What d'ya think ... a tad bit of likeness to Bob? Maybe the mouth, or the eyes, or the sideburns???? I guess not, but the young Richard Greene was a good looking lad, indeed. A few decades back, one of my local TV stations showed 20th Century Fox movies late on Saturdays, saw all the Tyrone Power/Don Ameche/Betty Grable movies numerous times. Stanley and Livingstone (1939) starring Spencer Tracy was shown a few times as well, which was good because I got to see Mr. Greene in his beautiful youth. And the British accent ... well, need we say more.
Nancy Kelly and Richard Greene in Submarine Patrol (1938)
Mr. Greene's promising Hollywood career was shortened when he returned to England to fight in WWII. I mean, really, fighting for your country in a time of great need. (How quaint that must seem to today's acting profession.) After the war he was type cast as a swashbuckler and happily turned to TV in the 1950s. Ironically, it was one more swashbuckling (love that word) role that brought him his greatest fame and wealth, as the lead in the British series, The Adventures of Robin Hood (1955-1960). The series was also successful in the U. S. market, being shown on independent TV channels for some time. It was basically a children's program with poor production values, but, hey, it was a chance for me to see the now handsome, middle-aged Mr. Greene. And the voice and accent ... still great.
Bob traveled a lot of miles in support of the Republican Party. Here he is in Minneapolis, guest speaker at the Convention of the General Federation of Women's Clubs, May 15, 1952. This was during the years of Robert Montgomery Presents, broadcast live on Monday nights. Giving a speech in Minneapolis on a Thursday night and being back in New York City to prepare for his show displays a real dedication to the cause.
Bob was part of the "Draft Eisenhower" movement, making at least two trips to France to meet with Eisenhower, who was serving as the NATO Supreme Commander. Eisenhower took some convincing to run for the presidency and did not resign his commission until May 31, 1952, at which point he began campaigning full time. He was nominated at the Republican Convention held July 7 - 11, 1952. That's right folks, a campaign that lasted all of five weeks!! If only that were the case now.
Now, I do not mean to make it sound like Bob had a significant role in Eisenhower's decision to run for the Presidency, just want to show the extent of Bob's involvement in Republican politics. What I can say for sure is that the ladies of the Fed. of Women's Clubs were quite happy to meet and shake hands with our Bob.
This is a promotional photo made for June Bride (1948). I have run across a half-dozen photos from this same sitting, some with the blinds opened or closed and one with just the clouds that can be seen through the blinds. I fell in love with this one as soon as I saw it for sale on ebay recently, paying a tidy sum to add it to my collection. I had never seen it before, not even as a photo in a magazine. It's in good shape for a photo of its age, just the not uncommon small corner bend and scotch tape on the back reinforcing a crease on the outer age of the photo. It has the photographer's stamp, always of interest to me. I was very happy with it, eager to share it with everyone via the blog.
So, why am I talking about my collection and the particulars of the photo? Let me tell you my sad story. I purchased the photo on January 20th, received it on the 26th. Being a Bob fanatic, there's always a bit of a high for me when I obtain a "new" Bob, particularly one as good and as rare as this one. That's why when a few days ago, I ran across "my" photo being sold on ebay ... REALLY?? Someone makes a copy of "my" photo and immediately turns around and has a cheap copy of it on ebay? Aarrggghhhh!!
Yes, I know the photo falls under the public domain, making a copy of the photo off of ebay is not illegal. And, unfortunately, the vendor from whom I purchased it did not put their stamp on the copy they used on the listing. So, a clean copy was there for the taking. BUT........ I wrote a note to the vendor now selling the cheap copies, suggesting they could have at least waited a while to give me time to fully enjoy my new possession. They defended themselves with the "public doman" bit and said they had had it for sale several times before. It was even suggested that mine probably wasn't an original either, as in "what's the harm?"
I have been collecting everything Bob for about six years now. I have shelves full of photo binders and Itoya art profolios. 99.7% of the items used on the blog are from that collection (I've reused a few of Carrie's photos!) I troll the internet on a daily basis looking for "new" Bobs. I have never run across this photo before. And to infer that I do not know an original from a new, cheapo copy ..... ohhhhh, please!
If you would like a copy of this photo, I would be quite happy to send you a high resolution scan of it so you can download and print it. Please don't waste your hard-earned money on a cheapo copy offered on ebay.
Well, it has been ages since last seeing Bob with his mustache. Still brings a smile. Have you ever noticed that his pants are always perfectly tailored to just reach the top of his shoes? A gentleman does not break the crease in his pants. How gauche that would be.
Bob and Marion Davies sitting down in Ever Since Eve (1937).
Marion and Bob standing up.
Bob and Marion sitting down.
And this is about as entertaining as the movie gets. Eve was Marion's last movie, which this movie guaranteed. Marion is 40 years old and simply looks her age, way past being able to play the young femme fatale. Both she and Bob were unhappy about being cast in this almost B movie.
Bob had just completed Night Must Fall, a movie he had had to fight long and hard for. Eve was the studio's payback for the trouble he caused. Hoping for some more serious roles, he was once again cast as the young playboy, although Bob is 33 and looking his age. There is a reason all three of the above stills are mid-range shots: both stars are mature human beings, not the ever so youthful people that were the standard of beauty and handsomeness for the time.
Now, I wouldn't say there was no reason to watch the movie. I could never say that about a Montgomery film. Bob isn't embarrassing himself by putting in a poor performance, but the zeal is missing. And a 33-year-old Bob is still a very handsome man, as is a 43-year-old Bob, a 53-year-old Bob ...
As to the 8.0 rating by IMDB ... if you read the user reviews on the site, the high ratings come from Marion Davies super fans. That may explain the 8.0 in part. The rest is pure mystery. Night Must Fall gets a 7.3 rating, as does They Were Expendable. The Man in Possession comes in at 7.2 and Here Comes Mr. Jordan at 7.3. In no way is Eve better or even comparable to these movies. I do believe IMDB needs to check its calculations, 8.0 is just so out of line.