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DownGoesFrazier

A LETTER TO THREE WIVES

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TomJH, I enjoyed reading your speculation about casting Basil Rathbone, who was the original Dr. Sloper in the play The Heiress, in Wyler's film version. As a Rathbone fan, I've speculated on it, too. Rathbone won the Tony award for his performance. Folks might be interested in reading this posting on the subject on the blog, The Baz at http://thegreatbaz.wordpress.com/2012/11/02/the-heiress-2012/

From my own reading about Rathbone, he was such a gentleman and so innately generous to other performers, I don't think he would be distracting Olivia with his glove. He may have been distracting in other ways, though, as apparently, despite his screen persona as villains or the cool Sherlock Holmes, he was apparently quite a charming man and gracious to the ladies.

 

My own feeling about the matter is that in The Adventures of Robin Hood and earlier Captain Blood, Rathbone had been cast as a romantic rival for Olivia's affections, so that link may still have been present in the public's mind. However, Rathbone was in fact more than 20 years older than Olivia, so he could very well have played her father. Also, I've seen a few candids posted of the two together during the making of The Adventures of Robin Hood which make me wonder whether there was actually some sexual chemistry between the two that might end up being transmitted on the screen.

 

The idea of Flynn as Morris is an intriguing one, although Flynn had aged so much by then (even though he would have been under 40) that he would have been too old for the part. In some ways, Morris is a bit like the Flynn's character in The Sisters, but without the nobler streak.

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