Blogathons, Uncategorized

Announcing The Suave Swordsman: Basil Rathbone Blogathon

Basil Rathbone is one of the greatest film and stage actors of the Golden era. Although he’s largely fallen into obscurity now, he created timeless roles and is probably the most famous screen Sherlock Holmes.

Basil Rathbone

Born in Johannesburg in 1892, he was only a baby when his parents immigrated to England due to the Jameson Raid. His film and stage career began in earnest after WWI, during which he served with valour. He would enjoy the peak of his success and fame during the 1930s and 40s, when he played wonderful villains such as Sir Guy of Gisbourne and Captain Esteban Pasquale, and created his iconic version of that timeless sleuth, Sherlock Holmes. He would star in fourteen Sherlock Holmes films opposite his good friend, Nigel Bruce, between 1939 and 1946.


Later in his career, although his fortunes would wane, he still appeared in some notable films. But in order to sustain the lavish lifestyle of his second wife, he would also made cheaper thrillers and horror films, such as Tales of Terror (which is great fun and also stars Vincent Price and Peter Lorre).


And so, I would like to invite you to join me in celebrating this wonderful actor on his 128th birthday anniversary.

The Rules: 

  1. Basil had a long career and so his filmography is quite impressive, as are his stage and television credits. Because of this, I will be allowing only two duplicates per entry, and three posts per participant. But, I will only be accepting one entry per Sherlock Holmes film as there are fourteen, and also to ensure some variety. Please only submit new work, as I won’t be accepting any posts written previously.
  2. You can write about anything you like pertaining to Basil’s film career, television appearances he made, and his friendships and relationships with his fellow film stars etc.
  3. This blogathon is dedicated to Basil’s life and work and I want to celebrate him, so let’s please keep things nice and not write anything derogatory or defamatory about him.
  4. The Blogathon is being held on the 13th and 14th of June 2020, which coincides with his 128th birthday anniversary. Please submit your entries either before or by that date. If you find that you need a little extension, please let me know.
  5. Please take one of the banners and put it somewhere on your site to promote the blogathon. I’d also very much appreciate it if you included one of the banners in your post for the blogathon.
  6. And most importantly, please let me know what you would like to write about for the blogathon, by either commenting on this post, emailing me at, or contacting me on twitter @noir_or_never. Please include the name of your blog and a link to it, as I don’t really want to act as amateur sleuth and hunt for you! Please tell me your twitter handle as well so I can promote everything on there.
  7. Please check the participation list below to see what everyone else is covering and which subjects have been claimed twice.

I so hope you join me to celebrate our wonderful Basil, the king of the sword!

Participation List: 

Claimed Sherlock Holmes films: The Woman in Green, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, The Hound of the Baskervilles

Pale Writer: A Notorious Affair (1930) and Sherlock Holmes and the Woman in Green (1945)

Maddy Loves Her Classic Films: A tribute to Basil Rathbone

Hollywood Genes: Mr and Mrs Rathbone as the hosts with the most

Dubsism: Hidden sports analogies in Dawn Patrol (1938)

Sister Celluloid: The Garden of Allah (1936)

Hamlette’s Soliloquy: The Mark of Zorro (1940)

Taking Up Room: Anna Karenina (1935)

Paula’s Cinema Club: Fingers at the Window (1942)

18 Cinema Lane: The Great Mouse Detective (1986)

Critic Retro: The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (1939)

Midnite Drive In: A double bill of The Ghost in the Invisible Bikini (1966) and Hillybillys in a Haunted House (1967)

Pure Entertainment Preservation Society: The Hound of the Baskervilles (1939)

Old Hollywood Garden: The Black Cat (1941)

Caftan Woman: The Tower of London (1939)

Charity: Anna Karanina (1935) and The Last Days of Pompei (1935)

Musings of an Introvert: Court Jester (1956)

Coffee, Classics and Craziness: The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938)


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51 thoughts on “Announcing The Suave Swordsman: Basil Rathbone Blogathon”

      1. (Oops sorry! Forget the plural) I’m excited for this blogathon! Great topic! I feel like Rathbone is one of those stars in danger of being forgotten these days and that’s a sad concept because he’s brilliant. Can’t wait to read these entries!

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Is there anybody who leans more to the outre than me? If so I want to challenge them to a duel…

    Please let me have the following (as a double feature):

    The Ghost in the Invisible Bikini
    Hillbillys in a Haunted House

    BTW “Hillbillys” is how it is spelled in the title. Might have to override your spell check for it…


    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ooh fantastic! I’m looking forward to reading everyone’s posts because I’ve always loved Basil Rathbone. You’re right (sadly) – he is largely forgotten nowadays. I wish his work was more well known.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Pale Writer! On Basil Rathbone’s filmography on Turner Classic Movies’ (TCM’s) website, ‘The Great Mouse Detective’ was at the top of the list. Would that movie be eligible for this blogathon?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. A little late here … sorry … :
    In 1965, Basil Rathbone came to Chicago to tape intros, outros, and in-betweenos for The Sherlock Holmes Theatre, to air Monday evenings at 8:00 pm on Channel 9, WGN Television.
    There was the fact that only twelve Rathbone/Holmes films were made; Channel 9 filled out the schedule with their other whodunnit asset, Charlie Chan. In the years since, I’ve always wondered what exactly Rathbone had to say about the Chan features.
    When Basil Rathbone died in 1967, Channel 9 reran several of the Holmes features, with Rathbone’s taped segments intact; thus, I know that they saved the segs for that long.
    But I’m still wondering whether anybody at WGN held onto the rest of Rathbone’s intros, which were in Black & White, but still …
    Just thought I’d throw that in here …

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I first saw him as Sherlock Holmes as a kid, and fell in love with both him as Holmes and his talent in general, so… yeah. Same. I’m not an avid old movie watcher, but if he’s in it, or if Bette Davis is in it… I’ll watch it. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

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