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Topic: Claude Rains (11/10/1889-5/4/1967) Post ReplyPost New Topic
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John Byrne
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Posted: 10 November 2017 at 5:37am | IP Logged | 1 post reply

Recently learned he was director Robert Wise's first choice to play Klaatu in THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STIL (1951). That would have made for a very different move, I imagine!

Shares his birth year with, among others, Charlie Chaplin, Adolf Hitler, and my Grandad Byrne.

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Michael Penn
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Posted: 10 November 2017 at 6:46am | IP Logged | 2 post reply

One of my very favorite actors. His ability to convey a kind of sinister charm was unparalleled. 
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 10 November 2017 at 8:50am | IP Logged | 3 post reply

A Gerry Anderson book I own stated that the face of X-20, the evil agent in STINGRAY, was modelled on Claude Rains.



Edited by Robbie Parry on 10 November 2017 at 8:53am
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John Byrne
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Posted: 10 November 2017 at 8:56am | IP Logged | 4 post reply

Given that Troy Tempest was based on James Garner, I can see it.
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Matt Hawes
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Posted: 10 November 2017 at 12:16pm | IP Logged | 5 post reply

About Claude Rains sharing a birth year with Charlie Chaplin...

One thing that stood out to me when I watched the Owen Wilson/Jackie Chan film SHANGHAI KNIGHTS  II was that while it was never stated in the movie explicitly,  the story was taking place in 1888. There was on way to figure this out,  but also there was another thing that conflicted wit that being the year...

SPOILERS BELOW....



Jack The Ripper figures into the movie during the Whitechapel murders, which would set the movie in the year 1888. However,  a boy who features in the film, and who is about 10-years-old is revealed to be Charlie Chaplin. But, Chaplin wouldn't be born until the following year in real life. 
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Matt Hawes
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Posted: 10 November 2017 at 12:20pm | IP Logged | 6 post reply

Back to Claude Rains, I have never watched his version of PHANTOM OF THE OPERA. I figure that since it's one of the few classic Universal monster films I haven't seen yet, I should remedy that in the near future. 
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John Byrne
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Posted: 10 November 2017 at 12:57pm | IP Logged | 7 post reply

One thing to know going in, Matt. Rains' PHANTOM is rendered as mostly a vehicle for Nelson Eddy!
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Matt Hawes
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Posted: 10 November 2017 at 3:04pm | IP Logged | 8 post reply

I will keep that in mind. I think one of the reasons I have held off watching the film in the past is I got the notion it wasn't so much a horror film as the other Universal films. Still, I've been curious about it for years.
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Peter Martin
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Posted: 10 November 2017 at 6:03pm | IP Logged | 9 post reply

The Invisible Man is probably my favourite of the classic Universal horror films -- and a large chunk of credit needs to go to Rains for his work in the film. His voice does so much heavy lifting in that film.

Also liked his supporting role in Laurence of Arabia nearly 30 years on. It's one of my favourite films, possibly my very favourite.

Watched him fairly recently in the Errol Flynn Robin Hood. He's King John wasn't as good as I was expecting; seemed like it should have been a perfect match, but I felt he was overshadowed by Basil Rathbone a little (not to mention Errol Flynn!).

Funny to read he grew up south of the river in London -- in Southwark, an area in which I worked for many years-- with a typical accent for the area (which would have been a far cry from the way he spoke in his films).


Edited by Peter Martin on 10 November 2017 at 6:04pm
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Doug Centers
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Posted: 10 November 2017 at 7:05pm | IP Logged | 10 post reply

As solid an actor as there ever was. 

Watched him recently on MR. SMITH GOES TO WASHINGTON.  TCM also showed an interview with John Gielgud talking of their days together on the London stage. Very interesting. 
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Rick Senger
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Posted: 10 November 2017 at 7:26pm | IP Logged | 11 post reply

I've always liked Rains and just enjoyed him in a color noir called THE MAN WHO WATCHED TRAINS.  Despite killing two people and absconding w/ the company funds, as usual Rains manages to keep his character somehow sympathetic and compellingly desperate despite not being so nice. 

Contrary to his perception as an effete Brit, Rains actually enjoyed a hearty life in America back east, owning and apparently working a huge farming spread in Pennsylvania.  He died in New Hampshire a mile or two from where my family vacations almost every Labor Day.


Edited by Rick Senger on 10 November 2017 at 7:28pm
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Andrew Saxon
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Posted: 11 November 2017 at 5:41am | IP Logged | 12 post reply

The opportunity of seeing Claude Rains as Klaatu is yet another reason I want to travel to parallel dimensions.
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Jeremy Simington
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Posted: 11 November 2017 at 7:03am | IP Logged | 13 post reply

Continuing the love: he was impeccable as Captain Renault in CASABLANCA.
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