Davis, de Havilland, Flynn, Cagney, Bogart ...

Davis, de Havilland, Flynn, Cagney, Bogart ...

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Dueling Divas Blogathon ... In Manly Style!

*This article is my contribution to the Dueling Divas Blogathon sponsored by Lara at Backlots, one of my favorite movie blogs.  Follow the link on my sidebar just to the right of this article to find the other entries for this fun project!

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Dueling Divas are usually 2 actresses who hate each other in real life, or 2 female characters in a movie who spar verbally through the whole thing.  My take on dueling divas is a little different.  The title of diva can be used for men as well as women, but let's face it ... it just doesn't sound masculine.  Mine really duel -- with swords -- to the death.  I thought, OK, maybe I could call them some more manly version of the word.  I thought of Dueling Divos, but that reminded me too much of these guys ...

"Whip it ... whip it good!"
So I went looking for other words, and I found the perfect name -- Dueling Demigods!  Did I hear someone snicker out there?  Well, I thought it was good.  It's a little pagan, but then so are the feelings of women (and men) everywhere who watch movie stars in doublets and tights as they parry and thrust!  Whew, gosh, is it hot in here, or is it just me?



I don't feel like writing anything of depth and profound wisdom right now -- I just feel like having fun showing some of the really good sword fights in really good movies with the best of the Dueling Demigods.  So, with a mindset of complete objectivity and no particular preference, I immediately chose Errol Flynn and my mind went blank thereafter.  No, not really ... I did think of two others.  But first, The Great Flynn:

CAPTAIN BLOOD (1935)
(notice how I used red letters? ... blood ... red ... get it?)

Errol Flynn as Captain Blood and Basil Rathbone as Captain Levasseur ...
The obligatory close-up and blade-pushing contest ...
Poor Basil gets it in the end ...

A point of interest -- Basil Rathbone was in real life a very fine swordsman.  It's too bad he was always the one skewered in the movies!
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THE ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD (1938)

(notice how I used green letters ... Sherwood forest, green trees ... get it?)

Errol as Robin Hood and Basil as the Sheriff of Nottingham ...
Another blade-pushing close-up ... the formula always worked!

Basil looks determined to win this one for a change!
Oh man!  Skewered again!

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THE SEA HAWK (1940)
(notice how I used blue letters? ... seahawk ... the ocean blue ... get it?)

Duel No. 1 -- just a warm-up

Errol Flynn as, who else, the Sea Hawk! With Gilbert Roland as his Spanish opponent ...

Flynn triumphs in the end ... was there any doubt?

Duel No. 2 -- In my opinion, one of the best sword fights ever put on film.

Henry Daniell as Duke something-or-other ....

Here it is again, kids ... it does look great!

Take that, you ... you ... lousy duellist, you!
A point of interest -- Henry Daniell, a fine actor and great villain, was so bad at trying to mimic swordplay that he was only in posed pictures/close-ups.  All of the other scenes during the sword fight were doubled by someone who was actually coordinated.  Flynn was quite good at his swordplay technique, yet he -- yes, even HE -- had to be doubled in a fabulous long shot of the duellists moving incredibly quickly across a large room, using the beautiful legwork that only a trained professional could do.  I was so frustrated that I could not find any other really good pictures of this fabulous duel!

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THE MARK OF ZORRO (1940)
(notice how I used black letters ... Zorro wore black ... get it?)

There were many wonderful duels in movies.  However, besides The Great Flynn, I think another memorable one (not to mention beautiful) is Tyrone Power as Zorro.  Once again, expert Basil Rathbone must pretend that he couldn't take Power within 15 seconds of an actual duel ...



Tyrone as Zorro, and Basil as ... what was his name anyway?
I won't even bother to say it again ...
Man, I've had it!  I'm signing up for the Sherlock Holmes deal!

And we can't forget one of the most memorable sword scenes of all:



Well, I hope you enjoyed my Dueling Demigods ... now I'm going to watch these movies again over the weekend!

30 comments:

  1. "Captain Blood" is My favorite film of your, Dueling Demigods and one of my favorite pirate movies. Plenty of action along with funny lines. The very handsome Errol Flynn and the beautiful Olivia de Havilland, have a great chemistry together on the silver screen.

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    1. Captain Blood was the first Errol Flynn movie I ever saw, to my memory, and it has always had a special place for me too, Dawn. Errol and Olivia were just gorgeous together, weren't they? Ah, to be young and beautiful forever because of movies! Merry Christmas, Dawn!

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  2. Great job Becky and some real funny lines. I'm with Dawn in naming CAPTAIN BLOOD as my favorite of theses films. Another fave is the Douglas Fairbanks version of THE MARK OF ZORRO which I was lucky enough to catch on the big screen a few years ago.

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    1. Forgot! Here's wishing you and your family a very Merry Christmas!

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    2. Thanks so much, John -- I'm glad you liked my weird sense of humor. Captain Blood is my first favorite Flynn movie, but The Sea Hawk is a verrry close 2nd. I wish I could have found the famous ending duel on Youtuber or something, but alas, no luck. I am so jealous that you got to see Fairbanks on the big screen! Must have been wonderful! And Merry Christmas to you and yours, John.

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  4. Becky, your Dueling Demigods of swashbuckling really put pizzazz in my day! A great movie sword fight is always exciting and suspenseful, and you included a swell roster of swordplay stars! I'll admit, though, that the scary swordsman in RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK and his comeuppance is my favorite from a comedy/surprise standpoint! :-) We of Team Bartilucci are also tickled to see that you're apparently a DEVO fan, too! Ah, DEVO and swashbucklers: two great taste that taste good together, if you ask us! :-) Merry Christmas to our favorite Big Sis from all of us here at Team Bartilucci HQ!

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    1. Oh thank you for your compliment, Dorian! I did have fun with this. I'm with you -- when I first saw Raiders at the movie theatre, I lost some of my popcorn because I jumped and laughed so hard. Never saw that one coming! And Devo, good ole Devo -- you know of course that knowing Devo gives others a pretty fair assumption of age. Merry Christmas to all of Team B!

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  5. I love Robin Hood and Basil Rathbone. He had the sexiest voice and manner. I read his biography a long time ago. He and Flynn together in any film made for a great good guy/bad guy pairing.

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    1. Hi Georgie -- I too have always loved Basil Rathbone -- so handsome with that hawk-like profile, that marvelous accent, and such a good actor. He and Flynn together were screen gold!

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  6. Hey, Becky - come on now, everyone knows those pretty boys were total divas, so whether they duel or not, they fit this event perfectly. It's a wonderful and joyful post and I could just hear your brain ticking away..now, how can I incorporate something about Errol Flynn here?....

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    1. Oh yes, pretty boys know they are pretty -- women throwing themselves at them all the time is a pretty good indicator. I did have fun with this, and I'm so glad you liked it. Tick, tick, tick ... it's funny, but Dueling Demigods was the first thing I thought of when I signed up for the blogathon! Merry Christmas, Chick!

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  7. I would definitely agree that the bad guy in Robin Hood was a dueling diva. He wore very glittery necklaces. At the Hollywood Costume exhibit at the V&A museum in London, they have a Errol Flynn crossing swords with Jack Sparrow. It's epic.
    http://thegreatkh.blogspot.com/2012/11/sequins-satin-and-silk-hollywood.html

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    1. Glad to have you here at my blog, Margaret. I just read and commented on your Divas entry, a unique piece. I did follow the link to the costume exhibit -- very interesting. I wish there had been a picture of Flynn and Sparrow! Oh those beautiful costumes!

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  8. Did Rathbone get to do any swordplay as Sherlock Holmes?

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    1. Rich, that is a great trivia question! I don't know! I can't think of anything offhand, but I'm going to do some research and find out for sure!

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  9. Great selection Becky. I'm a big Flynn Fan too but I have to say that my favorite duel is the one you cover between Tyrone Power and Basil Rathbone in Mark of Zorro (I was on my college fencing team). Great post.

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  10. Thanks, Christian. Zorro is indeed a wonderful example of fencing. And you were a fencer in college? Cool! I always have thought that male ice skaters and fencers have the best backsides of all! LOL!

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  11. Wow, who of thunk it? Becks doing a Flynn as a diva. I'm SHOCKED......... NOT. Merry Christmas Becks.

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    1. Paul! It's so good to see you here! Yes, I know you are SHOCKED that I would write about The Great Flynn as a diva -- NOT! I hope you guys are well and having a great Christmas!

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  12. Very fun, Becky! My favorite cinema duel is probably Flynn vs Rathbone in THE ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD (loved your pics). The runners-up would be Danny Kaye vs. Rathbone (again) in THE COURT JESTER and Stewart Granger vs. Mel Ferrer in SCARAMOUCHE (another Sabatini).

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    1. Thanks, Rick ... I love Sabatini's stories. I read most of his books when I was a kid. The Court Jester was so much fun too! I know it's unclassic of me, but I never liked Scaramouche very much -- shame on me!

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  13. Great idea! I love the dueling photos you've chosen, and I'm glad to see Indiana Jones made the list. :)

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    1. I'm so glad you enjoyed it. I just had to include Indiana Jones -- one of the funniest scenes ever!

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  14. Cool choices,Becky! I watched Captain Blood on Christmas Eve of 2010! Errol is aways great, a fineswa swashbuckler, as well as gorgeous Tyrone. I remember an episode of Hart to Hart in which Jonathan (Robert Wagner) says he learned to use the sword watching Errol Flynn.
    There are other cool sword fights, as in The adventure of Sherlock Holmes'Smarer Brother (1975) and (if I'm not wrong) in The Great Race (1965).
    Don't forget to read my contribution to the blogathon! :)
    Kisses!

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  15. I'm glad you enjoyed it, Le! That's cool about Hart to Hart -- The Great Flynn lives on through the ages! I love your other ideas with great swordfights too. Oh, and I haven't gotten all the way through the blogathon yet! 4-day Christmas stuff with family and friends, and a lousy cold, have me behind. I'll get there -- wouldn't miss it!

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  16. Blogger hates me. I have attempted to comment on this post several times but it's never there when I come back to check. Grrrr - I need a swashbuckler at my beck and call.

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    1. Hip Hip Hooray! THIS one got through! I'm guessing you must have liked my article since you tried so many times -- or maybe you hated it and REALLY wanted to tell me ... Hmmmm. I've had the same thing happen several times, and it drives me nuts. Your need for a swashbuckler at your beck and call is so true -- a cyber-duel between your man and the Google bullshit! "Ah Hah! Take THAT, you rotter!" *Sigh* However, do remember that Errol Flynn is MY buckler - there are still plenty of gorgeosity in the duelling world -- Tyrone, Basil, Indiana Jones...LOL!

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  17. Becks,
    I knew this would be enjoyable given that you got to write about Errol. Very clever, doing the fight scenes and the screen grabs were very entertaining with your captions.

    Do you think Errol would enjoy being classified as a Diva? He probably wouldn't mind since he loved positive publicity. : )

    Thanks for breaking up the Diva Blogathon with some beefcake and sweaty men in tights. ( Hard to top that!) ha ha

    Page

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    1. I was sure you would like the beefcake, Page -- I'm sure The Great Flynn would not mind being a Dueling Demigod! I did have fun with this off-road version of Dueling Divas!

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