No CGI… No HD… 80 Years On… My favourite fencing duel still… Basil Rathbone (b&w Sherlock Holmes) and Tyrone Power…

The famous duel was staged by Hollywood fencing master Fred Cavens. Cavens specialized in staging duels that relied more on actual swordplay rather than the jumping on furniture and leaping from balconies that many film “duels” consisted of up until that point. Cavens’ son, Albert Cavens, doubled for Tyrone Power in the fancier parts of the duel (mostly with his back to camera), such as the extended exchange with Esteban ending with Don Diego’s sword smashing into the bookcase. Basil Rathbone, a champion fencer in real life, did not care for the saber (the weapon of choice in this film), but nevertheless did all of his own fencing. Fast fencing shots were undercranked to 18 or 20 frames per second (as opposed to the standard 24fps) and all the sound effects were post-synchronized.

Author: Mark Whitfield

Welcome to my site! After graduating in Computing in 1990, I accepted a position as a programmer at a Runcorn based software house specialising in electronic banking software, namely sp/ARCHITECT-BANK on Tandem Computers (now HPE NonStop). This was before the internet became more prevalent and so the notion of enabling desktop access to company accounts for inter-account transfers and book keeping was still quite a cutting edge idea (and smartphones only ever hinted at in Space 1999). The company was called The Software Partnership (which was taken over by Deluxe Data in 1994). I spent 5 years in Runcorn developing code for SP/ARCHITECT for various banks like TSB, Bank of Scotland, Rabobank and Girofon (Denmark) to name but a few. I then moved onto a software house in Salford Quays for further bank facing projects. After a further 23 years in the IT industry and now a Senior IT Project Manager (both Agile and Waterfall delivery), I thought I would echo out my Career Profile in this corner of the internet for quick and easy access.

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