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Hollywood Movie Memories » nigel bruce

Posts Tagged ‘nigel bruce’

The Charge of the Light Brigade

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011

The Charge of the Light Brigade

Tagline – The reckless lancers sweep on and on – so that a woman’s heart may not be broken!

Starring – Errol Flynn (Major Geoffrey Vickers), Olivia de Havilland (Elsa Campbell), Patric Knowles (Captain Perry Vickers), Henry Stephenson (Sir Charles Macefield), Nigel Bruce (Sir Benjamin Warrenton), Donald Crisp (Colonel Campbell), David Niven (Captain James Randall).

Released – October, 1936

Directed By – Michael Curtiz

Produced By – Warner Brothers

Distributed By – Warner Brothers

Description – This motion picture is loosely based on the famous Charge of the Light Brigade during the Crimean War.

Major Geoffrey Vickers and his brother Captain Perry Vickers are stationed in India with the 27th Lancers of the British Army during the Crimean War. Geoffrey is also engaged to Elsa Campbell the daughter of Colonel Campbell.

Geoffrey and English diplomat Sir Henry Harcourt are away meeting with tribal leader Amir Surat Khan to tell him that the British can no longer provide funds as they had promised. This information angers Khan, but while on a leopard hunt his life is saved by Geoffrey winning his personal loyalty as his anger at the British grows.

Geoffrey returns to Calcutta and learns that, while he was away, Elsa has fallen in love with his brother Perry. This news causes the brothers to quarrel bitterly, but before the problem escalates Geoffrey is sent to battle renegade tribesmen.

After the completion of this mission, Geoffrey moves on to Chukoti where Colonel Campbell and Elsa are not located. Perry has been sent to a nearby base in Lohara. Meanwhile, Surat Khan has been gathering his forces and when Colonel Campbell’s troops are ordered to Lohara on maneuvers Chukoti is left virtually without defense.

Surat Khan attacks and brutally slaughters the inhabitants including Colonel Campbell. Geoffrey and Elsa are spared by Khan as payment for Geoffrey saving Khan’s life. After they flee, Elsa convinces Geoffrey that she truly loves his brother Perry. Geoffrey has no choice but to accept this as fact.

To protect his brother from the next attack, Geoffrey sends him away. Surat Khan has now joined forces with the Russians and Geoffrey is ordered by Sir Charles Macefield, the commander of the British forces in the Crimea, not to attack.

Still enraged by the slaughter at Chukoti, Geoffrey rewrites the orders and leads the Lancers on a death charge against Surat Khan.

NOTABLE: The Charge of the Light Brigade won the Oscar for Best Assistant Director (Jack Sullivan), and was also nominated for Best Music, Score, and Best Sound, Recording.

During the famous charge scene, trip wires were set up on the battlefield to trip up the charging horses. Tragically, depending on which report you choose to believe, 25-200 horses were killed filming this scene. This act of animal cruelty caused the U.S. Congress to enact laws insuring the safety of animals in motion pictures.

A stuntman was also killed during filming, as he fell off his horse onto a broken sword that was wedged in a way that left it’s blade facing upward.

The Charge of the Light Brigade was the second of nine romantic pairings by Warner Brothers for Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland.


Sherlock Holmes and the House of Fear

Sunday, April 17th, 2011

Sherlock Holmes – The House of Fear

Tagline – HORROR stalking its halls!

Starring – Basil Rathbone (Sherlock Holmes), Nigel Bruce (Dr. John H. Watson), Aubrey Mather (Bruce Alastair), Dennis Hoey (Inspector Lestrade).

Released – March, 1945

Directed By – Roy William Neill

Produced By – Universal Pictures

Distributed By – Universal Pictures

Description – Mr. Chalmers, an insurance agent, visits Holmes with a very strange tale indeed. It seems that a group of seven elderly, single gentlemen, who call themselves “The Good Comrades,” have taken up residence in an old Scottish castle.

One of the gentlemen has recently had delivered to him an envelope containing only seven orange pips. Later that evening his body was found murdered and mutilated. A few days later another envelope was delivered to one of the men and this time contained only six orange pips. That second man has also mysteriously died, with his body found battered at the base of some cliffs.

Mr. Chalmers insurance company has policies on each of the gentlemen living in the castle and he believes that one of the men is responsible for the deaths of the others in order to collect on the insurance proceeds. Chalmers is hoping that Holmes will aid in the investigation.

Holmes is happy of oblige, as the case intrigues him, but when Holmes and Watson arrive at the castle they find another body waiting. Unable to put a stop to the continuing murders, three more are killed with the bodies of each virtually unrecognizable.

One remains, Mr. Bruce Alastair, and Inspector Lestrade is convinced that he is the killer. But, something just doesn’t add up for Holmes and he is not so sure of Alastair’s guilt.

NOTABLE: The House of Fear is the tenth film in the Sherlock Holmes series to star Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce.

Towards the end of the film, as Watson notices the tobacco urn is empty, the wolf’s head cane from The Wolf Man (1941) can be seen leaning against the back wall.

The Pearl of Death

Tuesday, November 30th, 2010

Sherlock Holmes in Pearl of Death

Tagline – The Secret Of The Gem Of Doom!

Starring – Basil Rathbone (Sherlock Holmes), Nigel Bruce (Doctor Watson), Dennis Hoey (Inspector Lestrade), Evelyn Ankers (Naomi Drake), Miles Mander (Giles Conover).

Released – August, 1944

Directed By – Roy William Neill

Produced By – Universal Pictures

Distributed By – Universal Pictures

Description – Sherlock Holmes is embarrassed and on the spot. The famous “Borgia Pearl” has been stolen right under his nose from the Royal Regent Museum by master criminal Giles Conover.

Conover is captured, but does not have the pearl resulting in his release. Shortly thereafter, an elderly Colonel is brutally murdered, with his body found in a pile of smashed china, and there appears to be no motive.

The nature of the crime arouses Holmes’ suspicion that the murder may be the work of “The Hoxton Creeper” known to be the right-hand man of Giles Conover. Another murder takes place as the body of an elderly woman is found… also surrounded by a pile of smashed china.

Now, Holmes himself becomes the target as two attempts are made on his life. It is now his belief that Conover is trying to again find the valuable pearl. A third killing takes place and a link to the murders is now realized. It is a bust of Napoleon.

After stealing the pearl, and trying to elude the police, Conover fled through a workshop and hid the pearl inside the china bust of Napoleon. There were six in the workshop at the time and Conover is trying to find the right one and will kill anyone in his way.

The Scarlet Claw

Thursday, November 18th, 2010

Sherlock Holmes – The Scarlet Claw

Tagline – There’s Blood On The Moon Tonight!

Starring – Basil Rathbone (Sherlock Holmes), Nigel Bruce (Doctor Watson), Gerald Hamer (Alistair Ramson), Paul Cavanagh (Lord Penrose).

Released – May, 1944

Directed By – Roy William Neill

Produced By – Universal Pictures

Distributed By – Universal Pictures

Description – Sherlock Holmes and friend Doctor Watson are attending a conference in Quebec City. While there, Holmes is given a note from Lady Penrose who resides in the nearby village of La Mort Rouge.

The note reveals Lady Penrose to be in fear for her life and she asks for Holmes help. Unknown to the great detective is the fact that it is already too late. Lady Penrose has had her throat torn out.

The nature of the murder has the villagers spreading rumors about a monster being responsible for the vicious killing. The village has a history of believing in a legendary monster that roams the surrounding marshes.

These belief’s are preposterous to Holmes and he sets out to find a human killer. The investigation leads Holmes to believe that the killing may not have been a random one. It appears as though there will be a systematic string of murders.

Holmes begins to believe that the killer walks among the villagers pretending to innocently be one of them. He has a suspect in mind, someone who it was believed was killed during a prison break, and happens to be a master of disguise.

NOTABLE: Universal Studio’s produced twelve films in its Sherlock Holmes series, and it is now generally considered that The Scarlet Claw is the best of the bunch.

Basil Rathbone’s last words, drowned out by the films music, appear to be “God bless him” (a reference to Winston Churchill).


Sherlock Holmes Faces Death

Friday, July 2nd, 2010

Sherlock Holmes Faces Death

Tagline – As Startling as a Scream in the Night!

Starring – Basil Rathbone (Sherlock Holmes), Nigel Bruce (Doctor Watson), Dennis Hoey (Inspector Lestrade), Arthur Margetson (Doctor Bob Sexton), Hillary Brooke (Sally Musgrave).

Released – September, 1943

Directed By – Roy William Neill

Produced By – Universal Pictures

Distributed By – Universal Pictures

Description – Doctor Watson has volunteered his services as resident doctor at Musgrave Manor. The stately home is being used as a hospital to treat ex-soldiers who suffer from shell shock.

When Dr. Bob Sexton, the owner of Musgrage Manor, is attacked and wounded, Watson summons the help of his friend Sherlock Holmes. Things go from bad to worse, as the first of what will be a series of murders takes place.

The reason for the murders at first is not clear with the only connection being to an ancient family ritual. However, a little more investigation by Holmes uncovers the existence of a hidden land grant that will bring fabulous wealth to whoever has it in their possesson.

Shadows and fog, dark family secrets, a strange clock tower, a human chessboard, and a scary crypt, add to the pleasure of this entertaining entry in the series of Sherlock Holmes mysteries.

NOTABLE: Sherlock Holmes Faces Death was the sixth of fourteen films based on Arthur Conan Doyle’s fiction detective.