Favouritest Grabs Ever – Sixth Edition

It’s been a while since we’ve done a Favouritest Grabs post, and we certainly have a lot of grabs to choose from – so herein follows our Sixth Edition.  As usual, we’re featuring grabs of Mr. Malahide’s work that we find interesting, entertaining, or especially appealing, and why.

RF’s Picks:

Governor Ainslee making an offer that can't be refused:<br>"I insist. I can do that, you know." Favouritest Grabs Ever - Sixth Edition

Governor Ainslee making an offer that can’t be refused:
“I insist. I can do that, you know.”

What’s Going On in This Picture?

RF:   It’s from the 1995 movie, “Cutthroat Island“.   Mr. Malahide plays Governor Ainslee, de facto ruler of the island of Port Royal, where apparently a lot of pirates like to hang out and occasionally fence their goods.  In this particular scene, he’s ever-so-politely making pirate chronicler John Reed (Maury Chaykin) an offer he can’t refuse; namely, that Reed tell pirate queen Morgan Adams (Geena Davis) to cut him in for a share of the treasure she’s seeking (insert long, convoluted pursuit-of-treasure tale here), or else… both she and Reed will be “food for crows”.  In other words, the governor doesn’t mind engaging in a little criminality himself to fill his own coffers.  To back up his words, the docks where this scene is taking place are decorated with a gibbet or two, occupied and not.  Ainslee might look like a fop (and he does), but he’s no pushover; he fully intends to make good on his threat.

Why is This One a Favourite?

RF:  The movie itself… well… isn’t that great (see my recap if you want the gory details), but Mr. Malahide as Governor Ainslee was one of the few bright spots.  He was fopped up to eleven throughout with elaborate wardrobe and wigs, but somehow managed to pull everything off without seeming overly foppish in the slightest; despite his outward appearance, Ainslee was a very creditable and dangerous enemy to the protagonists.  However, that didn’t seem to mean he was averse to cuddling with a very contented-looking Cavalier King Charles spaniel, who appeared to enjoy his company a great deal; they both look very relaxed and happy.  Actually, I was so taken by Ainslee’s Lethal Dimples that I didn’t even notice the dog until after I’d watched the movie and was reviewing the grabs!  But aside from that, Ainslee is the very picture of self-assured, confident Evil – though he turns out to be not that evil, in my opinion.

Admin:  Ainslee is a great character and should have had a lot more screen time.  He dominates every scene he is in and is so much more fun to watch than the protagonists.  That is a great grab.  The little spaniel is so cute and certainly seems to be enjoying himself.  I also like the massive sails behind them.  It all looks so evocative.  But of course it is Ainslee’s smug expression that is the real star of the moment.

RF:  Yeah, the protagonists were an unfortunate (and rather large) weak spot in the entire production.  :-/  It’s a shame because the whole pirate milieu could’ve been a lot of fun.  The Malta setting was gorgeous and Mr. Malahide’s co-starring villain, Frank Langella as “Dawg” Brown, made a very credible pirate.  I would’ve preferred watching a lot more of Dawg and Ainslee than Morgan Adams and William Shaw (Matthew Modine).

Admin:  Absolutely.  The film should have been about Ainslee (and Trott-AHHH!!) and Dawg.  Those three were much more entertaining than the protagonists.

Inspector Alleyn pondering a mystery:<br>"Fascinating. Absolutely fascinating. I can't make top or tail of it."

Inspector Alleyn pondering a mystery:
“Fascinating. Absolutely fascinating. I can’t make top or tail of it.”

What’s Going On in This Picture?

RF:  It’s from “The Inspector Alleyn Mysteries” S01E02, “The Nursing Home Murder” (1993), based on the Ngaio Marsh novel by the same name.  Mr. Malahide’s Inspector Alleyn – impeccably attired in a tailored three-piece suit as usual, even if he’s not wearing his jacket at the moment – is attempting to puzzle out the murder of the British Home Secretary, Sir Derek O’Callaghan (John Stride), during or after a surgical procedure.  Also as usual, he has more than a few suspects to choose from:  was it Sir Derek’s loopy sister Ruth, who insisted that only herbal medicines and natural remedies could help Sir Derek?  Was it his cheated-upon wife, Lady Cecily?  Or his recently jilted, much younger mistress, Jane?  Or Jane’s protective would-be lover, Sir John Phillips, who also happens to be one of the doctors who performed the surgery?  Alleyn is wide awake and pondering it all, while the faithful Inspector Br’er Fox (William Simons) has given up and conked out for a nap.

Why is This One a Favourite?

RF:  I just love Alleyn’s posture in this.  Even though he’s trying to figure out a murder, he comes across as very much at ease and relaxed; his smile seems to indicate that he’s enjoying himself.  You also get the sense from one glance at this scene that he’s been happily whirring the facts and evidence through his brain for hours and hours, not noticing time passing, while poor Fox ran out of steam a while ago.  Not only that, Alleyn has been so wrapped up in the mystery that he hasn’t even noticed Fox has fallen asleep.  He looks as though he could go on for hours yet, with no loss of energy.

RF:  I also like this grab for the perfection of the “Alleyn Mysteries” set decorators, cinematographers, and wardrobe personnel, and how well Mr. Malahide and Mr. Simons fit into the late Forties setting.  They both look like they absolutely belong there, with Alleyn in particular at home in his own domain.  And although I say this for every “Alleyn” recap, I have to mention that Alleyn’s Forties three-piece suits are especially flattering on Mr. Malahide.  😉  He’s even wearing sleeve garters so he won’t get ink on his shirt – very practical!

Admin:  Indeed.  The Alleyn series holds up flawlessly today and looks every bit as cinematic and well-filmed as any contemporary high-end drama.  The cinematography, set design, and wardrobe are all jaw-droppingly luscious and perfect.  In this grab, the warm slightly sepia tones really add to the late night feel.  You can really sense exactly just how tired and beat Fox is, but Alleyn’s relaxed posture gives it a warm relaxing look.

Admin’s Picks:

Level stare, cool blue eyes

Level stare, cool blue eyes

What’s Going On in This Picture?

Admin:  This is from “Inspector Morse” S04E03 “Driven to Distraction”.  Patrick Malahide plays Jeremy Boynton, a sleazy high-end car salesman who thinks he is just too cool for school.  Morse has been investigating the murder of a woman which bears a striking similarity to another murder and also an attempted murder.  In all cases, the women had bought cars from Boynton who, although married, has a tendency to date his customers.  Morse is fully convinced that Boynton is the killer, but he doesn’t have any proof.   Aside from the fact that the victims all knew Boynton, Morse just doesn’t like the man whatsoever.  Boynton is smug, sleazy, and generally vile, so you can’t really blame Morse there.  However, Morse’s Boynton hang-up becomes too contentious and threatens to ruin the entire investigation.

Why is This One a Favourite?

Admin:  You can tell that Boynton is a cool customer and has no plans to back down whatsoever.  Well, Morse is pretty much the same way.  He’s decided that Boynton is a bad guy and is going to pursue this to the bitter end.  The way they stare at each other is just like a battle of wills or in this case a battle of the blue eyes.  But who will win?

RF:  Oh, Mr. Malahide’s blue eyes were especially striking in this episode!  🙂  Yeah, Boynton’s clashes with Morse were pretty much an irresistible force meeting an immovable object, with Morse so dead-set on proving Boynton guilty that even his partner, D.S. Robbie Lewis (Kevin Whatley), got completely exasperated with him.  Boynton was guilty of a few things, including having a singularly unpleasant personality, but the one thing he wasn’t guilty of was murder.  His and Morse’s epic stare-downs were wonderful contests of will.

Admin:  Since John Thaw had some pretty nice blue-eyes himself, I wonder if the cinematography was such so as to enhance the blues.  It is certainly true that Patrick Malahide’s blue eyes were in full force in this episode.

Telling Jordan to go fetch Hirsch, who's run off to talk to his mother, a strict no-no as far as Quarles is concerned.

Telling Jordan to go fetch Hirsch, who’s run off to talk to his mother, a strict no-no as far as Quarles is concerned.

What’s Going On in This Picture?

Admin:  This is from the first episode of “After the War.” Patrick Malahide plays Mr. Quarles, the hard-nosed history master at a boys’ boarding school during WWII.  Mr. Quarles is pretty much your stereotypical not-very-nice teacher who despises weakness and passively encourages the boys to sort out their differences with violence.  “It keeps them out of mischief.”  In this picture, he has found out that a Jewish refugee-pupil, Joe Hirsch, has ran off to speak with his mother who is a housekeeper for the school.   Quarles is not pleased as he sees that as a terrible weakness on Hirsch’s part.  Plus, he looks down on Mrs. Hirsch despite (or maybe because of) the fact he clearly fancies her.

Admin: All that said, I don’t think Quarles is a bad guy.  He seems to take his position seriously, and when the school is briefly evacuated because of a bomb danger, he protects the boys and gets them to safety quickly.  Just because he doesn’t like them (and he doesn’t) doesn’t mean he won’t look after them.

Why is This One a Favourite?

Admin:  It’s the cane.  The cane is awesome.  Mr. Quarles is a total master with the cane.  It seems pretty likely that he has a bad leg which means he is unable to fight in the war, and that clearly bothers him.   The cane becomes a menacing symbol of his own perceived inadequacies.  His expression really conveys what Mr. Quarles is all about too.  He looks menacing and alert, yet at the same time he maintains an air of nonchalance as he casually waves his cane.   The boys running around in the background look all innocent and lively.  The cliff is picturesque and imposing.  And Mr. Quarles dominates it all with his cane.  Oh, and his three-piece suit with the watch chain isn’t half bad either.

RF:  Yeah, I agree that Quarles is dealing with some deep-seated feelings of inadequacy because he’s unable to go off and fight in the war like everyone else.  He appears to try to make up for that by teaching some rather jingoistic rhetoric to his students.  And as you mention, he also appears to have a rather back-handed, callous attitude towards them, perceiving any sort of softness on their part as weakness.  So as he’s striding around on the beach swinging his cane, he’s asserting dominance over his charges while at the same time appearing as detached and unconcerned about them as possible.  But I have to agree that the three-piece tweed suit and watch chain suits Mr. Malahide extremely well.  🙂

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