Thursday, September 22, 2016

Pidgeon Day Minus One

What is not to like about Walter Pidgeon.  Born in Canada on September 23, 1897, Walter had a very successful career in movies, beginning in 1926 and lasting into the mid 1970s.  The movie that solidified his role as a leading actor was Mrs. Miniver (1942), for which he received an academy Best Actor nomination. 

                  With co-star Greer Garson in Mrs. Miniver (1942)

In 1948 he co-starred with Clark Gable, another movie which is a favorite of mineWalter gave another excellent performance, as did the entire amazing cast of Van Johnson, Charles Bickford, John Hodiak, Brian Donlevy, Edward Arnold, Marshall Thompson, Cameron Mitchell, Clinton Sundberg, Ray Collins, Warner Anderson and John McIntire.  Guess one has to give credit when it's due to the director, Sam Wood.  (And, in my opinion, it has one of the best performances of Mr. Gable's career, up there with Rhett in GWTW and Gay in The Misfits.)  Gosh, if you have not seen this before, do give it a try ... and the same for Mrs. Miniver.
             Walter as Clark Gable's boss in Command Decision (1948)

By the way, Walter began his theatrical career as a singer!  So, of course, he begins his movie career in the silents.  His earliest talkies were musicals, for one of which this photo was taken.  The magazine article that featured it was titled, "He has the Girls Gasping!"  Love it. 

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

The Surprise Between the Covers

Ran across this 1930s Italian magazine a while back.  That's Madge Evans with Bob on the front cover, as well on the back.  (Please excuse the images being truncated.  I really do need a larger size scanner!)  There are any number of magazines from England with Bob on the cover, as well as a good number of French and Spanish publications.  His image does not grace too many Italian magazines.

The magazine is not just a fan mag, but covers items of general interest.  For instance, what's an Italian magazine of the 1930s without stirring photos of Benito Mussolini, "Il Duce."  Bob and Madge wrapped around a fascist dictator ... difficult for me to grasp that concept.  Can't imagine that Bob was pleased. 

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Happy Birthday, Mr. Benchley!

I just have to smile every time I think of Robert Benchley.  A funny, funny man.  He graced two of Bob's movies:  Live, Love and Learn (1937) and Piccadilly Jim (1936).  This photo was taken in 1944, a year before his death at the young age of 56.  One too many martinis. 

              Robert Benchley b. Sept. 15, 1899; d. Nov. 21, 1945.

Robert shows his acting chops in this scene from Live, Love and Learn

A Happy Birthday goes out to my big brother who share's Mr. Benchley's birthday, and is almost as funny.  Well, in his own way ....

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

An "Ah-Ha" Moment!

I was perusing eBay one day and came across this photo.  It was taken on the set of Possessed (1931), starring Joan Crawford and Clark Gable.  Nifty photo with all the lights, puddles of water on the 'street', the cameraman on a crane setting up a shot.  What caught my eye was the gent in the polo outfit with his back to the camera.  It's our Bob! 

And how do I 'know' it's him, you may ask, since the vendor did not have anymore data on the still but the name of the movie. Well .... 1) Possessed began filming Sept. 21st.  Bob has returned to Los Angeles after his summer break, filming of Private Lives would begin soon.  So, Bob is both in town and not busy with filming his own movie.  2) He was quite interested in cameras and all aspects of filming movies, so his observing a scene being setup on an MGM set would not be out of the ordinary.  3) Both Bob and Clark played polo during this period of time.  The two leaving the studio for or returning from a game together would be a possibility.  And 4), that's Bob's polo outfit!  The long camel-haired jacket with the large upturned collar and riding boots was de rigueur for polo enthusiasts, an outfit worn often by Bob ... he looked so darn good in it.  

And what caught my eye initially ... those long skinny legs, narrow shoulders, the hairline and side burn ... quite simply it is Bob!!  At least I'm 98% sure it is!  What do you think?  Anyone know for sure?  Do let us know.  Meanwhile, I'll just enjoy the rather nifty photo. 

Sunday, September 11, 2016

9/11/2001... We Must NEVER forget

On September 11, 2001, 2,977 innocent people were killed and 6,000 injured in the most horrendous terrorist attack in history.  Among those killed were 411 emergency workers, who gave their lives assisting others.  It is almost incomprehensible that man can be so evil, so uncaring about other humans.  So many people to mourn, so many grieving family members and friends to console.  But remember we must.  "Remember those once lost, ... for no matter what the cost, they live inside you and me."