Thursday, November 30, 2006

RM Speaking

No Crystal Ball - Time Magazine, Sep. 19, 1949

Cinemactor Robert Montgomery, 45, was going into a business that calls for an air of pontifical certitude, but he had not yet adjusted himself to the part. "I don't think possession of a $60 typewriter qualifies me as an expert on anything," he said in his suite at London's Claridge's. Still at work on an English-made movie (Your Witness), he begins this week, in Robert Montgomery Speaking (Thurs. 10:10 p.m., ABC), a new series of radio comment on politics, international affairs, and the arts.

Republican Montgomery (he campaigned for Willkie in 1940 and Dewey in 1948) describes himself as both anti-Socialist and antiCommunist. But he does not intend always to follow the G.O.P. line. "I will speak for myself and I will speak freely," he promised, fingering the script of his first broadcast, which will be recorded and flown to the U.S. "I have no wish to reform anything, no wish to preach and no advice to offer. I just want to talk to people about things that interest me and that I hope will interest them." His sponsor, Lee Hats, decided on Montgomery (reportedly at $5,000 per week) when Lee ended its 3½-year tie-up with Gossipist Drew Pearson. Asked his opinion of his predecessor, Montgomery replied with a brisk "No comment." But he admitted that "I'm not going to use a crystal ball on this program."

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