In and Out of Character, Basil Rathbone
An occasional series giving you a chance to see and discuss some of BR’s pre-1934 talking films.…
Sunday Pic #14
Marcia has suggested this pi, partly because of its prettiness and partly on the off chance anyone…
I am in the midst of watching the 1935 version of A Tale of Two Cities, which is just a marvelous movie, featuring Ronald Colman at his most awesome. It also features, in a small role, Basil Rathbone, for whom I also am a raving fangirl. It struck me, while watching the film, that I’m fairly sure that the Baz, in all his wonderfully nasty villainous turns in movies, probably never played a more utter and complete prick in a film than here, as the Marquis de St. Evremonde.
Here is a sample quote from his own elegant sneering lips:
It’s extraordinary to me that you people cannot take care of yourselves and your children. One or the other of you is forever in the way. How do you know what injury you might do to my horses?
Oh, and he says this over the squashed body of the small child that his carriage just crushed. I mean, that’s pretty cold. Worse, I think than Rathbone’s chilling Edward Murdstone in David Copperfield, purring, gleaming-eyed sadist that he is.
I love a good Rathbone villain as much as anyone — more, even — but even I have to admit, the powder-faced son-of-a-bitch needed to die. Which he does, dagger to the heart.
As if he had one.