Thursday, August 31, 2006

What a Life

Ahh, the glory days of Life Magazine. Yeah, I wasn't alive back them but that doesn't mean I can't admire them. Life Magazine's web site offers a cover search. Type in a keyword and voila, covers!

Glenn Ford

1916 - 2006

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Lucky, Pila & Pancho

Yeah, you'd probably look like Hell too if you were chased and stabbed in the back. The photo itself looks like it's been there. From Ride the Pink Horse.

Larger photo for your viewing pleasure here.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

September TCM Bob Schedule

Check your local listing for time zone differences, blah, blah.

The theme here seems to be "Wake up with Bob..."

10 Sunday
6 a.m. - The Last Of Mrs. Cheyney (1937)
A chic jewel thief in England falls in love with one of her marks. Cast: Joan Crawford, Robert Montgomery, William Powell. Dir: Richard Boleslawski.

11 Monday
6 a.m. - The Big House (1930)
An attempted prison break leads to a riot. Cast: Chester Morris, Wallace Beery, Robert Montgomery. Dir: George Hill.

Sealed Verdict

ENGROSSED – Carol Mathews, attractive young Paramount contract actress, appears to be much intrigued by Ray Milland’s conversation on the set of “Sealed Verdict,” in which Milland is starred. The Chicago-born newcomer is making her first movie appearance with a role in the picture.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Night Flight

A good rule of thumb when you hear a pilot sing "how dry I am" as they approach the aircraft - head the other way. However, if you're in 1933 South America & it's Robert Montgomery about to take off on a mission across the continent, you might want to stick around.

Night Flight is an ok movie, but I had a hard time settling into it. It certainly seems to be the who's who at MGM for 1933 (John Barrymore, Helen Hayes, Clark Gable, Lionel Barrymore, Robert Montgomery, Myrna Loy). It's the story of cargo pilots flying dangerous routes in all types of weather, overnight, through some of the most dangerous mountains Mother Nature can come up with. There are schedules to meet after all, and penalties if you don't meet them (your life being one). Bob is just one of the stories/pilots in this film. His brush with danger gives him a slightly different look on life.

The film reminds me a lot of Only Angels Have Wings - another film where you have daring pilots flying in South America to get the goods delivered on schedule. If you haven't seen Howard Hawks' Angels, it's a good one, and available on DVD.

Night Flight is based on Antoine de Saint Exupery book of the same name. I get the gut feeling the book might be better (isn't that the way it always is)?.

So now you know a little bit more why a pilot may have a drink or two - before going up on what may be his last flight.

A tip of the hat to Renee for passing the movie my way!

Friday, August 25, 2006

Leave Tom & Jerry Alone

LONDON (Reuters) - Turner Broadcasting is scouring more than 1,500 classic Hanna-Barbera cartoons, including old favourites Tom and Jerry, The Flintstones and Scooby-Doo, to edit out scenes that glamorise smoking...

Give me a break. These cartoons come from a different time, and for the most part, weren't created for kids. I watched plenty of Tom & Jerry as a kid and have never picked up a cigarette. Let's focus on parenting first, people.

My rant for the day. Thanks for listening.

Everyone's A Pilot

Inside Hollywood
By Nat Dallinger

Week Ending December 17, 1948

Since acquiring a private airplane, as well as an interest in a training school and landing field for other amateur pilots at Santa Monica, (Cal.), Robert Young and his wife, Betty, spend many of their weekends in the clouds. Their four daughters, like themselves, are also aviation enthusiasts. Bob and Betty delight in flying North to their ranch in the Carmel Valley, whenever the opportunity avails itself. The actor recently revealed that he is a former “newspaperman.” As a youth, in Chicago, he earned extra funds by delivering newspapers.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

The Best Years of Our Lives

This still from The Best Years of Our Lives has had an interesting life. Found in an antique shop & given a new home by yours truly, the photo was used in a Milwaukee newspaper. The photo itself has had the background painted out for printing. On the back is part of the actual photo as it was printed on January 5, 1947.

"The Best Years of Our Lives" said to be one of the best pictures of the year, stars Fredric March, Myrna Loy, Dana ANdrews and Teresa Wright. The picture is scheduled for an early 1947 showing in Milwaukee.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Expendable Trailer

"Oh no, not another post on They Were Expendable..."

Yes indeedie. While I was in a allergy-induced day of inaction over the weekend, I popped in the DVD I bought last winter & hadn't watched yet. As I started watching, I realized I hadn't seen the movie in forever - I didn't remember any of it past the hospital scene. As war movies go, this is a good one. No schmaltz, no propaganda. I love the dramatic camera angles & lighting.

This version of the DVD only has a bad copy of the theatrical traler. Here's some screen caps for ya.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Ride the Pink Horse - Trailer

From Google video...what an odd setup they have for posting. Anyhow, Found the trailer & lots of other goodies over on Noir of the Week. Go check it out!

Rich & Young

When you're pumped full of allergy medication, nothing hits the spot better than a romantic comedy where you don't have to do any thinking. I am speaking of Rich Man, Poor Girl from 1938.

"Am I getting a reaction out of you?"

A cute & entertaining film about a rich real estate tycoon (Robert Young) falling in love for his secretary (Ruth Hussey). He asks for her hand in marriage, but she wants to show him her family first....they're middle class. Family inserts foot into mouth immediately.

Monday, August 21, 2006

More Pink Horse

Ride the Pink Horse is such an awesome movie (hmm, I'm dating myself with that word...). 1948 Robert Montgomery, Wanda Hendrix, and Virginia Wave below.

Hope it's one they add to a Film Noir box set someday. Here's a larger version of the photo.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Marion Davies

Don't know much about Marion Davies? That's ok, neither do I. That's why there's the Marion Davies Fan Club web site -

A few tidbits gleaned from the site:
  • Born January 3, 1897 in Brooklyn
  • A Ziegfield girl
  • Made 47 feature films
  • William Randolph Hearst's gal (some nice homes...)
Oh, yeah...Marion & Bob were in two movies together: 1932's Blondie of the Follies and1937's Ever Since Eve. Be sure to check out the Marion's Leading Men page.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

What's In A Name?

If you read this blog with any regularity, you might remember me mentioning actors & actresses that are annoying yet loveable. When I say annoying, I don't mean that in a negative way. There's just something about him/her. Case in point, Audrey Totter.

Today's loveable annoyance, of the male persuasion, is Franchot Tone.

I know absolutely nothing about Franchot except that he was married to Joan Crawford at one time. With that in mind, I direct you to, where there's acres of info and photos. It's an interesting read & I commend the site owner for remembering another forgotten actor.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Ray & Mal

My trips to antique stores all over finally lucked out. Found a stack of stills from the late 40's dirt cheap. Here's one...more to come.

Inside Hollywood
By Nat Dallinger

Week Ending Dec. 3, 1948

Any reasonable excuse is sufficient to attract Ray Milland and his wife, Mal, to Club Mocambo, their favorite dance-spot. This occasion was to fete a friend on his birthday. Currently, Ray is preparing to start a new starring role for Paramount. A recent addition to their family has made them the happiest couple in Hollywood. Parents of an eight-year-old son, they just adopted a 31/2 year-old daughter.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Movie Lot to Beachhead

Every once in a while I walk over to ye olde bookshelf & start looking at what I have. What usually happens is I grab something & say to myself, "wow, I forgot I had that." The "aha" moment this time was a book called:

Movie Lot to Beachhead The Motion Picture Goes to War and Prepares for the Future
By the Editors of Look

It's not the rarest book. I see it pop up at antique shops here & there. Look Magazine probably cranked out thousands of these things back in their heyday.

Overall, it's an interesting collection of real wartime photos, with a focus on Hollywood's contribution to the war. You've got a chapter on Jimmy Stewart; another on the making of God is My Co-Pilot; Foxhole Circuit (entertaining the troops), Private Snafu; Hollywood is Just Another Town at War and more.

Let me grab you a part from the chapter titled "Costumes by Uncle Sam:"

"...Such is one aspect of filmdom at war. There are others. Robert Montgomery, suave drawing-room comedian, having two destroyers shot from under him in the South Pacific . . . Clark Gable, screen idol, winning the Air Medal for bomber missions of German-held territory. . . Gene Autry, crooning cowboy, refused by the Air Forces because of age, taking flying lessons and getting into the Air Transport Command . . . Jackie Coogan, the "kid" grown up, piloting the first glider landing behind Japanese lines in Burma . . . Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., urbane son of a famous father, winning the Silver Star for service at Salerno."

To this day I can't believe someone like Clark Gable was on bomber missions over enemy territory. Imagine if he was captured as a prisoner of war...

Monday, August 14, 2006

Murder in the Fleet

I like old Navy films from the 1930's. You know, the Admiral boards the ship and it looks like he's a carry over from the Revolutionary war. Gold fringe shoulder boards and the Captain Crunch style hat. All the other officers on board look like they've caught up with the times but him.

Anyway, Murder in the Fleet is a 1935 *mystery* film which takes place aboard the USS Carolina, a battleship. The crew needs to install a new top secret fire control system for one of the guns, and one by one, cast & crew are murdered. And it isn't just the crew on board, there's civilian visitors (and girlfriends) & Japanese dignitaries. Until they find the murderer, everyone's stuck on board.

The movie isn't any masterpiece, but it's an entertaining mystery. The film stars a very young Robert Taylor, but forget him. I enjoyed watching the "comic relief" between Ted Healy and Nat Pendleton.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Strangers May Kiss - 1931

More offerings from YouTube. This is all I've ever seen of the film:

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Damn Fangirls

I get a kick out of shots like these...jealous I guess.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Suave Smiling Sophisticated

Sometimes words can provide a better picture than a photo. In this instance, a mini card for The Mystery of Mr. X.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Lombard At Work

Of course, I just found this after the below post...

Check out this interesting article - The Profane Angel - @#$* yeah!

Lombard 1, Montgomery 0

I was over at Half Priced Books the other day cruising the movie books. Picked up an Alfred Hitchcock encyclopedia and started paging through it. I came upon Mr. & Mrs. Smith & there was a funny bit about Carole Lombard being quite the joker on the set. I don't have the exact text in front of me (didn't but the book) but for a while she was sticking a FDR bumper sticker on Bob's car every day. He'd head out at the end of the day and peel the sticker off his car only to have it again the next day.

Remember, Roosevelt was a Democrat & Bob was a staunch Republican/Wendell Wilkie supporter. 'Twas 1940 election time.

Ergh, it pains me to think what car got the sticker slapped on it.

Monday, August 07, 2006

The First 100 Years

1938 - Learn more here.

Larger version of the above image here.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Photo Friday

"Robert Young can surely be considered one of the busiest leading men in motion pictures. At the present time he is teamed with Florence Rice in the comedy-drama, "Paradise for Three," which also includes Frank Morgan, Edna May Oliver, Reginald Owen, Henry Hull and Herman Bing, under the direction of Eddie Buzzell."

Higher res photo here.

August Attractions

For you DVD nuts out there, the August edition of Classic Coming Attractions is up on The Digital Bits web site.

Two quick notes from my end:
  • October 31: the 60th anniversary edition of It's a Wonderful Life comes out. I love this movie, but really, what can you add to a movie that you've already re-issued two million times? I already own a VHS gift box set & the required upgrade to DVD. Did they find a missing scene where George goes postal on Mr. Potter?
  • November 14: The Cary Grant: Screen Legend Collection: Thirty Day Princess, Kiss and Make Up, Wings in the Dark, Big Brown Eyes, and Wedding Present. Ahh yes, Cary movies from the 30s - now that's what I'm talkin' about..

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Silver Gelatin

I love George Hurrell. Ok, the love isn't that deep for him personaly - but I absolutely love his work.

Ran into a site for The Hudson River Museum's "Hurrell's Men" display from late last year. Some nice sample photos & a good write-up. My fav:

"From the androgynous perfection of Ramon Navarro to the brutish bulk of Wallace Beery, the tailored elegance of Robert Montgomery or the classic profile of John Barrymore, Hurrell’s men exude an unmistakable masculine energy balanced by the perfection of surface."

And no, there's nothing Hurrell for sale in their gift shop (I checked).

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

The Bleat

I like reading James Likeks' blog each day - it's one of the few I religiously read. He's a great writer & touches on kitchy things from the past - motels, magazine ads, and movies just to name a few.

Today's rant starts what he calls "Wednesday Noir," a summer feature covering the Film Noir Classic Collection Vol. 3 DVD set that just came out. Or as he calls it, the "Barrel Scraping Edition." Ha! This should be good.

The film-du-jour this Wednesday is "His Kind of Woman" starring Robert Mitchum, Vincent Price, Jane Russell, Raymond Burr, and Thurston Howell III (Jim Backus). Screen caps & wise cracks for all.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Faster and Looser

Ever notice most of the action in Fast and Loose happens in the bedroom? And no, I don't mean that. Some caps from the movie...

Bob on TCM in August

Shown as Eastern time on TCM:

29 Tuesday - 6 AM
Rage In Heaven (1941)
A jealous man plots to fake his death and incriminate his wife's suspected lover. Cast: Robert Montgomery, Ingrid Bergman, George Sanders. Dir: W.S. Van Dyke II. BW-85 mins

Insanity at it's finest - I don't care what the critics say, Rage is an entertaining movie .

17 Thursday - 11 PM
Mr. & Mrs. Smith (1941)
A quarrelsome couple discovers their marriage isn't legal. Cast: Carole Lombard, Robert Montgomery, Gene Raymond. Dir: Alfred Hitchcock. BW-95 mins