Sunday, June 29, 2008

TCM Bob Schedule for July

Since July is Rosalind Russell month on TCM, they're showing parings of Bob & Roz, including Night Must Fall and the really odd Trouble for Two. Let the recording begin - but check your local listings for exact start time first!

19 Saturday
6 a.m. Mr. and Mrs. Smith (1941)
A quarrelsome couple discovers their marriage isn't legal. Cast: Carole Lombard, Robert Montgomery, Gene Raymond. Dir: Alfred Hitchcock

22 Tuesday
8 p.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

3 a.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

4:30 a.m. Trouble For Two (1936)
Before he can marry, a European prince gets mixed up with a suicide club. Cast: Robert Montgomery, Rosalind Russell, Reginald Owen. Dir: J. Walter Ruben

5:45 a.m. Live, Love And Learn (1937)
A bohemian artist and a society girl try to adjust to marriage. Cast: Robert Montgomery, Rosalind Russell, Robert Benchley. Dir: George Fitzmaurice

Friday, June 27, 2008

Photo Friday: Another Robert Young Photo

Yet another photo from an unknown Bob Young film (I'm reaching the bottom of the pile here). If you know it, please drop me a comment!

Larger photo

Update: Tracy has spotted an ID, thanks! The Longest Night (1936) w/Florence Rice

Thursday, June 26, 2008

The Guest Blogger in Possession

Today's post is a bit of a treat - it's a guest post from Laura of (you'll never guess this) Laura's Miscellaneous Musings. Along with TCM, I'm helping to corrupt one more mind - create another Bob fan (tee, hee, hee). Do visit her site - it's one of my fav. reads.

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Thanks to the kindness of Carrie of Classic Montgomery, I had the opportunity to see THE MAN IN POSSESSION, a delightfully entertaining pre-Code comedy starring Robert Montgomery and Irene Purcell.

The film's London setting is quickly established by a shot of Westminster Abbey under the opening credits, accompanied by the Westminster Chimes. Cambridge-educated Raymond (Montgomery) arrives home from a stint in jail over a "misunderstanding" about the sale of a car. Raymond's mother (Beryl Mercer) greets him with joy, but his crochety father (Sir C. Aubrey Smith) and pompous brother (Reginald Owen) try to bribe Raymond to leave the country before he can do any more harm to the family reputation.

Instead, Raymond secures employment as a bailiff, and his first job is to keep watch over the possessions of lovely Crystal Wetherby (Purcell) until she pays off a writ for bills owed. Crystal has invited her new fiance and his parents to dinner, and Raymond agrees to pose as Crystal's butler so as not to tip off the fiance about her precarious financial condition. After all, when they marry, Crystal's fiance should be able to pay off her bills. You can probably guess who the fiance and parents turn out to be...

The movie is by turns funny, racy, and romantic. Montgomery is in peak form as Raymond; I've seen many of his films in the last year, and this is one of my favorites. It's the kind of amusing, appealing performance which makes one wonder why he isn't better remembered. His slight British accent does tend to fade in and out, but when it fades he sounds just like Robert Montgomery should, so it's not an issue that's especially noticeable.

Irene Purcell appeared in just seven movies, all made in 1931 and 1932. It's a shame her career was so short; she is just right as Crystal, managing to make a woman who regularly stiffs her creditors sympathetic. Purcell, who also acted regularly on Broadway in the '20s and '30s, lived another four decades after retiring from her film career.

The witty script by Sarah Y. Mason (LITTLE WOMEN) and P.G. Wodehouse is based on a play by H.M. Harwood. The superb cast includes Charlotte Greenwood and Alan Mowbray. The combination of the script and the marvelous reactions and double-takes by the polished cast make this film a treat from start to finish..

THE MAN IN POSSESSION runs 84 minutes and is in black and white. It was directed by Sam Wood.

MGM remade the movie just six years later as PERSONAL PROPERTY, starring Robert Taylor and Jean Harlow. It's interesting to note that Reginald Owen and Forrester Harvey reprised their roles from the original film in the remake.

Sadly, this movie isn't available on video or DVD. Click here to indicate interest in a DVD release. The film has been shown in the past on Turner Classic Movies so hopefully it will show up there again in the future.

Monday, June 23, 2008

The Secret Land (1948)

In 1947, the US Navy set out on an expedition to explore Antarctica. A year later, a documentary was released, narrated by a couple of veterans that might ring a bell: Cdr. Robert Montgomery, USNR; Lt. Robert Taylor, USNR; and Lt. Van Heflin, AAF. Here's a few minutes from the film:

If anyone has a copy of this documentary on DVD and would like to trade, please drop me a line.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

How to Make a Movie Trailer

This has to be one of the better classic movie trailers I've run into. It certainly earns an "A" for creativity. In this trailer for 1937's Live, Love and Learn, the glamorous Robert Benchley walks us through the finer points of editing and finding good scenes, plus the marketing angles, of creating a movie trailer.

One can never go wrong with lines like: "This here is Celluloid, the second cousin of Harold Lloyd."

View trailer - at

My personal favorite

Friday, June 13, 2008

Photo Friday: Possessed

Now there's the look of mischief if I ever saw it. Bob, Charlotte Greenville, and Irene Purcell in The Man in Possession.

Larger Image

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Inspiration (1931)

Inspiration has always been one of those films I've wanted to like, but have never been able to "get into." Story aside, my gut feel is that Greta Garbo overpowers Bob. IMO, it's an attractive pairing on paper (and in photos), but odd on film. I had to look this one up too: Greta is only a year older than Bob in this 1931 film. She comes off as older to me.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Where's Veronica Lake These Days?

Yeah, yeah, I'm four years late on this news item - but it's the first I've heard of it: Veronica Lake's ashes found in NY antique store.

I enjoy visiting antique stores and always wonder what I'll find in the next aisle. Er, I think I'll skip movie star ashes, thank you.

Anyone ever read an update to this story?

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The Various Feelings of Robert Young

LOL, I had fun putting this post together. And now, versatility at work:

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

The Challenge of Our Times

For your reading pleasure, here's an interesting and somewhat deep article written by Robert Montgomery for the February 1955 issue of Theater Arts magazine.

If you didn't attach a date to this, I think elements of it could apply easily to today, especially with the comment about the media.

I'll leave the reading to you (PDF, 2.3 MB)

The article also includes behind-the-scenes photos from The Desperate Hours stage play, which the article revolves around.