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and was not directed by Whale.
Also, Rains was not done up
in bandages and goggles for the test.
The actor said that
he had never read the novel,
and he had no idea that his face
would not be seen during the film.
Rains said
"For five years - five years, mind -
I was prating to the Theatre Guild about
my artistic integrity. My artistic integrity!"
"Then, the first day at the studio,
James brought over some bandages."
"I asked about them and he said I was to
be bandaged during most of the picture."
"And I had been fighting with the Theatre
Guild about my artistic integrity!"
"It served me right."
Rains recalled also that "James kept
talking about this and that in pictures,
about actors of whom I'd never heard."
"When he learned
I'd only seen six films or so in my life,
he told me
to go right out and see pictures,
to see three a day
until I knew something about them."
Now, listen to Griffin's plan.
I... You mean...?
I must have a partner, Kemp,
a visible partner,
to help me in the little things.
You're my partner, Kemp.
We'll begin with a reign of terror.
A few murders here and there.
Murders of great men
and murders of little men,
just to show we make no distinction.
We might even wreck a train or two.
Just these fingers round
a signalman's throat, that's all.
We think of Claude Rains' very distinctive
and dramatically appealing voice,
but it was not always thus.
William Claude Rains was born in 1889
in London. The family was poor.
Hating school and teased by classmates
because of a serious speech impediment,
he ran away at a very young age.
After appearing in a crowd scene on
the stage of London's Haymarket Theatre,
Rains, at age 10 in 1900,
made the monumental decision
to devote his life to the theatre.
But in addition to a broad cockney accent
and a stutter,
Rains had other speech problems.
Over 50 years later, when Rains received
the Medal for Good Speech on the Stage,
in New York, he recalled:
"Almost my first occupation
in the theatre was a callboy."
"I had to summon actors from
their dressing rooms to the stage."
"It was difficult to be taken seriously
because I had a speech impediment."
"I had no Rs. If anyone asked my name,
my answer came out as 'Willy Wains'."
I had ideas that someday
I would become an actor,
so the all-important thing
was to get rid of the impediment."
"I discovered I had a 'lazy tongue',
the muscle of which
had never properly been used,
because my mother
thought I talked 'pwettily'."
But Rains worked hard
to overcome his problem.
He took elocution lessons,
did voice and speech exercises,
and worked on them with great intensity.
He also listened, and observed everything
in the theatrical atmosphere around him.
He made his adult acting debut
as Claude Rains in 1911,
again at the Haymarket Theatre,
his voice
and speech problems conquered.
Walter Brennan, before
he became a major character actor.
In the British Army
in France during World War I,
Rains was subjected to heavy
artillery bombardment and poison gas.
As a result, while in the infirmary
he discovered that his vocal chords
had been paralysed,
and that his right eye
was almost completely blind.
Eventually he was able to speak again,
and Rains later would say that
the unique, husky quality of his voice
was due to the effects of the poison gas.
But his near-blindness
in his right eye was another matter.
Only his family and some
very close friends were aware of it.
That lasted through the rest of his life.
Rains had a distinguished career
on the London stage,
playing in
some very important productions,
including a series
of George Bernard Shaw plays.
He also became an acting teacher at the
famous Royal Academy of Dramatic Art,
where he worked with such
students and later luminaries
as Laurence Olivier and John Gielgud.
In late 1926,
he moved to the Broadway stage
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