Tuesday, March 31, 2009

TCM Bob Schedule for April

Check your local listings for specifics...

Saturday, April 11

12 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.

Tuesday, April 14
6 a.m. Divorcee, The (1930)
The double standard destroys a liberal couple's marriage. Cast: Norma Shearer, Chester Morris, Robert Montgomery. Dir: Robert Z. Leonard.

Friday, April 24
10 a.m. Rage In Heaven (1941)
A jealous man plots to fake his death and incriminate his wife's suspected lover. Cast: Robert Montgomery, Ingrid Bergman, George Sanders.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Montgomery Arrives in France

June 4, 1940: FRANCE - Robert Montgomery (left), film star, and Stuart Benson, who are serving together in the American Field Service, shown somewhere in France today, looking at a map. Photo sent by radio from Paris to New York today. Photo passed by the French sensor.

Monday, March 23, 2009

More Bob on DVD

I'm sure this news is making it's way along the blogosphere pretty quick: Warner Bros. is now offering made-to-order DVDs and digital downloads of a number of classic films. Downloads are $14.95 and mailed DVDs are $19.95. While the films are bare-bones, no extras, they're still a welcome sight. For you Robert Montgomery fans:
h/t: Laura's Miscellaneous Musings

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Another Language (1933)

If you were to pin me into a corner and ask for my favorite Bob Montgomery films, I'd have to admit a fondness for Another Language. Released in 1933, this MGM gem offers a cast that fits together perfectly to tell the story of the Hallam family - right after the honeymoon.

I recommend checking out the New York Times review of the film's showing at the Capitol Theater in NYC. According to the newspaper, the film was quite true to the play by Rose Franken.

And from the NY Times review, one of those "wish I was there" moments, a live presentation at the Capitol:

Robert Montgomery and Irene Purcell performing in a short scene from the second act of Noel Coward's "Private Lives" is the feature of the stage show at the Capitol Theatre this week and, by the way Mr. Montgomery and Miss Purcell have at each other, one would assume that they mean to emulate Mr. Coward and Miss Gertrude Lawrence in physical violence if not in histrionic accomplishment.

Just an aside, Irene Purcell starred in The Man In Possession with Bob in 1931.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Road Trip, Part Two

Wrapping up Tracy's trip out east...

I did find Bob's first wife Elizabeth up in Patterson, NY, but no Buffy Harkness, his second wife, anywhere, and I did get to swing by the house, but no one was home. Bob had outwitted me again. I decided my next trip, I am going directly to the source armed with Sodium Pentothal.

The NY Rubber Co. where Henry Sr. worked is still in Beacon. This is also the area where Bob was born. It amazed me how many people in Beacon, didn't know what was in Beacon. I went to the police station to let them know I would be down there as I didn't have any interest in being hauled off in cuffs or becoming a permanent resident should something happen. I am hitting the town hall there too the next time to see what I can find.

I also was going to see Bob's first ladies, however, the Obama brigade kept me out of Washington/Arlington [note: this was during the inauguration], so Constance Bennett will have to wait until fall. For some reason Ferncliff was closed when I got there, and I could just hear Joan laughing from behind the fence. I went to three different gates and I am sure I heard laughter at each one. But I went across the street and paid a visit to Anne Bancroft and then down the road to see Helen Hayes. Glenda Farrell was wonderfully located at West Point, where my room was, but finding a white stone in white snow wasn't easy either.

I stopped by the nursing home where Van Johnson resided but, well... the people there must really hate their jobs because they were pretty rude. I simply asked if they could tell me where he is buried so I can put down some flowers and they said, "He isn't." And gave me a really stupid look. The story I got was that there was no next of kin, just someone who was handling the estate and he is at some funeral home. After going there I told my husband don't ever put me in a nursing home. And we need to update our wills.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Road Trip, Part One

Back in January, my friend Tracy took a road trip to the east coast, on a hunt for all things classic Hollywood, including some Montgomery family genealogy. I bugged her to put a small trip report together, and here it is:

Part One

My trip up north was a semi-success, but no complaints. I was on a mission to find Bob, or at least some part of Bob. On my last day at Green-Wood Cemetery, I thought I had hit the jackpot. Four broken nails, some choice words muttered under my breath, I came back with the Barney/Montgomery family plot. And a few good leads for the next time.

I left my hotel quite early to make the trek into Brooklyn, which was an adventure in itself. As I came up to the gates of this cemetery, I was totally awestruck. It has to be the biggest cemetery I have been yet. Fortunately, they have a handy computer where you can look up where you need to go. Keeping in mind that not all cemeteries are in nice neat little rows, and of course, no GPS data, it took a considerable amount of time. I counted steps from three different markers and kept coming to the same stone, but no Montgomery on it. I decided to give that one a rest and look for the Martha A.B. Montgomery I had found, she was conveniently hidden in some shrubs, and she wasn't the toddler daughter of Bob either. I went to the front office and met with Theresa and exchanged information. Voila! Out came the books and we were in business. No Bob, no daughter, no brother, but Bob's mother Mary W. Barney and Henry Sr. Just they were never added on the stone. I decided there should be a law about adding names to stones. We got into a discussion as to what it says on the cemetery card as opposed to the articles that ran in the NY Times. Theresa was fabulous in looking up cremation records for Bob or relatives and she had no idea that the people in that plot were related to Bob and Elizabeth.

By 4pm I was out of time, and the pearly gates were closing, so I zipped back to 24397 to take some photos. I was pretty much on cloud 9 too but bummed that I wouldn't be able to make the new leads come to life until my next trip. Sitting in 5pm traffic in Manhattan made me forget any disappointment I had.

Green-Wood Cemetery

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Robert Montgomery Comes to Town

From the New York Times, May 5, 1980. A little bit of a look into the life...

Source: CM Staff Researcher Tracy. And speaking of Tracy, watch for a report on CM next week about her east-coast road trip to find classic Hollywood stars.