Friday movie pick
Tomorrow is the birthday of the famous character actor Nigel Bruce (1895–1953).
The second son of a baronet, Bruce served in WWI as a lieutenant in the 10th Service Battalion of the Somerset Light Infantry. He was seriously wounded at the Battle of Cambrai (1917)and spent the rest of the war in a wheelchair. After the war, he went on the stage and then moved to Hollywood, becoming a leading member of the British film colony in Los Angeles where he was captain of the (mostly British) Hollywood Cricket Club.
Best known for portraying Dr. Watson in fourteen Sherlock Holmes movies with Basil Rathbone,
he made 78 movies–many of them classics. He is one of those guys who is always turning up in favorite films.
My personal favorite is The Scarlet Pimpernel (1934) starring Leslie Howard and Merle Oberon. Bruce played the Prince of Wales: “Why, damn me, Percy, you’re brainless, spineless, useless: But you do know clothes!”
I think I will toast Nigel Bruce tonight and watch The Scarlet Pimpernel, but you could watch The Charge of the Light Brigade (1936), Rebecca (1940), Lassie Come Home (1943) or any one of those Sherlock Holmes movies.
They just don’t make ’em like Nigel Bruce anymore!
I should also note that February is ’31 Days of Oscar’ month at TCM, so check out their schedule for a particularly strong line-up of Academy Award-winning titles.
Have a great weekend!