In her Brideshead Revisted review, RFodchuk mentioned a deleted scene featuring Patrick Malahide. It is largely the same as the “goodbye” scene in the film where Charles leaves for Oxford, but there are a few differences. As RFodchuk noted, Mr. Ryder (Patrick Malahide’s character) is more openly warm.
The Deleted Scene:
Mr. Ryder:[Eating soup] You’re wearing a coat.
Charles: Yes, Father, I am.
Mr. Ryder: Why?
Charles: I’m going up to Oxford.
Mr. Ryder: Ah, yes. I was talking about you just the other day with a colleague at the athenaeum. I wanted to talk about Etruscan notions of immortality. He wanted to talk about lectures for the working classes. So, we compromised and talked about you. Remind me. What allowance have I given you?
Charles: A hundred pounds.
Mr. Ryder: Oh! How very indulgent of me. Mind you, it all comes out of capital. Aren’t you eating?
Charles: I’m not hungry. Thank you, Father.
Mr. Ryder: Well, I dare say Cook could warm it up. Oh, I suppose this is the time I should give you advice. Your mother was always so good at that. Who’s meeting you?
Charles: Cousin Jasper offered to show me around.
Mr. Ryder: Cousin Jasper! [chuckles] Most entertaining. [Resumes eating his soup]
The final version of the scene is very similar, but it replaces the comments where he chats about his son with a colleague at the anthnaeum with him asking Charles what his subject will be. History. It also removes the part where he asks Charles if he’ll be eating. I can see why the filmmakers made their choices, but it is nice seeing Mr. Ryder be more attentive. And, as RFodchuk noted, his interest in “Etruscan notions of immortality” make a charming, albeit likely unintentional, call back to Casaubon. It is a pity those two never met. 😉
Filmmaker Praise for Patrick Malahide
Director Julian Jarrold, producer Kevin Loader and screenwriter Jeremy Brock provide the filmmakers’ audio commentary and were very impressed with Mr. Malahide’s performance. “I don’t think I’ve ever known an actor who takes every nuance of a line and lays it in and textures it quite as Patrick does.” They noted that since he had very little dialogue, it was essential Mr. Malahide use every line to help us understand why Charles was so besotted with his new life away from home.
The filmmakers thoroughly enjoyed Mr. Malahide’s silent reaction when Charles shuts the door leaving home. He gives such a forlorn look that illustrates he will miss his son, even though he never gives such an obvious indication of that love when his son is with him.
RFodchuk, in another post, covered how well Mr. Ryder’s wry humor went over in the cinemas. The filmmakers’ commentary mentioned the scene where Mr. Ryder reads a letter from a “gravely-injured” Sebastian imploring Charles to see him at Brideshead. Mr. Ryder is, in truth, hurt at being abandoned by his son to see someone who isn’t so gravely injured that he can’t send a telegram. The filmmakers noted how “beautifully and delicately” Mr. Ryder manages to humiliate his son by both regularly beating him at chess and quickly seeing through Sebastian’s ruse. They were very pleased at how well those scenes were received in the cinemas.
Brideshead Revisited is good film which I enjoyed watching. Mr. Malahide truly does standout as Mr. Ryder, giving him a warmth that is well hidden (but not completely hidden) behind a puzzling exterior. Is he dotty or is he sharp? You can’t always tell. But in all of his scenes the enigmatic Mr. Ryder is so compelling and showcases Mr. Malahide’s ability to create a bittersweet comedic character with the perfect doses of mystery and humanity.