Still in keeping with our Halloween theme, Admin and I got to wondering… if we could somehow go back in time to bring back some ideal co-stars who’ve gone on to the Great Beyond (in peak condition, of course, not zombified or anything, and we wouldn’t read any mysterious scrolls to do it) who we think would work well with Patrick Malahide, who would they be? And here they are!
Admin: We need a TARDIS. A TARDIS would do the trick, although it might mean dealing with a few pesky Daleks along the way. 😛
RF: A handful of marbles on the floor should take care of the Daleks. 😉
Wished For Co-Stars Who Are No More
RF: Vincent Price
What’s So Special About Him? He’s Vincent Price! Okay, okay, in more detail. He’s done everything from melodrama (“Laura“), to film noir (“His Kind of Woman“), to costume epics (“The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex“, playing Sir Walter Raleigh, of all people), and only went into horror and suspense later in his life. But he excelled at them all. He was witty, urbane, stylish, had a great sense of humour, a wonderfully distinctive voice, and always commanded attention whenever he was on screen. And even though later in his career, he sometimes got stuck playing truly ridiculous villains (“The Abominable Dr. Phibes“, for example), like Mr. Malahide, he always made sure they were far more nuanced than your garden-variety bad guys. As he said in one of my favourite quotes: “I don’t play monsters. I play men besieged by fate and out for revenge.” He gave his baddies a sympathetic component and an element of humanity far beyond what was required. He could scare the dickens out of you with quiet menace, but you’d be so fascinated by his charm you’d stick around his castle to see what happened next anyway, knowing full well it was a terrible idea. Yet his heroes were just as compelling; they were frequently soft-spoken, quietly competent, and tender-hearted. I think Mr. Malahide’s characters, both heroes and villains, share a lot of those same qualities.
What Sort of Project? Some sort of suspense/horror project would seem to be a natural, although I’d prefer it to be classical – say, based on a work of Edgar Allan Poe, but perhaps with higher production values than many of the Roger Corman works Mr. Price starred in. Of course, it raises a bit of a question over who should be the hero and who the villain… Or maybe who should be the villain and who the worse villain. Mind you, the two of them would probably make a villain rivalry incredibly entertaining. Perhaps it might be best to split the difference and make it a film noir instead, with a certain amount of confusion over who the culprit is (and who the heroic detective and/or private investigator is) until the very end. Bonus points if it somehow involves a haunted house with an improbably marionette-controlled skeleton and a vat of acid. 😉
RF: Basil Rathbone
What’s So Special About Him? Nowadays, he’s probably best known for playing a pre-Benedict Cumberbatch (or more properly, a pre-Jeremy Brett) Sherlock Holmes, but in his time, Mr. Rathbone also played a wide variety of roles from heroic authority figures (“The Dawn Patrol“, as stoic commanding officer to Errol Flynn and David Niven’s rebellious World War I pilots) to outright villainous types (Sir Guy of Gisbourne in one of my personal favourites, “The Adventures of Robin Hood“). He was also an accomplished fencer and swordsman who could take anything a more inexperienced actor threw at him in a fight scene and make it look good. Like Mr. Price, he was suave, debonair, and a man of the world who could nonetheless very easily play sinister, sneering villains.
What Sort of Project? Some sort of costume epic drama would be great… Mr. Malahide’s Governor Ainslee and Mr. Rathbone’s Captain Levasseur (“Captain Blood“) could have an epic sneer-off. I’m not even sure who’d win that one! But since I don’t want to typecast them as villains (something that apparently bothered Mr. Rathbone later in his life, according to IMDB), I wouldn’t mind seeing them in as heroes in a WWI movie, either. We’ve seen that they both look great in uniform (Mr. Rathbone in the aforementioned “Dawn Patrol”, Mr. Malahide in “All the King’s Men“), so… perhaps Mr. Rathbone as a senior officer dealing with Mr. Malahide as an unruly younger officer? (Since we’re being allowed to bend time and space, that is.) But I think they’d both be equally suited to a Thirties film noir crime drama or better yet, Victorian crime drama, whether it involved Holmes or not. But Mr. Malahide would make a great Inspector Lestrade – or just for a change, Holmes to Rathbone’s Lestrade. 😉
Admin: And my choices:
Admin: Alastair Sim
What’s So Special About Him? When you think of classic British cinema, Alastair Sim is one of the faces that immediately springs to mind. He was equally adept at drama and comedy. Like Patrick Malahide, Alastair Sim had an incredibly distinctive and fluid voice. He was as much a joy to listen to as he was to watch. His basset hound eyes were incredibly expressive and made him superbly suitable for darker comedies such as The Green Man which also starred a very young George Cole. In fact, Mr. Sim was a great mentor to George Cole and they appeared in several productions together, their most famous being the brilliant St. Trinians series of comedies. Alastair Sim is perhaps best known for his classic performance as Scrooge in A Christmas Carol and he certainly made that character his own (a bit like someone else who played a miserly Ebenezer), but his career included many, many more memorable characters.
What Sort of Project? Well, I could suggest an Inspector Cockrill production, but I’m not sure who should play Cockrill. 😉 Seriously, Patrick Malahide would be perfect in that role. He can be very raffish and looks great in a fedora. 😉 I think I might save Inspector Cockrill for a Wished for Role. So, how about some sort of dark gothic comedy? It is one of my favorite genres when done correctly. Perhaps something similar to Cold Comfort Farm (which, incidentally is a very hilarious book and I highly recommend it) would be ideal. Alastair Sim played one of my favorite characters Amos Starkadder, an over the top gloomy religious zealot. It is a lot funnier than it sounds. 🙂 I could see both him and Patrick Malahide in a similar production. They have both played that sort of dark, close-to-the-bone, but still oddly charming type character which has loads of room for flowery, mellifluous language, and gloomy intrigue.
Admin: Peter Cushing
What’s So Special About Him? Shallow part first 😉 Peter Cushing was one of the most incredibly handsome men ever. He had cheekbones that went on forever, intense blue eyes, a lean frame and a gorgeous complexion. Can’t go wrong with that look. 😉 He’s obviously best known for appearing in Star Wars and loads and loads of Hammer and Amicus horror productions, many of which featured his very dear (and equally talented) friend Sir Christopher Lee. But, Peter Cushing also had a long career in drama, particularly that of the historical variety. In fact, if you look at the earlier part of his IMDB listing, you’ll see quite a few of made for television historical drama adaptations. He even played Mr. Darcy in Pride and Prejudice. I don’t care what they say about Colin Firth, Peter Cushing is easily the best looking Mr. Darcy ever. 😉 He was also a very kind and decent man, a true gentleman. His talent didn’t just extend to acting, either. Mr. Cushing was an accomplished artists who painted delicately beautiful watercolors and ink illustrations. As a Dickens fan, I think this one is particularly cool. I just find that really neat, especially since they are actually very, very good, in my opinion at least.
What Sort of Project? Despite being a big fan of the genre, I’d rather it not be a horror. I think a period drama would be my preferred choice, probably something very dashing and adventurous. Specifically a Naval military drama would be ideal, something like Master and Commander or Hornblower. Something with intense danger and adventure, exotic and exciting locations, and gorgeous uniforms. Yeah, that would be my choice. Just think how brilliantly they would have played off of one another. It would have brilliant seeing those two amazing talents on screen.
RF: Ah, if only we could bend time and space! It would have been lovely to see any of these gentlemen co-starring with Mr. Malahide. 🙂