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By co-starring with old codger Nigel Bruce, Basil Rathbone never had to contend with rumors about Holmes and Watson's sexuality.
Robert Downey Jr, who plays the title role in the new Sherlock Holmes film, seems to be on a one-man crusade to thwart the studio's attempts to brand the legendary detective as a modern action hero. Downey keeps making jocular remarks in interviews alluding to the fact that Holmes and Watson may be more than friends. He points out that the two characters even share a bed. Such behavior was not seen as overtly gay in Victorian times and the Holmes/Watson relationship has generally avoided being branded as such. However, Downey seems intent on stirring the pot concerning director Guy Ritchie's determination to make Holmes a man of action, as adept with his fists as he is with his mind. Huffington Post writer Rob Shuter speculates that the studio publicity department thinks such inferences can do damage to the film's box-office appeal, which is aimed at young males. The fear is that, if the perception is that this is a Victorian love story between two men, it may diminish the lure for action-oriented audiences. Click here for more.
Screen writer Dan O'Bannon has died at age 63 following a decades long battle with Crohn's Disease. He specialized in science fiction and penned the screenplays for the blockbuster hits Alien and Total Recall. Other credits include Blue Thunder, Heavy Metal and Lifeforce. For more click here
Many retro movie lovers (including us) didn't realize that sultry Italian actress Rosanna Schiaffino had passed away in October at age 69 after a long battle with cancer . Schiaffino provided plenty of sex appeal for both European films and major Hollywood productions before she retired from the industry in the 1970s. Her tempestuous personal life rivaled any of the melodrama and scandal found in Italian films of the period. Her English-language films include Two Weeks in Another Town, El Greco, The Man Called Noon and Arrivederci, Baby! Click here to read more about her life and career.