Friday, September 29, 2006
If you haven't seen Holiday, I highly recommend it. It's classic screwball Cary - he does some physical comedy that would probably break a neck or a leg if you or I tried it. Lew Ayres is also a fun watch as the family drunk.
Thursday, September 28, 2006
Wednesday, September 27, 2006
When stockholders filed into R. H. Macy & Co.'s annual meeting in Manhattan last week, they spotted a new, but familiar face on the board: Actor Robert Montgomery, who was elected to Macy's board last September. In no time at all, Bob Montgomery found himself playing a big scene in which he was cast as the villain. What, demanded heckling stockholders, was he doing there anyway?
Replied Montgomery: "I've been in the business and professional field for 30 years. Whatever my talents are, they are at Macy's service." To which a lady replied dryly from the floor: "Thank you, Mr. Montgomery. I see you still have the gift of gab." Then, Lewis D. Gilbert, who owns stock in 600-odd corporations, including twelve shares in Macy's, and makes an avocation of harassing corporate boards, threw a question at President Jack I. Straus: "What does Mr. Montgomery know about merchandising?" Straus tried to defend Montgomery's qualifications as a director. After all, he said, several of the other directors had not known much about retailing when they had joined the board. Snorted Gilbert: "Maybe that's what's wrong with Macy's." . . .
Tuesday, September 26, 2006
Monday, September 25, 2006
I can probably count on one hand how many color photos I have seen of Bob (not colorized) and I'd say most, if not all, were from the 1950s. *Sigh*
Robert Taylor....yep, seen a few. Robert Young, nothing (I could go on...).
10 a.m. Three Loves Has Nancy (1938)
A country girl follows the man who jilted her to the big city, where she finds two new suitors. Cast: Janet Gaynor, Robert Montgomery, Franchot Tone. Dir: Richard Thorpe. BW-70 mins, TV-G
6 a.m. Mr. & Mrs. Smith (1941)
A quarrelsome couple discovers their marriage isn't legal. Cast: Carole Lombard, Robert Montgomery, Gene Raymond. Dir: Alfred Hitchcock
10 a.m. Night Must Fall (1937)
A charming young man worms his way into a wealthy woman's household, then reveals a deadly secret. Cast: Robert Montgomery, Rosalind Russell, Dame May Whitty. Dir: Richard Thorpe
26 Thursday - The entire "Fast..." series
1:30 p.m. Fast Company (1938)
Married book-dealers Joel and Gerda Sloane try to clear a friend in the murder of a rival book-seller . Cast: Melvyn Douglas, Florence Rice, Louis Calhern. Dir: Edward Buzzell
2:45 p.m. Fast And Loose (1939)
Married book-dealers Joel and Garda Sloane investigate the killing of a noted collector. Cast: Robert Montgomery, Rosalind Russell, Reginald Owen. Dir: Edwin L. Marin
4:15 p.m. Fast And Furious (1939)
Married book-dealers Joel and Garda Sloane get mixed up with murder during a beauty pageant . Cast: Franchot Tone, Ann Sothern, Ruth Hussey. Dir: Busby Berkeley
Friday, September 22, 2006
They tried sneaking George (as Brooks) out of the hospital in a casket. It really didn't work out. He was smoking in the casket & when they saw the smoke coming out, well, you get the idea.
Attention world. I have a new movie for my favorites list - 1939's Honolulu. Why might you ask? Well, let me give you a quick rundown:
- The cast: Robert Young, Eleanor Powell, Gracie Allen, George Burns
- The story: Brooks Mason is a Hollywood actor all the girls are mad about. Whenever he comes in contact with fangirls, they literally rip his clothes off and attack him to the point of hospitalization. Then there's George Smith. Poor guy looks just like Brooks & gets mobbed just the same. Brooks & George meet & decide to switch lives for a bit. George owns a pineapple plantation in Hawaii and Brooks just wants a vacation away. Yeah, there's more to it - get a synopsis here.
- Scenes with both Brooks & George (ahh, 1939 movie technology...)
- Eleanor Powell sure knows how to cut a rug - her *famous* hula scene is in this flick.
- The "Dress as your favorite star" party on the cruise. Young playing Smith playing Stokowski. Multiple Groucho Marx's (and the rest of the Bros.), the poor guys playing W.C. Fields & Clark Gable (where do all these people get their props in the middle of the Pacific Ocean)?
- Just the thought of warm, tropical weather in a 1930s setting
Thursday, September 21, 2006
Howard Duff plays Sam Spade. Robert Montgomery is only the host, but do listen for his bit part as Philip Marlowe during the show.
Mp3 - 13 MB
Wednesday, September 20, 2006
I laughed out loud when I read this Time Magazine "Letter to the Editor." From October 2, 1950:
Congratulations to Kirkpatrick, Schultz, el al., for their courageous attack on Miss Jean Muir. They are setting a noble example for all patriotic Americans, which I, for one, am going to follow.
The first on my personal black list is Robert Montgomery. He is a Republican, and next to Socialists, Baptists and jugglers, I hate Republicans. I have positive inside information that these dangerous subversives are trying to overthrow our Government. Giving up Mr. Montgomery is a considerable sacrifice, because he is a fine actor . . .
My two friends, who also hate Republicans, and I are oiling up our mimeograph. If 20 telegrams can get rid of Jean Muir, we can promise that six months from now our televisions will be darkened only by Democrats, and Democrats of the right race, color and religion. We hate lots of people besides Republicans. Some actors may deny our charges, but that won't help them. We don't have to prove anything. All we have to do is write letters and telegrams and make telephone calls to sponsors . . .
LORETTA E. SCOTT McLean, Va.
Tuesday, September 19, 2006
If you know everything about Film Noir already, enh, you might want something more meatier. But did I mention it has slick pics?
I'm in love with PF, even though I've never seen the film. I think it's the parkas & flannel that I can relate to. I wouldn't mind getting a pair of fur boots while I'm at it!
Monday, September 18, 2006
Sunday, September 17, 2006
One dealer combined all of his materials into one "Liz & Robert Montgomery" folder. *Sigh* Nothing at all.
There's another dealer that I always get a kick out of. She has piles of large manila folders, one per actor/actress, stuffed full of scrapbook-type photos and articles. I kindly asked, "do you have anything for Robert Montgomery or Robert Young?" She replied, "yes, they're in alphabetical order." After digging through the piles she asked again if I found anything. "You know, I left three boxes at home..." You'd think she'd remember the annoying Bob fangirl after all these shows.
Anyhow, I'll follow up with some scans of what I picked up later on. I'll tell ya this. When an 8x10 is $2 compared to $20 on ebay, I tend to pick up anything that catches my eye!
Friday, September 15, 2006
Thursday, September 14, 2006
Wednesday, September 13, 2006
Tuesday, September 12, 2006
I can't vouch for the accuracy of the facts (they could have told me Gable was left handed and I would have believed it. Is he? Anyhow...) but the 30 minute show sure had a lot of behind-the-scenes footage & home movies.
I'm finding myself forming a habit of looking for Bob Montgomery in anything Hollywood I watch or read. By darned, I'm successful too (would this be the lame equivalent to Six Degrees of Robert Montgomery?). Cases in point:
- Clark had small parts in silent movies. The program was discussing the transition actors had from silents to talkies. Up comes discussion of Joan Crawford's transition. Of course, to illustrate this they're showing a scene from Letty Lynton, from behind the cameras - about 30 seconds worth. Gah, why can't we have the whole movie too?
- For Hitchcock's cameo in Mr. & Mrs. Smith, Carole supposedly directed the bit. I guess Life Magazine was on the set for that. Wonder what issue those photos showed up in...
Monday, September 11, 2006
Maybe after they're finished offering Green Acres and Gilligan's Island on DVD, they'll get to Bob's show...naw, probably not.
Friday, September 08, 2006
Let me preface this article from Time - the Screen Actors Guild is considering a strike. Can you imagine being a fly on the wall in these meetings!
...But last week he [James Cagney] and such other notably social-conscious cinemactors as Fredric March, Chester Morris, Franchot Tone, Joan Crawford, Jean Muir and Edward Arnold were debating something really big—a strike of the Guild which would shut every film studio down tight. While a committee headed by President Robert Montgomery negotiated the Guild's demands with representatives of producers, a hundred or more stars gathered nightly at the homes of March, Morris and Cagney to talk strike. Asking nothing for themselves, the Guild's 1,100 high-salaried contract players were out to improve the lot of their 4,500 low-paid associates—extras and bit-players getting less than $250 per week...
...Every night producers and Guild officers talked until 2 or 3 a. m. While her husband, Franchot Tone, backed up President Montgomery with telling arguments, Second Vice President Joan Crawford knitted away like a Madam Defarge, occasionally stiffening the men's backbones with her cry: "We strike!"...
I watched Maisie the other night, starring the aforementioned RY, Ann Sothern, and Ruth Hussey. At first I was leery of the wild west theme, but I was pleasantly surprised by the story. I will admit, I had to get over 1939's version of a cowboy costume first. Think Robert Young as the Lone Ranger, without the mask and with a ten gallon hat. Now also add the name "Slim" to his tall, lanky frame. Really, I can't describe it in words...
I am going to defer to IMDB for the plot overview - there's a lot of nuances that I'd butcher and take forever to write here. The movie turns into a murder mystery about half way through, and that's when it gets interesting.
Reading on IMDB, Maisie was the first of ten Maisie movies with Ann Sothern. I think I'll skip Congo Maisie...
Thursday, September 07, 2006
Wednesday, September 06, 2006
Feb. 2, 1942
Lieut. Robert Montgomery, U.S.N.R., walked into the lobby of Washington's Mayflower Hotel, encountered a force of pen-waving ladies with autograph books. Unmolested, unnoticed was a bystander, Herbert Hoover.
I never imagined I'd read the words "unmolested" and "Herbert Hoover" in the same sentence (not that I thought - well - nevermind). Guess Herbert didn't want Bob's autograph.
Them darn fangirls again...
Both fellas go through a lot of factoids about the actors as well as film noir. About 45 minutes into the commentary, I was burnt out. Me, the fact nerd. I started to balance my checkbook & listen in the background, which is what I'd recommend.
One piece of info that struck me as interesting is the scene in Adrienne Fromsett's bedroom with Philip Marlowe, right after his car accident. He's laying in her bed recovering, and she's sitting on the edge of it. The scene made it past the censors - they were both in one bed at the same time (ha!).
Tuesday, September 05, 2006
Fast and Furious is the sequel to Fast and Loose (which followed Fast Company - got it?). You'll probably remember Fast and Loose as the mystery/comedy with Bob Montgomery and Rosalind Russell as Joel & Garda Sloane. Joel & Garda are an awesome duo. Joel is a rare book dealer, who also has the talent to solve mysteries on the side. I honestly think they could have taken on Nick & Nora if there was a "standard" acting duo.
Instead of Bob and Rosalind, substitute Franchot Tone and Ann Sothern as Joel & Garda. I think they come off as more quirky and goofball than Bob & Rosalind. The original couple was Melvyn Douglas and Florence Rice.
Fast and Furious follows our book selling couple on vacation to Seaside City for a summer cool-off. Turns out Joel has ulterior motives...there's a beauty contest in town which his friend is managing. Add to that, Joel has been made one of the contest judges. There's more to the movie than watching a book dealing couple on vacation - there's a murder and some performing lions. Yes, I said lions.
One part I found interesting was Joel's office - the set was the spitting image of what we saw in Fast and Loose. Both films were made in '39.
All in all, it's an entertaining movie that you'll enjoy as part of the "Fast..." series.
If you haven't figured it out yet, I cracked the seal on my Film Noir Vol. 3 set over the weekend.
Monday, September 04, 2006
Friday, September 01, 2006
Some casting notes: Montgomery's daughter Elizabeth, who would find fame 35 years later as Samantha in TV's Bewitched, was born just months before filming began. Montgomery was married at the time to Elizabeth Bryan Allen - no relation to this film's leading lady, Elizabeth Allan. Contrary to popular belief, Ray Milland is not in The Mystery of Mr. X. He is listed in extended printed credits (as Raymond Milland) so it is possible he had a bit part which was left on the cutting room floor. The Mystery of Mr. X was remade in 1952 as The Hour of 13, starring Peter Lawford.
I've got to admin, it would have been cool if Ray had a larger part in the film. It's my opinion he was at his best in his mystery & noir-ish type films.