Thursday, December 14, 2017

Isn't He Just Too Cute!

Theoretically, Bob had a pilot's license, obtained in July of 1930 along with good pal Chester Morris.  They went to Georgia for flying lessons and obtained their licenses at that time as well.  (Fast learners, our boys.) Then they flew their planes back to California.  There are photos of Bob on his return, thanks to the MGM publicity department.  And that's the first and last mention of his being a flyer.  Well, he did dabble in flying miniature planes in the 1930s.  And the man flew commercial planes extensively, liked to take naps on his flights.  But ...

Hmm ... perhaps he decided it was not a sufficient challenge or it simply did not appeal to him or he was too busy to continue with flying.  Perhaps the young and ambitious Mr. Montgomery participated in a complete fabrication by the studio.  Maybe Betty just said no. 

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Fun With Photos, Course 101A For No Credit

It's just me playing with photos, which I enjoy, particularly when they are of Mr. Montgomery.  I used to think the two photos below were by Ted Allan, but I now believe they are by Harvey White who worked briefly for MGM.  IMDB gives him only one movie credit as the still photographer, which was Dinner at Eight (1933) and I ran across a photo credit for the first photo as being by White in 1933.  They are very distinctive photos, unlike others credited to Allan.

Whatever (you think!), the copy I have of the first photo is actually a vintage poster, about 11x15.  I also have a larger 38x25 poster which I looked at once and thought to myself:  "Why did you spend good money on something you may well never look at again?!"  And I haven't.  But, still, it is a Bob. 

This second photo is your basic 8x10.  I love White's use of background for his subject.  Nifty photos. 

Thursday, December 07, 2017

Fairbanks, Jr., One Dapper Gentleman

Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. was born December 9, 1909.  By 1925 (and only 15) he is playing young beau roles in the silents and supporting his mother and an assortment of her friends and family.  At the age of 19 he marries 23-year-old (at least) Joan Crawford.  A rather precocious young man was he. 

                               Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. at 15 ...

Doug and Bob were good friends, meeting while Joan and Bob were making Untamed in 1929.  They spent a lot of late nights and weekends hitting the Los Angeles speakeasies.  In his first autobiography, The Salad Days, Fairbanks describes an interesting vacation with Bob and Lawrence Olivier.  The three rented Cecil B. DeMille's huge yacht, crew and all, for a cruise along the coast of Mexico.  One can only imagine ... 

                                          ... and at 39

Doug and Bob joined the navy together, Doug would become a highly decorated naval officer.  After the war he and Bob would grow apart, in part because of different political views.  What a silly reason to lose a friend.

Tuesday, December 05, 2017

Bob Entertains the Gallery

It is 1931 (my best guess!), and Bob is spending another day at the races.  Being a sports enthusiast, as well as a man who enjoyed the casinos of Monte Carlo, horse racing must have been doubly attractive to him.  And it would appear by the big grin on his face in the photo below, that the social aspects of the event were also to his liking. 

I love the looks of the ladies that comprise his audience.  The three laughing ladies have obviously been won over by his banter.  However, the young lady behind them wearing the glasses seems underwhelmed by his performance.  I guess even Bob couldn't win over all of them!

Thursday, November 30, 2017

All Is Now Right With The World!

Ran across a photoplay book of Three Live Ghosts (1929), which was Bob's first movie.  While MGM had him under contract, they had not yet assigned him a picture.  So Bob sought one on his own and came up with a role in this film produced by a small production company.  It is the only film of Bob's that has been lost**, only a few lobby cards and stills have survived.  And this book!

I am including all the photos, along with their captions.  The first picture is of Bob and Joan Bennett, the young lovers.  Joan, with already six movie credits at 19, got fourth billing.  The totally unknown Bob was given seventh.  And, yes, So This Is College is usually listed as Bob's first movie, but it is the second one he made.  College was simply released before Ghosts

                   The "Three Live Ghosts" ask for their back pay.

                       "I've been looking a long time for you."

              "They were given to me by a very kind gentleman."

                   "Jolly little chick -- Took to me right away."

               Scotland Yard quizzes everyone suspected of the
                          jewelry robbery and kidnapping.
                Spoofy displays the treasures he has annexed
                                        at Lord Leicester's.

And --- saving the best for last --- this final photo is a real treasure find for me.  I have always thought of this movie as being a non-tuxedo film of Bob, since all the stills I had seen before show him in a tattered suit and scarf.   But NO! it actually is both the first appearance of Bob and the first time we see Bob in his trademark tux!  All is now right with the world. 


 ** Letty Lynton (1934) is only lost legally.  Some day a miracle could happen and we will be able to see a clear print ... some day.