Saturday, February 28, 2009

Misc. Thoughts on Bombs, MGM, Princesses, etc.

I finished watching Robert Taylor & Eleanor Parker feud in Above and Beyond last night. The story of Col. Paul Tibbets & the atomic bomb, this has to be the only movie that made family life come off as more dangerous than nuclear war. Best scenes: listening to B-29 engines, the nuclear scientist fixing Mrs. Tibbets' kitchen faucet because she thought he was a plumber. Greenbriar Picture Shows has a good writeup if you want to learn more.

Speaking of nuclear bombs, if you're a fan of nuclear history (like me), you may enjoy the PBS special The Trials of J. Robert Oppenheimer. In between interviews and historical photos, the program recreats the "flogging," I mean "trial," of Oppenheimer via recreations. Best part, David Strathairn plays Oppenheimer.

Think you're a MGM fan? Check out Stars in Heaven: An MGM Blog. Michael & his wife are making their way through the MGM catalog and blogging their thoughts along the way.

Princess O'Rourke: Ahh, what a refreshing romantic comedy from the war years. Robert Cummings, Jack Carson, Charles Coburn, and Olivia DeHavilland make a great combo. Laura has a good overview on her blog - I'll lead you there...

I saw a commercial last night for a new Nicholas Cage movie Knowing. I'm already there. Oh wait, it looks National Treasure-ish, I might even go see it in the theater.

Finaly, your Bob schedule for March on TCM (check your local listings):

Sunday, March 1
4 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.

Sunday, March 15
2 p.m. 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.

Thursday, March 19
3 p.m. Night Must Fall (1937)

Friday, February 27, 2009

Happy Birthday, Franchot Tone

Feb. 27, 1905 – Sept. 18, 1968

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Happy Birthday, Robert Young

Feb. 22, 1907 - July 21, 1998

Friday, February 20, 2009

Photo Friday: What If?

For some odd reason, this illustration makes me think of something that would hang above the fireplace. And in that same odd thought, what if Philip Monrell wasn't nuts? Back to reality...a photo/illustration from 1941's Rage in Heaven.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

What's Your Inspiration?

Real life is busy here at CM, so I'm going to cheat a little - while keeping the "ball" rolling - by posting a clip from 1931's Inspiration.

OK, I had planned to embed the video, but apparently my original link has been removed at YouTube. Instead, enjoy the full film through this link.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

(A late) TCM Bob Schedule for February

With an Oscar usual, check your local listings for exact start time.

Friday, Feb. 13

4 p.m. 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

At the 1942 Oscars:
  • Winner: Best Writing, Original Story
    Harry Segall
  • Winner: Best Writing, Screenplay
    Sidney Buchman
    Seton I. Miller
  • Nominated: Best Actor in a Leading Role
    Robert Montgomery
  • Nominated: Best Actor in a Supporting Role
    James Gleason
  • Nominated: Best Cinematography, Black-and-White
    Joseph Walker
  • Nominated: Best Director
    Alexander Hall
  • Nominated: Best Picture
Saturday, Feb. 14
12:45 p.m. Divorcee, The (1930)
The double standard destroys a liberal couple's marriage. Cast: Norma Shearer, Chester Morris, Robert Montgomery. Dir: Robert Z. Leonard

At the 1930 Oscars:
  • Winner: Best Actress in a Leading Role
    Norma Shearer
  • Nominated: Best Director
    Robert Z. Leonard
  • Nominated: Best Picture
  • Nominated: Best Writing, Achievement
    John Meehan

Saturday, Feb. 21
10:15 p.m. They Were Expendable (1945)
A Navy commander fights to prove the battle-worthiness of the PT boat at the start of World War II. Cast: Robert Montgomery, John Wayne, Donna Reed. Dir: John Ford

At the 1946 Oscars:
  • Nominated: Best Effects, Special Effects
    A. Arnold Gillespie (photographic)
    Donald Jahraus (photographic)
    R.A. MacDonald (photographic)
    Michael Steinore (sound)
  • Nominated: Best Sound, Recording
    Douglas Shearer (M-G-M SSD)

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Thank You, Mr. Whitmore

This news truly makes me sad: James Whitmore passed away on Feb. 6 of lung cancer.

One of my earliest memories of old movies is watching James Whitmore's Them! with my dad on the late show.

My other two favorite Whitmore roles: The Next Voice You Hear (1950) and The McConnell Story (1955).

Thank you for the memories, Mr. Whitmore.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Hollow Brook Farm

If there was ever going to be a site for a Robert Montgomery fan gathering, this might be it.

Hollow Brook Farm, in the Canaan Valley in Connecticut, was one of the residences of Bob and his second wife Elisabeth "Buffy" Harkness.

Welcome to Hollow Brook Farm, a privately owned, Connecticut Land Trusted "gentleman's farm" in historic Canaan Valley. Originally an 18th Century land grant and for many years the country estate of the actor Robert Montgomery, Hollow Brook Farm encompasses over two hundred acres of fields and woods of exceptional beauty with a classically styled and furnished main house of noted architectural merit.

Digging a bit further, a cottage on the land is available for seasonal rental. Photos and details are available here.

It appears that the entire estate went up for sale or sold in 2003 for $2.8 million, less than the asking price of $3.5 million. Information on the sale of the farm, including many photos, can be found online.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Thank You!

Jonas from All Talking! All Singing! All Dancing! has recognized the CM blog with a Premio Dardos Award!

Thank you!

The Dardos Award is given for recognition of cultural, ethical, literary, and personal values transmitted in the form of creative and original writing. These stamps were created with the intention of promoting fraternization between bloggers, a way of showing affection and gratitude for work that adds value to the Web.

  1. Accept the award by posting it on your blog along with the name of the person that has granted the award and a link to his/her blog.
  2. Pass the award to another five blogs that are worthy of this acknowledgement, remembering to contact each of them to let them know they have been selected for this award.
In the continued spirit of the award, I would like to award:
  1. La Peregrina at Santiago Dreaming
  2. Laura at Laura's Miscellaneous Musings
  3. CK Dexter Haven at Hollywood Dreamland
  4. Carrie Liz at Classic Ramblings
  5. Katie & Co. at Obscure Classics
If you've already been honored, just think of it as another Oscar!

Update: Any many thanks to The Classic Maiden for sharing another Dardos with me! One more . . . Kate Gabrielle from Silents and Talkies has also shared an award with me - thanks!