A Misadventure Called Sherlock Holmes
by S.E. Dahlinger, BSI
& Glen Miranker, BSI.
The year was 1946. After 14 movies and 200 radio dramas as the Great Detective, Basil Rathbone was as eager to push Sherlock Holmes over the precipice at Reichenbach Falls as Arthur Conan Doyle had been. As he wrote in his autobiography, In and Out of Character:
I was . . . deeply concerned with the problem of being “typed,” more completely “typed” than any other classic actor has ever been or ever will be again. . . . There was nothing I could do about it, except to stop playing Mr. Holmes. . . .
That June, Basil and his wife Ouida left Hollywood for the New York stage in search of better things. At least, that was the plan. They quickly found that Broadway wouldn’t touch Basil as anything other than Holmes, either. Rathbone began casting about for the play in which to rekindle his rapidly fading star—and fell back on his wife to write it.
Thereby hangs our tale of Sherlock Holmes by Ouida Rathbone. It may have been a comedy, or it may have been a tragedy. It cost one man his dream of conquering Broadway in his most notable role. It cost another man his career as a Broadway producer. It gave yet a third man a heart attack at the dress rehearsal. It even caused the Conan Doyle Estate to forget that the script had ever been produced in the first place. Yet there was certainly an element of comedy. Well, you shall judge for yourselves.
68 pages, December 2007
The full 2007 Christmas Annual is also part of the eBSJ PDF archive.
BSJ 2007 Christmas Annual
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Act One—A Suitable Play
Enter the Conan Doyle Estate
A Word About Ouida
Show Me The Money
Act Two—Getting a Producer and Backing
Strike Up The Band
Act Three—Rehearsal, Tryout and the Opening
On to New York
Publication of the play in the BSJ 2013 Christmas Annual
For all Christmas Annuals through 2011, get the eBSJ PDF Archive.
Printed copies for a few other years are still available.
List of BSJ Christmas Annuals (contents & covers)
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