Live, Love and Learn (1937) Bob and Rosalind Russell
Turner Classic Movies is showing four of Bob's pictures in August. They are not his best, but they all have something to offer for your entertainment.
The Easiest Way (1931) - August 3rd, 9:00 a.m. PDT
If you think women have it tough in 2015, let this 1931 movie show how far we've come. Constance Bennett is the suffering woman, Bob and Adolphe Menjou are the dastardly males!
Forsaking All Others (1934) - August 10th at 2:00 p.m. PDT
Starring Bob, Joan Crawford, Clark Gable and Rosalind Russell ... of course it's worth watching.
Live, Love and Learn (1937) - August 27th at 6:00 a.m. PDT
Bob and and Roz are enough for me ... and then there's Robert Benchley, Monty Woolley and a young Mickey Rooney, even.
Rage in Heaven (1941) - August 29th at 2:00 a.m. PDT Let's see, George Sanders is the good guy who gets the girl (Ingrid Bergman) and Bob is the crazy bad guy .... yeah, that's worth a watch!
******** This post was written by guest blogger Debbie, who besides being a fan of our Bob, has an equal appreciation for Mr. Powell. That's understandable...two classy and debonair gents! ********** #
William Horatio Powell was born July 29, 1982 in Pittsburgh, PA. He started his Hollywood career in 1922 playing small roles in silents. But this post won't just be a mini biography of his career. I will attempt to explain the reason I'm so fascinated with him.
It can't be his looks, although I love the heavily lidded "bedroom eyes" with the, oh so long lashes. No, I can't say Powell was handsome. Distinguished is certainly a better way to describe him. He was polished, well spoken, well dressed and always, always a gentleman. But I think his humor is what draws me. The man could be really funny!
Who doesn't love Nick Charles from the Thin Man series (1934 thru 1947) with the wonderful Myrna Loy, or Bill Chandler from Libeled Lady (1936) with Loy and Jean Harlow, or Clay Dalzell from Star of Midnight (1935) with Ginger Rogers, or Ned Riley from Reckless (1935) with Jean Harlow or Godfrey from My Man Godfrey (1936) with Carole Lombard? I could go on and on with my favorite roles that showed the wonderful humor of William Powell.
I guess I also love the fact that Powell was such a nice man. I have never read an unkind word about him from the people he worked with. And how many men remained friends with both his ex-wives (Eileen Wilson 1915-1930 and Carole Lombard 1931-1933), was the man Jean Harlow called "the love of her life" and was married to his third wife Diana Lewis for 44 years (1940-1984) until his death. Not to mention being a very close friend of his most frequent leading lady Myrna Loy. They got along so well and were so compatible on screen that the public thought they were actually married. Not bad.
So, Happy Birthday, Bill! From Philo Vance to Nick Charles to Florenz Ziegfeld, Jr to Doc in Mister Roberts (1955), his last role, he was always a delight to watch and apparently also a delightful man.
I really cannot imagine how many photos of Bob were printed over his lifespan. Just think of all the great portraits of young Bob that were taken and prints made that were distributed to magazines, newspapers, theaters and, of course, thousands of fans. And 85 years later, how few remain. Or should I say, how few remain for public consumption. I am sure there are oodles of Bobs squirreled away in private collections that we will never see. All boxed up and rarely, if ever, viewed and appreciated. And, yes, I have a few I have not shared with you as yet. But, you will see them over time. Promise.
I do not have many original young Bobs, darn it. Most had already been snarfed up before I started collecting. The portrait below is an example of what I have been able to obtain. It is an original, no doubt about that, used in a publication. If only the newspaper/magazine layout person had not outlined Bob with a grease pen.
The outline is not quite as noticeable once coloring has been removed. Still...
But, hey, it is a great portrait. Taken in 1929, it was used to promote Their Own Desire. Bob is 25 at the time, just ever so gorgeous. So, I just need to stop complaining and appreciate how fortunate I am to have it.
James Francis Cagney was born July 17, 1899 in New York City ... as in where else! Rising rapidly to stardom after his performance as Tom Powers in Public Enemy (1931), James stayed at the top of his profession through 1961 when he bowed out in One, Two, Three as the fast-talking Coco-Cola executive C. R. MacNamara. (Great Movie! Do make it a point to see it if you haven't already. Cagney gives a wonderful performance, a great way to end a great career.)
Check out James below with another longtime pro, Walter Pidgeon. Do you think Walter is believing the tall tale Cagney is telling? I'm sure they have both heard it all by this time. Also, have you noticed how much of 6' 2-1/2" Pidgeon's career was spent sitting so the other actor could be in the same shot?
Cagney & Walter Pidgeon on the set of These Wilder Years (1956)
I have always thought of Cagney as being one of the good guys, even before knowing he and Bob were lifelong friends. But the halo effect in this portrait? I'm guessing that was overdoing it a tad.
Promotional shot of Cagney for Blood on the Sun (1945)
From the early 1950s and into the 1960s, Bob and Jim were neighbors, at least when Bob was not in NYC or summering in the east Hamptons. Bob had an estate outside Millbrook, NY and Jim had property just to the north outside Stanfordville, NY. Their homes were about 10 miles apart. Jim stayed on his place until his death, Bob would move on to Canaan Valley, CT.
Wouldn't it have been fun tagging along with Bob and Jim when they left the wives at home and spent the day walking the grounds for good conversation and the occasional shot at fleeing fowls. Not quite your average movie stars of today. (Thank goodness!)