr Rathbone's tone has a distinct "sour grapes" quality to it. Loads of actors left films and went into television, especially as they aged. It's a pity he couldn't focus on the positives (making a living as an actor -- how many would-be actors thrive for decades?) rather than the negatives. He seems to have looked down on any roles that weren't A-quality non-genre dramatic leading parts.

I'm reading the first volume of Simon Callow's biography of Orson Welles. Rathbone does not come across well in it, during his brief overlap with Orson in a touring Shakespeare production. I think he was jealous and overly protective of his career. Basil was not without a sense of humor (attested by account of him and Nigel Bruce engaging in pastry-throwing fights with the producer during rehearsals for their radio show). If only he'd been able to keep that attitude towards his career as well. Such a contrast to, say, Vincent Price. Price was utterly professional but also knew what side his bread was buttered on.

11:24 AM  
Blogger Michael J. Hayde said...

The Fredric March CHRISTMAS CAROL with Rathbone was originally filmed, in color and telecast at least three years in a row. A couple of vintage blurbs about it can be seen in a blog post I made in 2012: I'd love to know where that film is, and why the only video derives from a b&w kinescope.

12:01 PM  
Blogger Lee R said...

Right Michael, I pointed out that about Stingy being originally in color above. But I'm sorry Scott, I believe Seymour's Scrooge is unwatchable, first of all the film always looks like it was filmed in the year 1, and second I just don't like Seymour's way of being Scrooge. I've seen it once and that was enough. Maybe I need to revisit it again this coming Christmas, that's a year away, I should be able to gird myself to it by then. I do have a beautiful colorized version of Seymour's Scrooge so I know I'll enjoy that part of that relic.

But we do agree that Barrymore is Scrooge, he was perfect and his radio version, esp. the hour long Campbell Playhouse version with Orson Welles, the 1/2 hour version he did isn't as enjoyable as the hour version. Usually every Christmas I'll watch Alastair Hicks beautiful colorized version and listen to the Barrymmore radio version on Christmas eve. This Christmas I'll try the color Seymour version. Who knows, a second chance may be needed.

7:59 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

One of the reasons why any further Sherlock Holmes films produced by Universal Pictures past 1946 would not have been the same is because their fine director, Roy William Neill, passed away. From Wikipedia:
Roy William Neill (4 September 1887 – 14 December 1946) was an Irish-born American film director best known for directing the last eleven of the fourteen Sherlock Holmes films starring Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce, made between 1943 and 1946 and released by Universal Studios.[1]

3:50 AM  
Blogger DBenson said...

Alternate Universe Cinema: What if Universal decided to close out Sherlock Holmes the way it closed out their very similar Monsters line? That is, ABBOTT AND COSTELLO MEET SHERLOCK HOLMES.

If Universal honored contract terms and preserved the characters' integrity (as they did, more or less, with Dracula, Wolfman, and the Monster), could the Doyle estate stop it? Would Rathbone have been up for driving a stake through the film franchise? If not, might they have gone with Tom Conway (who joined Bruce on the radio series after Rathbone left it)?

A screenplay might have Holmes dispatching Bud and Lou as decoys while stalking Moriarty. He would periodically rescue them from jams, while Bruce would join them for schtick involving British slang. Lou would accidentally capture Moriarty, impressing Holmes. In the end they'd be sailing back to America, swearing off sleuthing forever. A shot rings out. A nameless Charlie Chan lookalike appears recruits them as assistants ...

2:30 AM  
Blogger John McElwee said...

That's a great concept, Donald. Rathbone would have been terrific opposite A&C. Too bad you weren't at Universal-International in the late forties. I'm sure they would have gone for your idea.

4:20 AM  
Blogger Scott MacGillivray said...

There actually was a grain of truth to A & C MEET SHERLOCK HOLMES. Bob Furmanek and Ron Palumbo, in their superlative "Abbott and Costello in Hollywood" book, report that Bertram Millhauser, who wrote the screenplays for many of the Sherlock Holmes pictures, submitted the first treatment of the A & C project (the title ABBOTT AND COSTELLO MEET FRANKENSTEIN came from Millhauser). He lifted the basic plot element from his SHERLOCK HOLMES IN WASHINGTON script: the villains are after a document (here on microfilm) hidden in a matchbook.

8:22 AM  
Blogger Michael said...

I just happened to run across the fact that in 1953-- right as Bruce was dying-- Rathbone starred in a Holmes stage play written by his wife Ouida. It reportedly was received well in Boston tryouts, but the NY premiere was a disaster and it closed after 3 performances. I can't imagine this improved Rathbone's view of the character...

If you want him to see him at his best, I recommend the Garbo Anna Karenina, as King Louis in If I Were King with Ronald Colman, and as a murderer with delusions of genius (and a heaping helping of resentment) in the 1930s version of Kind Lady. He was a good actor too easily typecast-- and also, by all reports, in chronic need of work because Ouida was a spendthrift.

10:11 PM  
Blogger Eddie Selover said...

John, you were nice enough to repost my article about Rathbone several years ago, and I remain very grateful for that. Here's a link for those of your readers who want more details about this wonderful actor. I had to leave out some personal details that I haven't been able to verify, but there's more to this story than Holmes destroying him.

2:52 PM  

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