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."

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Older & Wiser

Robert Taylor & daughter Tessa.

Robert Taylor and daughter Tessa

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Hedy Lamarr & WiFi Internet

I read this on Wikipedia via a message board talking about a top 10 geek girl article. Someone was asking why Hedy wasn't on the list. I nearly fell off my chair after learning this:

Hedy Lamarr and composer George Antheil received U.S. patent #2,292,387 for their Secret Communication System. This early version of frequency hopping used a piano roll to change between 88 frequencies and was intended to make radio-guided torpedoes harder for enemies to detect or jam. The patent was little-known until recently because Lamarr applied for it under her then-married name of Hedy Kiesler Markey... Lamarr's frequency-hopping idea served as the basis for modern spread-spectrum communication technology used in devices ranging from cordless telephones to WiFi Internet connections...

Monday, November 27, 2006

December Bob TCM Schedule & a New DVD

What? That's it for December?

December 26
10:15 PM
Here Comes Mr. Jordan (1941)
A prizefighter who died before his time is reincarnated as a tycoon with a murderous wife. Cast: Robert Montgomery, Evelyn Keyes, Claude Rains. Dir: Alexander Hall.

Better news - it's coming out on DVD on 2/6/07. More info to come.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving

First, the blog has a slightly "more traditional" Blogger look, thanks to the spammers. Commenting has been turned back on also. Many thanks to JTK for his pointers on customizing.

OK, so the photo isn't turkey & pumpkin pie, but it's close enough. Have a great holiday!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006


I remember the first time I watched 1940's Irene. I was sitting in a Days Inn in Sedona, Arizona. I watched the first 15 minutes then headed out to play tourist.

It's two years later and I've finally watched the whole thing. Boy, what I was missing. I'll leave you to TCM to read up on the plot, but in a nutshell: " An Irish shop girl falls in love with a high society boy." Shop girl being Anna Neagle and high society boy being Ray Milland. A great supporting cast of rich character actors too: Arthur Treacher, Billie Burke, Roland Young, and more.

I nearly had a heart attack and fell off the chair when the film switched from B&W to Technicolor. Sure, it's not the same color you see today, but Technicolor has character: Anna Neagle's red hair & blue dress; Ray Milland's jet black hair; a slick black dance floor. Did I mention Ray Milland in color? The film clicks back into B&W after about 20 minutes. That's an odd feeling.

Oh, and Alan Marshal, another high society boy vying for Anna's heart, kinda looks like Timothy Dalton to me.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Happy 60th

I wasn't going to buy it, but now that I read that It's a Wonderful Life has been given a "facelift," I might just buy it again:

Republic first released this film on DVD back in 1998, and the transfer was fine for its day. Paramount has recently taken over distribution of the film however, and for its 60th anniversary, they've taken the opportunity to restore the film and create a brand new high-definition master. The new disc features a superior video presentation in the original full frame aspect ratio. While the previous DVD had a slightly digital look to it, this new image is wonderfully smooth and detailed, without appearing edgy or artificially filtered. It's presented in the original B&W, and features excellent contrast, texture and shadow detailing. The image is noticeably cleaner than the previous DVD, with far less visible dust, dirt and nicks on the print, and with an appropriately film-like quality that's very pleasing to the eye. The audio is improved as well, presented in Dolby Digital 2.0 mono. Dialogue is clear at all times, and the track thankfully fixes the defects that hampered the previous DVD's audio, which caused the sound to occasionally take on a muffled quality.

Learn more here.

I do have to admit, Walgreen's sells a new building from Bedford Falls each year - the mini ceramic, collectible ones. I am a proud owner of Martini's bar & bring it out each year.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

#$%* Spammers

Now that the spammers have found my comment function, I've had to kill it. Since I'm using some sory of snazzy template, it's not working with the security function Blogger has with "normal" blogs. This might take me a while. In the meantime, feel free to email me from the link in the upper right corner to my profile.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Two Bobs on a Boat

November 19, 1947: American film stars, from left to right, Robert Montgomery, Loretta Young, Bob Hope, Alexis Smith and her husband Craig Stevens, aboard the Queen Mary at Southampton, England. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Hitchcock/Truffaut on Smith

The If Charlie Parker Was a Gunslinger... blog offers the Hitchcock/Ttuffaut interviews on MP3. The latest installment gives some insight on Mr. & Mrs. Smith. It's some interesting listening I tackled on the airplane a few weeks back.

F.T. We were talking about your statement that "actors are cattle."

A.H. Oh yes. Well, what I was leading up to is that when I arrived on the set, the first day of shooting, Carole Lombard had had a corral built, with the three sections, and in each one there was a live young cow. Round the neck of each of them there was a white disk tied on with a ribbon, with three names: Carole Lombard, Robert Montgomery, and the name of a third member of the cast, Gene Raymond.

I swear I've seen a photo of the cattle...but can't locate it. If you know of one, let me know!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Bulldog Drummond Escapes

Just enough to hook you in - and buy the DVD.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Fangirling - 1934 Style

Back in 1934, a Miss Dorothea Baker wrote Robert Montgomery at MGM Studios...

Monday, November 13, 2006

Hey, Wolfie!

Modern Art

"Who, me?", queries Robert Young after taking a gander at the inmressionistic art work tacked on his door by Laraine Day. That wolf impression (not garnered from Bob's personal life) is from his role in RKO Radio's "Those Endearing Young Charms", in which he wolfs his way into and out of the trusting arms of Laraine Day.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Update on

New Bob photos were uploaded on the other day. Lots of other good stuff there too, as always.

Saturdays at 8

Time Magazine, Jan. 12, 1948

Radio's chillers, under the disapproving glares of U.S. parents & teachers (TIME, March 24), had had a bad year, but things were looking brighter. Last week CBS spread itself handsomely on an old, solidly successful crime show, Suspense. The program was extended to 55 minutes, moved to a good early evening spot (Sat., 8 p.m.) and placed in the capable hands of Robert Montgomery, a past cinemaster at leering and bloodletting. Montgomery handles the show's gory details as narrator. As occasional actor, he may recreate some of his grislier movie roles (Night Must Fall, Rage in Heaven). He thinks it should develop into "a damn good dramatic show. The full hour opens up a vista of new material that is fantastic, just fantastic."

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Amazon Knows Me Too Well

This scares me a bit. Amazon sent me an email saying Holiday is available for preorder. How'd they know I wanted it? I must have set something at one time...

Cary's smile looks like it's going to explode.

Closing Time

Let me have one, Nat. I'm dying. Just one.

One more shot (pun intended) from The Lost Weekend episode.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

The Lost Weekend - 1955 Style

I'd love to see a particular episode of Robert Montgomery Presents - The Lost Weekend. Bob plays Don Birnam, the same role Ray Milland played. Excellent film!

Some additional information on his TV show from the Earl of Hollywood site.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

You Devil, You

No man ever held more terrible power over women than this tall dark handsome stranger from nowhere!

Add to the "must see" list - Alias Nick Beal - featured on the Film Noir of the Week blog. Ray Milland as the devil - I can buy into that. There's video on over there too.

Plot 101 (from IMDB): A district attorney rises to political success and the governorship but loses his sense of morality once he starts associating with the shadowy and perhaps diabolical Nick Beal.

Great film for election day! Oh, wait...not on DVD!

Monday, November 06, 2006

Harold Lloyd: Rebel

I'm not much of a silent film or Harold Lloyd fan. In fact, Harold gives me the creeps. But after seeing this screen cap, I'm having second thoughts...

I can't take credit for this . . . go check out James Lilek's blog.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Photo Friday

Today I proclaim Harvey White day...for this 1933 photo of his.

Larger scan here.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Insert Scream Here

I just learned this morning that a local theater has been playing Dial M for Murder in 3D this week. Tonight's the last night & I have other plans. Argh!

Once upon a time, I saw Dial M at an old theater. You know, the type with the gold trim, balcony, mint green bathroom (and lounge), etc. The place is now a church. Support your local classic theater.

On the positive side, the theater is showing It's a Wonderful Life for one week in December. Time to practice on my Stewartesque George Bailey accent ("Mary...")..

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Home Is Where The Heart Is

You know you've made it when they make postcards of your homes.