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Claude Rains


speedracer5
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I'm watching Deception right now (got it via Netflix) with Bette Davis, Claude Rains and Paul Henreid. 

 

There's really not much point to this thread other than to say...

 

I love Claude Rains.

 

He is amazing.  In this film, he's playing "the heavy," the scorned ex-lover of Bette Davis.  Rains is so versatile.  He can play a more flamboyant villain like Prince John in The Adventures of Robin Hood or portray the heartwrenching Mr. Skeffington in the film of the same name.  He has such a great voice and is such a wonderful actor, it's a shame he never won one of the Oscars he was nominated for. 

 

He and Bette Davis had a great partnership in a good number of films.  I think my favorite is probably Mr. Skeffington but I love Now, Voyager as well. 

 

In Deception, while Bette Davis is as good as usual, this is really Rains' film.  Paul Henreid is "meh" to me.  The real action is the drama between Davis and Rains.

 

I'm hoping Rains gets a SUTS day this year. 

 

 

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Reading Sheridan Morley's (highly recommended) biography of John Gielgud I discovered that Claude Rains was an acting teacher of Gielgud's.  An amazing legacy.

Sheridan is the son of Robert Morley by the way.  His biography of James Mason is okay too, but not nearly as good as the Gielgud one.

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Reading Sheridan Morley's (highly recommended) biography of John Gielgud I discovered that Claude Rains was an acting teacher of Gielgud's. 

 

John Gielgud, responding to an interviewer's question about who influenced him:

 

"Yes, there was one actor I admired very much. His name was Claude Rains."

 

(pause)

 

"I sometimes wonder whatever happened to him."

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John Gielgud, responding to an interviewer's question about who influenced him:

 

"Yes, there was one actor I admired very much. His name was Claude Rains."

 

(pause)

 

"I sometimes wonder whatever happened to him."

Yes, Morley's biography is full of these wonderful little Gielgud jokes.  Rains had gone off to the States to become quite a name in the film world.

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I'm hoping Rains gets a SUTS day this year. 

 

Well, the Now Playing guide when Claude Rains was SOTM is framed in my house-the photo of him was gorgeous! I have never seen it before, he was leaning out of a train.

 

Rains had the wonderful ability of being a good guy or delicious villan with equal amounts of pathos & believability. The only other actor I can think of just as talented at this is Vincent Price....at opposite ends of the height spectrum!

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  I'm not sure if TCM has ever shown WHITE BANNERS with Claude Rains. I just know that since getting TCM on cable in the late'90's I have never seen it. I hope that whenever they do a Claude Rains tribute again it will be on the schedule.

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DECEPTION is Rains' tour-de-force masterpiece.  So many layers, so many great scenes.  From his entry line - "A party indeed!" to his table speech about his forshadowing of death this is an amazing display of a great actor fully in his element.

 

"Like all women - white as a sheet at the sight of a few scratches!"

BRAVO!!

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"...and Claude Rains was the Invisible Man."

 

(Sometimes when I hear that great actor's name I think of this song.)

 

Agree with all the Rains-lovers here. What an actor, such range. What a great face, an intelligent as well as a handsome face. Noble looking. What a voice.

 

And what a fine career. I just looked him up and saw all the good movies he was in.

 

Everyone here seen The Unsuspected ? Just one of many great Claude Rains characters. Or -I imagine most people have seen this - Notorious . Even when he plays a villain, he's likable, sympathetic.

 

The epitome of nobility, dignity, class.

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Reading Sheridan Morley's (highly recommended) biography of John Gielgud I discovered that Claude Rains was an acting teacher of Gielgud's.  An amazing legacy.

Sheridan is the son of Robert Morley by the way.  His biography of James Mason is okay too, but not nearly as good as the Gielgud one.

Sheridan was a good friend of mine. I miss him. (Btw, in addition to being the son of Robert Morley, he is the grandson of Gladys Cooper).

 

Regarding the always excellent Claude Rains, I particularly like him in Anthony Adverse and The Mystery of Edwin Drood.  His scenes in the opium den in the latter film, and his interactions with Zeffie Tilbury ("The Opium Woman") are priceless.

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Sheridan was a good friend of mine. I miss him. (Btw, in addition to being the son of Robert Morley, he is the grandson of Gladys Cooper).

 

Regarding the always excellent Claude Rains, I particularly like him in Anthony Adverse and The Mystery of Edwin Drood.  His scenes in the opium den in the latter film, and his interactions with Zeffie Tilbury ("The Opium Woman") are priceless.

Let me add to the list of favoured Rains' performances that of Senator Joseph Paine in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.  For my money it was the supporting performance of 1939.

His other Academy Award should have been for Casablanca.

He is also terrific in David Lean's Passionate Friends and Lawrence of Arabia.  The richness and subtlety of his rather small part in the latter becomes greater with each viewing.

The Clairvoyant, made in 1935 is also a good one.

It is a pity White Banners has all but disappeared.  That I have yet to see.

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Reading Sheridan Morley's (highly recommended) biography of John Gielgud I discovered that Claude Rains was an acting teacher of Gielgud's.  An amazing legacy. ...

 

Am I remembering correctly that TCM has run two featurettes on Claude Rains, one narrated by John Gielgud and the other by Richard Chamberlain, both of whom worked with and greatly admired him?

 

In any event, I'm always impressed by the work of Mr. Rains and would love to see him honored with a day during SUTS.  He's an actor who makes every movie he's in better -- at least, of the ones I've seen!

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Claude Rains is primarily remembered today as a character actor, though he was the star of his initial film appearances. But, whether star or character support, just how many actors of the Golden Era had the good fortunate to appear in as many good, or even outstanding, productions as Rains? And in all of those films, too, it was Rains's performances that added so much to the effectiveness of those productions.

 

But take a look at some of the titles in his filmography:

 

Invisible Man ('33), Crime Without Passion ('34), They Won't Forget ('37), Adventures of Robin Hood ('38), Juarez ('39), Mr. Smith Goes to Washington ('39), Sea Hawk ('40), Kings Row ('42), Now Voyager ('42), Casablanca ('43), Notorious ('46), among others.

 

Rains could be floridly dramatic (such as Speedracer has pointed out with his delicious film stealing performance in Deception) or give a refined, understated performance of intelligence (Kings Row, Now Voyager). And look at the scope of some of the man's villains, ranging from delicious malevolence and conceit, with a few amusing gay hints in his playing (Prince John in Robin Hood) to a sympathetic mother-dominated heavy (Notorious).

 

If I had to go with one Claude Rains performance as my favourite it would unquestionably be as Louis Renault in Casablanca. Suave, debonair, a ruthless womanizer blowing with whatever political wind was strongest, Rains' charm and intelligence made a corrupt character attractive and impossible to dislike. And the memorably witty dialogue that distinguished that film is particularly well served by Rains' rapier like delivery.

 

"I'm shocked, shocked to hear there's gambling on these premises" Rains proclaims as he closes down Rick's Cafe, while simultaneously pocketing his own winnings from the tables, one of the film's most cherished moments.

 

It's a pleasure watching him banter with Bogart's Rick and to observe the obvious affection that both men feel for one another. And because Rains is so likeable in his part, when, at the end of the film, he finally takes a stand and comes over to the side of "the good guys," it is emotionally satisfying for the audience to see him do so. No one wants to really see Rains' Louis pay a price for his wickedness of the past.

 

14056272_gal1_zpss0vcwxxi.jpg

 

Rains enjoyed working with director Michael Curtiz, but they sometimes had disagreements over how a scene was to be played. Once, after Curtiz had told Rains to enter a scene with "more energy," Rains responded to his instruction by bursting through a door on a bicycle.

 

By the way, it was the fact that Rains lived in Pennsylvania that saved Casablanca from losing its legendary "beautiful friendship" ending. After the final scene had been shot and was in the can, North Africa was invaded by Allied troops. Producer Hal Wallis then wanted to shoot a new scene, one showing Bogart and Rains on a freighter, with a lot of extras, about to disembark on the African shores. That would have been the ending of Casablanca.

 

Rains was back in his Pennsylvania home by this time and, due to commercial airline shortages, it wasn't possible for him to get back to Hollywood as quickly as Wallis wanted. Meanwhile review audiences had been responding well to Casablanca's ending (the one we all know today). That, combined with a memo from David O. Selznick telling Wallis not to touch a frame of the film made Wallis cancel his plans to shoot the new ending.

 

Sadly, Rains' days appearing in noteworthy films largely came to a close with the end of his Warner Brothers contract in 1947. But even later lesser productions, such as Rope of Sand or Where Danger Lives, would benefit from the actor's presence as a suave villain.

 

Claude Rains, whether sinner or saint, always a class act.

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I'm not sure if TCM has ever shown WHITE BANNERS with Claude Rains. I just know that since getting TCM on cable in the late'90's I have never seen it. I hope that whenever they do a Claude Rains tribute again it will be on the schedule.

They have shown White Banners in the past either as a Fay Bainter day or during 31 Days of Oscar but It's been a long while ago.

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I'll sheepishly admit that the first few movies I remember seeing Rains in, long ago, he was portraying men much older than he actually was at the time.  I used to think it was his "stock in trade".

 

So I was quite delighted over the years to see more and more movies of his where he appeared as someone actually his age!

 

And loved him ever since.  There are others of course, but sometimes I like to imaging a version of "Peter And The Wolf" narrarted by him.  A friend claims he did make such a recording, but I've yet to locate any info on it.

 

So, add HIM to my "voice of God" list.  ;)

 

 

Sepiatne

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I love Claude Rains. Watch him in Casablanca with the sound turned off, and notice how he controls the scenes.

What a great idea.  I do that quite often with films and it is amazing what one can see without the rest of the clutter.

It is also an interesting way to judge a picture edit.

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I'll sheepishly admit that the first few movies I remember seeing Rains in, long ago, he was portraying men much older than he actually was at the time.  I used to think it was his "stock in trade".

 

So I was quite delighted over the years to see more and more movies of his where he appeared as someone actually his age!

 

And loved him ever since.  There are others of course, but sometimes I like to imaging a version of "Peter And The Wolf" narrarted by him.  A friend claims he did make such a recording, but I've yet to locate any info on it.

 

So, add HIM to my "voice of God" list.  ;)

 

 

Sepiatne

I think we'd all be hard pressed to find anyone who doesn't love Claude Rains or find fault with any of his glorious performances. One of the finest actors to grace the screen. I highly recommend THE CLAIRVOYENT to anyone interested in watching Claude Rains as a younger man.

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"...and Claude Rains was the Invisible Man."

 

(Sometimes when I hear that great actor's name I think of this song.)

 

Agree with all the Rains-lovers here. What an actor, such range. What a great face, an intelligent as well as a handsome face. Noble looking. What a voice.

 

And what a fine career. I just looked him up and saw all the good movies he was in.

 

Everyone here seen The Unsuspected ? Just one of many great Claude Rains characters. Or -I imagine most people have seen this - Notorious . Even when he plays a villain, he's likable, sympathetic.

 

The epitome of nobility, dignity, class.

Claude is my favorite character actor. He is superb in The Unsuspected. One of my faves.

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Am I remembering correctly that TCM has run two featurettes on Claude Rains, one narrated by John Gielgud and the other by Richard Chamberlain, both of whom worked with and greatly admired him?

 

In any event, I'm always impressed by the work of Mr. Rains and would love to see him honored with a day during SUTS.  He's an actor who makes every movie he's in better -- at least, of the ones I've seen!

They've had birthday tributes to Claude, but they always show the same movies - the Four Daughter stinkeroos and They Made Me a Criminal.

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I love Claude Rains. Watch him in Casablanca with the sound turned off, and notice how he controls the scenes.

I've noticed in a number of his films that he often opens and closes his hands at his side. Don't kow what the deal is with that, whether he was scene-stealing or not.

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They've had birthday tributes to Claude, but they always show the same movies - the Four Daughter stinkeroos and They Made Me a Criminal.

 

I agree that if TCM is going to have a tribute for Claude they should mix it up.   Rains was a great actor playing supporting roles,  second leading man roles and leading roles over multiple decades.   

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If TCM is going to do a tribute to Claude Rains, here are 3 TCM premiere showings:

 

       CRIME WITHOUT PASSION

 

     THE MAN WHO RECLAIMED HIS HEAD

 

     WHITE BANNERS

 

At least give us one please.  Not the same movies over and over again.

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If TCM is going to do a tribute to Claude Rains, here are 3 TCM premiere showings:

 

       CRIME WITHOUT PASSION

 

     THE MAN WHO RECLAIMED HIS HEAD

 

     WHITE BANNERS

 

At least give us one please.  Not the same movies over and over again.

I have no idea what this is about and have never even heard of it...

 

but I am intrigued by "The Man Who Reclaimed His Head."  I'm truly hoping that the title is literally what happens in this film, that a headless man has to reclaim his head.  If this is a more figurative title... well that is disappointing to say the least.

 

I'm also hoping for the other two films to premiere.  More films with Claude Rains is never a bad thing.

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