Farewell To Would-Be Errol Flynn Swashbuckler, Gene Wilder

30 Aug

scene from film


‘Gene Wilder with sidekick Marty Feldman is ready to take on all opponents!’

Movie comedian Gene Wilder died yesterday at age 83.  He left behind a legacy of 26 films including two swashbucklers.    The first is the forgotten comedy classic ‘Start The Revolution Without Me” (1970) where he delightfully co-starred with Donald Sutherland as two pairs of mixed-up, identical twins in the French Revolution of 1789.  One pair the wealthy, arrogant Aristocrats the Corsican Brothers, and the other,  two cowardly Paris paupers.  This beautifully shot costume, period film even has Orson Welles as an on-camera narrator.  The second is the hilarious “The Adventure Of Sherlock Holmes’ Smarter Brother” (1974) with Wilder as the great detective’s jealous and insecure kid brother, Sigerson.  This forgotten Holmes case has climatic duels with one between rapidly traveling coaches in the London fog, and a climatic rooftop swordfight to the death between Sigi Holmes and his brother’s arch-enemy Professor Moriarty played by Leo McKern.   Thanks Mr. Wilder and God bless you.  Ralph Schiller

— rswilltell


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  1. Gentleman Tim

    August 30, 2016 at 11:34 pm

    So great of you to make this connection and tribute, Ralph! I always loved Gene Wilder’s wonderful comedy. He was always so unique and clever. But I never knew the swashbuckling connection until you wrote this, which led me to his fencing history:

    “After graduating from the University of Iowa, Wilder was accepted at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School in Bristol, England. There, he studied fencing for six months, eventually becoming the first freshman to win the All-School Fencing Championship. You can see him in action in The Adventure of Sherlock Holmes’ Smarter Brother from 1975.”

    … And then he became a fencing instructor to help himself on his way to Hollywood success.

    p.s. Being a fencer, especially one with such flair, I have to believe he almost certainly grew up a fan of Flynn!


    • Gentleman Tim

      August 31, 2016 at 1:04 am

      Yup. This BBC article just came online, confirming he ‘worshipped Errol Flynn”.…

  2. timerider

    August 31, 2016 at 3:29 pm

    Yes it’s sad but we have them all on film and digitally forever!
    I miss Gilda also. These are part of the greats and never forgotten. In many ways Gene and Marty brought some physical and facial expression of the silent film era back to the screen.

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