theatre, film & tv past and present 2001-2008 & 2013…
Basil Rathbone arches an eyebrow before chewing the scenery. Image: Dr. Macro
There’s nothing more chilling than a villain with a large vocabulary.
In the 1937 British thriller,Love from a Stranger, Basil Rathbone plays the kind of villain nobody wants to meet in real life. Rathbone’s villain is handsome, suave and articulate. But he would do anything to get your money – including marring you.
We first meet Rathbone’s gold-digging character when he arrives to view an apartment for rent. The current tenant (Ann Harding) is moving out because she’s just won the lottery – approximately 10 million in today’s dollars.
As he’s snooping around the apartment, Rathbone comments on the view. It reminds him of a more innocent time, he says wistfully, before he became intimate with war and travel and – ahem – wealth.
Harding, freshly broken up with her fiancé, must sail to France the next day to collect her lottery winnings – and look over there! Rathbone just happens to be sailing on the same…
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