Claude Rains

A Comprehensive Illustrated Reference to His Work in Film, Stage, Radio, Television and Recordings


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About the Book

The career of Claude Rains is often, and unfairly, overshadowed by the careers of the ever-popular Karloff, Lugosi, Chaney and Rathbone, but few can dispute that he was truly one of the world’s foremost character actors. The Invisible Man, ironically, made him quite the visible star. In his own inimitable way, Rains later became John Jasper (in Mystery of Edwin Drood), Louis Renault (Casablanca), Julius Caesar (Caesar and Cleopatra), and Mr. Dryden (Lawrence of Arabia). While concentrating on Rains’ more than fifty films, this book also comprehensively examines his work in other media: the stage, radio, television and recordings. His only child, Jessica, in the foreword, provides a brief biography of her father. There are many rare photographs.

About the Author(s)

John T. Soister is a teacher of modern and classical languages, and lives in Denver, Colorado.

JoAnna Wioskowski is a teacher in Baltimore, Maryland, and has published articles and art in Big Reel and other magazines.

Bibliographic Details

John T. Soister with JoAnna Wioskowski

Foreword by Jessica Rains

Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 278
Bibliographic Info: 88 photos, notes, bibliography, appendices, index
Copyright Date: 2006 [1999]
pISBN: 978-0-7864-2855-7
eISBN: 978-1-4766-1278-2
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      ix
Foreword by Jessica Rains      1
Introduction      5
Biography      9

Build Thy House (1920)      25
The Invisible Man (1933)      27
Crime Without Passion (1934)      30
The Man Who Reclaimed His Head (1934)      33
Mystery of Edwin Drood (1935)      36
The Clairvoyant (1935)      39
The Last Outpost (1935)      42
Hearts Divided (1936)      45
Anthony Adverse (1936)      48
Stolen Holiday (1937)      53
The Prince and the Pauper (1937)      56
They Won’t Forget (1937)      59
Gold Is Where You Find It (1938)      62
The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938)      65
White Banners (1938)      68
Four Daughters (1938)      71
They Made Me a Criminal (1939)      74
Sons of Liberty (1939)      76
Juarez (1939)      79
Daughters Courageous (1939)      84
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939)      86
Four Wives (1939)      90
Saturday’s Children (1940)      91
The Sea Hawk (1940)      95
Lady with Red Hair (1940)      98
Four Mothers (1941)      102
Here Comes Mr. Jordan (1941)      105
The Wolf Man (1941)      107
King’s Row (1942)      111
Moontide (1942)      115
Now, Voyager (1942)      117
Casablanca (1943)      121
Forever and a Day (1943)      124
Phantom of the Opera (1943)      127
Passage to Marseilles (1944)      131
Mr. Skeffington (1944)      134
Strange Holiday (1945)      138
This Love of Ours (1945)      142
Caesar and Cleopatra (1946)      145
Notorious (1946)      149
Angel on My Shoulder (1946)      153
Deception (1946)      156
The Unsuspected (1947)      160
The Passionate Friends (U.S.: One Woman’s Story) (1949)      162
Rope of Sand (1949)      166
Song of Surrender (1949)      169
The White Tower (1950)      173
Where Danger Lives (1950)      175
Sealed Cargo (1951)      178
The Man Who Watched Trains Go By (U.S.: The Paris Express) (1953)      179
Lisbon (1956)      183
This Earth Is Mine (1959)      186
The Lost World (1960)      189
Battle of the Worlds (Italy: Il Pianeta degli Uomini Spenti) (1960/63)      192
Lawrence of Arabia (1962)      195
Twilight of Honor (1963)      198
The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965)      200
Theater and Concerts      205
Radio      225
Television      233
Recordings      243
Afterthoughts      247
End Notes      251
Bibliography      253
Index      257

Book Reviews & Awards

  • “the only book about the fascinating, scene-stealing actor…informative…Soister presents his views rationally and perceptively…an intelligent book”—Classic Images
  • lavishly illustrated with many ultra-rare stills…a loving, well-written, and well-deserved tribute…one of the best film books of the year…essential reading”—Video Watchdog
  • “comprehensive…eighty rare photographs…the definitive guide to Claude Rains’ complete body of work as one of the most talented and called upon actors of his day”—Midwest Book Review
  • “valuable…extremely readable”—Public Library Quarterly
  • “a superior portrait…of the debonair actor’s stage and film career”—Film Review; “fascinating…wonderfully researched, incredible photos of the films and Rain’s life. Rare treat”—Little Shoppe of Horrors
  • “very thorough…a fine biography”—Monsters from the Vault
  • “recommend[ed]”—The Other Side of Show Business
  • “the first and only book about one of the most successful and admired character actors in movie history. [The author] tracked down everything about Rains he could find. …an enjoyable and informative study of a great performer”—Rapport
  • “illustrations include rare behind the scenes shots and movie posters…a very complete seeming look at his stage, radio, record and TV work”—Psychotronic
  • “concentrat[es] on Rains’ more than fifty films…also comprehensively examines his work in other media: the stage, radio, television and recordings”—New Books in the Communications Library
  • “successfully endeavors to set the record straight by examining the 57 films Rains made between 1933 and 1965. In addition to films, there’s a complete listing of his work in other media”—Kettering-Oakwood Times
  • “an intelligent book”—The Slide Area
  • “comprehensive…well researched and illustrated biography…written in an informed but pleasantly readable style…a welcome source of reference…a fine source of information”—Talking Pictures Magazine
  • “a guide to the actor’s work in film, stage, radio, television and recordings”—The Intelligencer Record