Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Happy Birthday, Basil Rathbone


Basil Rathbone Sherlock Holmes image poster
Basil Rathbone as Sherlock Holmes

Basil Rathbone (13 June 1892 - 21 July 1967) is best remembered for portraying Sherlock Holmes in a total of 14 films between 1939 and 1946. He also voiced Holmes in radio shows.

Rathbone made a debonair Holmes. For Sherlockians like me, Rathbone's performance is as close to being definitive as it gets.



Many Happy Returns of the day, Sir! 

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Image Source: MovieActors.com 

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8 comments:

  1. His performance as Holmes is indeed very memorable. It's a shame most of the movies were placed in the wrong era. I should give them a try again sometime.

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    1. Basil was an outstanding Holmes indeed!

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  2. Of course, technically, modernizing Holmes in the 1930's is no different than him being modern when he was written, or him being modernized for the 2010's... ;)

    Love this series regardless.

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    1. Well said!

      The Rathbone series (excepting The Hound of the Baskervilles) qualify as being pastiches. Barring the ones featuring Holmes vs Nazis, most of the films are inspired by original stories. While the same can be said about BBC Sherlock, the one significant difference is that the characterization of Rathbone's Holmes is more faithful to the canon.

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  3. I love Basil's Holmes but it only works because of his pairing with Nigel Bruce, the least definitive Watson! They remain the most consistently entertaining Holmes and Watson and I smile as soon as the music starts and we see those walking shadows on the ground!

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    1. Rathbone and Bruce had amazing chemistry and this was arguably the highlight of the show :)

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  4. Debonair is definitely the word to describe Basil Rathbone. :)

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