Payday Loans
Claude Rains (1899-1967)

  1. John Barrymore, A Bill of Divorcement, 1932.       Following West End and Broadway stage success, Rains tested for his first film - and was told he had no movie future. Director James Whale saw the test and booked him for a voice-only debut as The Invisible Man, 1933.
  2. Ernest Thesiger, The Bride of Frankenstein, 1934.      Frankenstein director James Whale refused to tackle any sequel. Kurt Neumann was to take over in 1933, And Rains in ’34 - until switched to The Mystery of Edwin Drood.
  3. Charles Laughton, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, 1938.      Director William Dieterle’s one and only titular choice was Laughton.  However, he was trying to set up a Cyrano De Bergerac at MGM.  Before that dream collapsed and he signed on as  Quasimodo, RKO looked at the obvious (Lugosi or Lon Chaney Jr) and  the intriguing… Rains, Robert Morley and even Orson Welles.
  4. Basil Rathbone, Son of Frankenstein, 1938.       Wolf, by name.
  5. John Shepperd, The Loves of Edgar Allen Poe, 1941.        Rains, John Garfield, Louis Hayward and Franchot Tone were all in the Poe mix in what The New York Times complained was “no more than a postured and lifeless tableau.”  Probably why  Shepperd quickley reverted to his (real) Broadway name: Shepperd Strudwick.
  6. Charles Coburn, Princess O’Rourke, 1942.       Coburn and Rains were roles apart. But they gave good uncle. In this comedy (a first draft for 1952’s Roman Holiday?), Rains was the concerned kin of Olivia De Havilland’s Euro-princess fleeing WWII by living incognito in the US.
  7. Jon Hall, The Invisible Man’s Revenge, 1944.      Universal wanted him back as the now-you-see-him-now-you-don’t hero. Rains had plenty to thank Mr Invisibility for - the opening  chapter was his first talkie and put his voice firmly on the cinema map. But once was enough.  He liked being seen now… Hall headlined chapter,  The Invisible Agent, 1942.
  8. Lionel Barrymore, It’s A Wonderful Life, 1946.
  9. Robert Alda, The Beast With Five Fingers, 1946.      "This is the story of what happened - or seemed to happen - in the small Italian village of San Stefano nearly 50 years ago." Aha! Still not enough to entice Rains into Curt Siodmak’s script. Alan’s dad filled in. But Peter Lorre had The Role. He’s the cinema’s best actor, praised Charlie Chaplin.
  10. Robert Douglas, Adventures of Don Juan, 1948.         Douglas gave better evil than Rains and more or less reprised the Duke de Lorca in The Flame and the Arrow, 1949, Ivanhoe and The Prisoner of Zenda in 1951, etc. Due to a war-injured leg, Douglas had to be doubled by fencing master Fred Cavens in his staircase duel with a “pooped” Errol Flynn. Unpooped, Cavens also doubled another Flynn adversary, David Bruce. No matter what Flynn threw at Fred, added Mattison, “Cavens would take it and make Errol look good.”
  11. Leo Genn, Quo Vadis, 1950.      Both Rains and Frederic March were on the list to play Petronius as the epic wasthe postponed due to Gregory Peck’s eye infcection. John Huston quit as director after one of his famous divisions of opinion.
  12. Michael Rennie, The Day The Earth Stood Still,1951.       “We always felt Rains was the man for the alien visitor Klaatu,” said director Robert Wise.“Then, [Fox chief] Darryl Zanuck mentioned an actor he had seen onthe London stage, who had never been seen on the screen before, so he was fresh and new...tall, sensitive looks.We just lucked out.”(Not so the 2008 re-hash with Keanu Reeves).
  13. Boris Karloff, Cauldron of Blood,1971.       Producer Robert D Weinbach wanted Rains as the blind sculptor but he was too ill.Karloff was no fitter.



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