Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Desperate hours (1955)

Bob may not have gotten an Oscar, but he did receive both an Emmy for Robert Montgomery Presents (Best Dramatic Series) and a Tony for The Desperate Hours (Best Direction of a Dramatic Play).  Nothin' shabby about our Bob.

The February, 1955 issue of Theatre Arts has an article by Bob, and features photos of Director Bob reading through the script with the cast of The Desperate Hours. The photos are small and not the best quality ... sorry, there's not much about the play out there.  The man with Bob is Joseph Hayes, who adapted his book for the play.  Ahhh, the 50s ... men in suits and smoking cigarettes in a meeting.  Do note the pack of cigarettes are Lucky Strikes, of course. 

The photo below shows Bob reading to the assembled cast.  If you squint your eyes, you can make out Karl Malden (far left), Paul Newman (light-colored sweater) and Bob (far right). 

Paul Newman:  A Life by Shawn Levy discusses the young, liberal,  Method actor Newman and his experience with conservative, traditional actor Mr. Montgomery:   ... Newman peppered Montgomery with inquiries about his character's motivations; questioning the logic of a stage direction to move around a table, he was told testily, "Damn it!  Because there's no place else to go!"  "Mr. Montgomery and I never saw eye to eye on any particular thing," Newman confessed.  "He's a very bright guy, but we had personality clashes."  You think! 

Monday, October 29, 2012

A Petticoat Fever "Candid"

Bob smoking a pipe, carrying a gun and wearing mukluks ... what more could one want.  

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Bob at his Snorkiest

Ritzy, sharp, fashionable, elegant ... sounds like young Bob to me. 

Ross Verlag postcards are snorky as well.  The head of German actress Lilian Harvey surrounded by soft, white fur ... eye-catching. 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Boby Language 101

Could Bette have backed away from Bob any further without falling off her chair?

Friday, October 19, 2012

Mr. Montgomery and the President

From January, 1954 to the end of Dwight Eisenhower's presidency in January, 1961, Bob served as Ike's advisor on television and film matters in an official, but non-salaried position.  Including the time spent on active duty in the U.S.N.R. during WWII (for which he volunteered and, due to his age, would not have had to serve), that is over 11 years of public service with only his wartime navy salary as pay.  A rather impressive feat for a man of his time, virtually unheard of in today's world.  (And this does not include his time as an inactive member in the Navy Reserves from 1945 and on into the 1960s.)

As his presidency wound down, a thankful Eisenhower did do a few things for Bob.  From the official appointment log of Ike, a few of those thank you's.

June 12 to June 26, 1960 - Ike and his entourage visit the Philippines, Taiwan and Korea, followed by five days in Honolulu.  Bob went along.  There were no televised speeches.  Ike played a lot of golf in Hawaii.  Bob did not play golf with Ike, but I'm sure he found something to do to occupy his time.

Nov. 7, 1960, 4:25 to 4:39 p.m. - Ike meets with Mr. Robert Montgomery and Mrs. Elizabeth Montgomery Young.

Nov. 30, 1960 - Formal dinner at the White House, attendees included the Honorable and Mrs. Robert Montgomery.

Jan. 16, 1961 - The White House gives a "Stag Dinner" for news reporters, attended by Bob.

Jan. 17, 1961 - Bob assists Ike with his farewell address to the nation given that evening.

Jan. 18, 1961, 5:30 p.m. - The last entry on Eisenhower's appointment log.  Ike gives farewell party for his staff and their secretaries.  There is no list of attendees.  Perhaps I have watched too much Mad Men, but I am guessing everyone had a very good time. 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Spending Time with the Other R.M.

One handsome man.  One handsome couple.  Ray Milland and Jean Peters in It Happens Every Spring (1949).    The third photo ... I think he's doing the Montgomery smirk.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Tales from the Semi-Annual Movie Show

Yessiree, time for me to opine on the movie collectibles show at the local bowling alley over the weekend. Really, I’ve started to attend purely to people watch – there is rarely anything to buy these days.

I must say, the funniest occurrence was seeing an older fellow reading the back of a porn DVD box (do they write plot descriptions on the back)? Anyhow, a minute later, he blurted out to the dealer rather loudly, “how much for Hardcore Somethingorother (I can't remember if it was neighbors or housewives, sorry).”

In all honesty, the shows have turned into bootleg DVD marts. Picking up a copy of “Ray Milland Volume 1,” I noticed that eight or so films are on DVD already (and eight movies on two DVDs . . . the quality must be awesome).  No clue on Vol. 2.  I was really looking for an awesome copy of Skylark – no luck.  If I could also add, apparently there’s no run on Robert Montgomery bootlegs – TV show or otherwise (darn).

The one purchase I seriously considered was a Bisquick recipe book with movie stars from the mid 30s. I think it was the photo of Dick Powell cooking that snagged me, but alas, I didn’t buy.  Joan was also featured, but they didn’t dare show her in an apron.

Seriously, good old memorabilia seems to be getting harder to find. Niches such as sci-fi and horror are the norm, not your low key MGM flick from 1932. I saw 30s stills going from $2 to $10, a lot more reasonable than the online auctions.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Stay Away, He's Mine! Part Deux

                                        Untamed (1929)

Thursday, October 11, 2012

A New (for me) Favorite Photo

                                Robert Montgomery (1930)

Friday, October 05, 2012

Quick ... Where's Bob's Left Hand?

Bob with 19-year-old Vanessa Brown, his co-star in the October 20, 1947 Lux Theater radio adaptation of 13 Rue Madeleine.

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Bob in Color with Clouds

This is a clipping from a 1949 British magazine, photo taken probably in November, 1948.                       

And a photo used on the cover of a  Chicago Tribune supplement, dated November 28, 1948, from the same photo shoot as the one above with a significant color shift.  Guessing the true color is somewhere in between.  Dig the clouds used as a backdrop in the photos.

And, lastly, a third photo from the shoot.  Not in color (well, except for the blue tint), but too nice a photo not to include it.  

Monday, October 01, 2012

Bob in Color Week

There are, unfortunately, not many color photos of Bob.  At least very few that I have seen.  I know he was taking color home movies in the 1930s, so I'm sure there were many color shots of him taken at home.  But, then, they are either lost or squirreled away in someone's collection ... frustratingly not available.  There are a few good photos available, such as the following 1954 Lucky Strike ad.