I honestly don’t know if Basil Rathbone really liked Christmas or not, but he has become a big part of my Christmas, and that’s what I’m blogging about.This picture of Basil with his 5-year-old daughter, Cynthia, reading her a book at Christmastime may easily be my favorite picture of The Baz – which is quite a feat. It all looks so comfy and cozy, warm, and Christmasy, and Cynthia looks like a real daddy’s-girl! I think it’s simply adorable!Around this time each year I also bring out the Basil Rathbone Sherlock Holmes Holiday special, The Night Before Christmas (The Christmas Eve Show.) I have to admit, it’s probably one of the worst episodes (aside from the tantalizing opportunity to envision Rathbone’s Holmes dressed as Santa Clause!) But what can I say? I’m a sucker for Christmas Specials, that and, “I love radio, but then I am an awful ham!”
And then there is of course the newly re-discovered film, a musical take on Dickens’ The Christmas Carol: The Stingiest Man in Town, which stars our dear Basil as Mr. Ebenezer Scrooge! It is slightly alarming at times, (i.e.the entire scene with the Ghost of Christmas-yet-to-come is absolutely terrifying!!!!) and exceedingly stupid at others (most of the songs), but over all, it is a pleasant watch. It conveys an excellent message of the true meaning of Christmas, and it’s kinda fun to see a cute, grouchy old Basil pottering and dancing about in a nightgown. The only thing I can’t understand is why in the WORLD they picked Basil to sing, because, sorry, he CANNOT sing – at times it’s just painful, but all the same, I’ve downloaded the soundtrack, and I listen to it on a regular basis during December! (Now that’s dedication for you! ;))And last but not least, there is my new Christmas tradition of listening to The Baz read The Night Before Christmas! (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YIKklKQ_4GI) It’s really beautiful, and so homey and Christmasy, and extremely well done! Rathbone tones his voice down perfectly to fit the mood of the poem, and if you don’t mind Santa Clause a la Sherlock Holmes, you should enjoy it very much!
Anyway, I’m done rambling now, so a fantastically Merry Christmas to every Basil Rathbone fan on earth! (and yes, even to you poor, silly people who have never heard of him)