All hell breaks loose at the Wetherby home when the man in possession (Robert Montgomery) plays butler (among other things) for the evening. The Man in Possession is a gem of a pre-code and is highly recommended.
A bit of variety this month on TCM - a few that haven't appeared on TV in a while. As always, check your local listings for exact time.
December 4 9:15 AM Hide-Out (1934) Farmers take in an injured racketeer and try to reform him. Cast: Robert Montgomery, Maureen O'Sullivan, Mickey Rooney. Dir: W.S. Van Dyke II. BW-81 mins
December 12 4:45 PM Yellow Jack (1938) A Marine in turn-of-the-century Cuba risks his life in the fight to cure yellow fever. Cast: Robert Montgomery, Virginia Bruce, Lewis Stone. Dir: George B. Seitz. BW-83 mins
December 28 10:15 AM Petticoat Fever (1936) A lonely radio operator in Alaska falls for an engaged woman. Cast: Robert Montgomery, Myrna Loy, Reginald Owen. Dir: George Fitzmaurice. BW-80 mins
Today's radio show is a presentation of Noel Coward's We Were Dancing from the Gulf Screen Theater, October 29, 1939. The show's players include Robert Montgomery, Binnie Barnes, Hedda Hopper, and Adolphe Menjou.
IMHO, We Were Dancing doesn't take well to radio - it comes across as thin, probably as a product of radio. A good comparison may be watching the 1942 film version of the story with Norma Shearer and Melvyn Douglas, which I've just added to my list.
It's a good thing that the rest of the show is entertaining: Binnie & Bob sing a duet, Adolphe's stamp collecting adventures, and the Gulf Question Box. If you're in the question box, and answer a question incorrectly, you get the "opportunity" to do something off-the-wall. Spoiler alert. Binnie bangs on the drums with the band, Adolphe roars like the MGM lion, and Bob reads Shakespeare in a Jimmy Cagney accent.
With that, I'll leave you with my favorite line from the story . . . "who's that kissing your wife?"
Great news for all you Norma Shearer & Robert Montgomery fans out there. On March 4, Forbidden Hollywood Vol. 2 will be released with The Divorcee as one of the films in the set - with commentary. Also included will be:
A Free Soul
Three on a Match
Thou Shalt Not: Sex, Sin and Censorship in Pre-Code Hollywood
Happiness is a Hitchcock film. Add to that Halloween evening, a live symphony, and clips from some of his most known movies and I'm in seventh heaven. Last night, I had the pleasure of listening to the local symphony pops play Hitchcock snippets as scenes played on a screen above. The music was so sharp and seamless, at times I forgot they were there.
The 2 hour event started with the theme to Psycho, sans movie clips. It didn't bother me - this gave you the opportunity to watch the violinists get into the murder scene with their bows. One minute it was movie music, the next was murder by musical instrument - the crowd loved it.
The music for To Catch a Thief had to be the least memorable in my mind. For this film, the beginning credits through Cary Grant meeting Hitch on the bus was shown.
I was happy to see some time dedicated to Strangers on a Train, the oldest and only black & white film featured. To start, the credits through the meeting on the train was played. Following, the scene where Guy slips into Bruno's home to kill his father. Next, the tennis match where it flips between Guy playing and Bruno dropping the cigarette lighter down the storm drain. The final scene was the carousel going out of control through the end - the American version of the end.
The North By Northwest trailer presented was intermixed with Hitch's home movies and his trademark Funeral March of a Marionette song in the background.
Dial M For Murder started with the beginning credits through Mark Halliday arriving on the Queen Mary. That was followed by the murder scene, then ending with everyone catching Tony with the spare key. My personal favorite wasn't the murder itself but the minutes up to it where the murderer and Tony keep looking at their watches, waiting for 11 p.m. - the music turned into the ticking of the clocks.
The theme to North By Northwest was hair-raising - very cool if I may say. For that film they presented the beginning credits, the "funny drunk" scene (as they dubbed it), ROT escaping the hospital to the home in the hills, and the chase on Mt. Rushmore through the end.
Even though the music may not be as memorable, it'd be great to see his less popular, older films presented in this format!