Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Bob and Walter Out On The Town ... Really?

Photo Caption:  5/5/1947  Donna Atwood, star of the Ice-Capades of 1947, spent intermission time visiting with Hollywood stars who turned out for opening night at the Pan Pacific Auditorium ... got the undivided attention of Walter Pidgeon and Robert Montgomery when she stopped to visit with them.

QUESTION:  Okay, I can see Bob at the ice capades, sort of.  I mean, it could be a family night out, he's there with Betty and the kids.  And then some public relations guy pulls him away to spend time with a good-looking 22-year-old.  Tough job, eh, Bob? 

But, Walter?  Ya' know, I have never thought of Walter Pidgeon as being an ice skating kind of guy.  I mean, I can see he and Bob at a cocktail party, enjoying some of Walter's infamous bawdy limericks.  But, an evening watching ice skating?  Really? 

And we'll never know the true story of Bob, Walter and the pretty, young lady ...

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Were We Ever So Young

Photos taken from The Life of Robert Montgomery, a small paperback published in 1932 and basically a biographical article with plenty of photos, mostly stills from his movies.  There are a few photos of Bob off-screen, the two below both priceless. 

Bob at 16 and already the impeccable dresser.  The high white collar with tie, the watch fob.  A tall lad it would appear, a big hit with the girls I'm sure. 

                                            Bob at 16

It's eight years later and Bob is now appearing in his last Broadway play.  (He will direct and produce plays beginning in the 1940s, but never act in any.  Wonder why.)  Possession opened in October, 1928, and Bob was on the train to Hollywood that January.  It was simply Mr. Montgomery's impeccable (like that word) timing that he finds a measure of success on Broadway the same time talkies demand young talent with good voices.  And such a nice voice it was...

                    Bob and Edna Hibbard in Possession (1928)

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Oh, Shuckie-Darns!!**

Sorry, folks.  Not your normal post for today.  I received this lovely notice from Photobucket.com advising I am not able to use photos I have uploaded to my account on this blog site ... without paying them this outrageous sum.  I truly do not understand why I should have to pay to use my own photos on my own blog.  However, I do understand how a business could think differently than me and overrule any objections that I may have!  And we know who "wins" in these situations. 

I'll do a regular post Thursday, I have a few photos not on my Photobucket account.  Just not in the right mood tonight. 

** (Shuckie-Darns:  A quaint mid-20th century expression used in polite company, replacing  the more common "Oh, ****!) 

Friday, July 14, 2017

In Case You Haven't Heard ...

The WBShop.com is having a Christmas in July sale.  Most of their DVDs are on sale for 4 for $44. Great time to add to your Bob collection!  The sale is on through Tuesday, July 18th.

 You really need to have this one in your collection!

Thursday, July 13, 2017

I Think I'm Running Out of "Clever" Headings ...

Back to the post of a week ago ... there was a second lot of photos I purchased, this one all Bobs!  Once again not all the photos were treasures (for example, deteriorating stills from Eye Witness), but there were a number of great finds in my eyes.  The photo below may be showing its age, but it is such a lovely, unusual shot of Bob. 

                                               Bob in 1933

It is by Hurrell and a number of great photos came out of the same session.  The most famous one is below, the over-inked copy available as a poster from various outlets.  Not to complain about it, just to in part explain the difference in the two photos.  I happen to have the poster print framed and hanging on the wall above my computer desk.  He is just such a gorgeous dude at this time ... handsome, confident with just a touch of a smirk, as if to say:  "Can you believe how much these people are paying me for this?" 

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Salt Shaker - Leading Cause of Bloody Noses

Just in case you've actually never seen it, or would simply like to have a copy of it for your library, TCM is showing Mr. & Mrs. Smith (1941) tomorrow, July 12th, at 9:45 p.m. PDT (12:45 a.m. EDT). 

Smith is a fun movie and whereas Alfred Hitchcock is listed as the director, I have never thought of him as doing little more than saying Action and Cut when it came to Bob's and Carole's scenes.  They were, after all, two of the best comedic actors in the movies and Mr. Hitchcock was not a master of American comedies. 

               Bob and Carole Lombard in Mr. & Mrs. Smith (1941)

Best scenes (per this totally unbiased reviewer):  David and Ann return to Mama Lucy's for a romantic dinner (David: "I'd give five bucks to see that cat take a sip of that soup."); and the nightclub scene wherein David tries everything to avoid Ann's seeing him with his, errr, not classy date.  Bob's bit re giving himself a bloody nose with a salt shaker ... absolute perfection.

Thursday, July 06, 2017

Such a Gorgeous Sight to See!

So I am strolling through picture lots that are occasionally up for auction on emovieposter.com. (If you haven't heard of the site, do check it out.  You can trust them, no hit-or-miss like on eBay.)  Some of the lots are huge, I concentrate on lots from the 30s to 50s which are generally smaller and look for gems --- think Bob movies. 

I had begun checking out lot #6m262, 30 stills from movies of the 30s and 40s.   All 30 photos are shown in an overview ... and I see it.  Bob's face jumps out of a sea of stills.  It's a still from Hell Below (1933).  Well, make my day!  I put a bid in, won the lot for only $17 and rejoiced.**  Such a deal. 

Such a gorgeous sight to see ...

** Of course there is the problem of dealing with the other 29 photos.  Anybody want a photo of Fred MacMurray in 1945's Captain Eddie?  No?  How about Fibber McGee and Molly in Here We Go Again?  I have such deals for you!

Tuesday, July 04, 2017

Have a Fantastic Fourth!

So, let's go out and do our part!!!  I'll have a bonfire going in my trusty grill to barbecue some pork ribs.  That'll be after a couple hours in the pool so I'll be cool enough to handle standing over a fire in 100+ heat!  Doesn't sound like the most rational thing to do, but it is a tradition, part of many good memories.  With more to come!  Hopefully for you as well.  Enjoy.  (Don't forget to display your flag!)

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Good Job, Madge!

Bob and Madge Evans ... such a handsome, or rather Gorgeous couple!  Bob is 28, Madge 23 ... both at the top of their game, in the looks department.  There just weren't that many women around who could hold their ground in a photo with the 28-year-old Mr. Montgomery.  I mean, even his hair is gorgeous!  Good job, Madge. 

                            Bob and Madge in Hell Below (1933)

And Happy Birthday to Madge, born July 1, 1909. 

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Who The Heck Is Beatrice Halstead?

So, it is the fall of 1938.  You wrote a letter to your idol (Bob, of course!) early that summer and never heard from him.  Sigh.  But, WAIT!  There's a letter in the mailbox for you and it's from Culver City, Calif.  Could it be? 

You flip it over, and there it is, Robert Montgomery's return address!  Wow!  It has actually happened.  You have finally received a response from your hero. Wow!  You rush to track down Mom's letter opener, not wanting to damage the envelope, because you know you will want to save it forever. 

You catch your breath, open the letter on the matching stationary and begin to read:  "Dear Mr. Mank: ..."

Who in the heck is Beatrice Halstead?  Bob is vacationing and you don't know when he will return?  How much vacation does he get, anyway?  Oh, well, a letter on his stationary ... can't wait to show the gang!

(For the record:  Bob finished filming Three Loves Has Nancy on August 4th and then vacationed in England, returning to L.A. on Sept. 16th.  Filming on his next movie, Fast and Loose, began Dec. 16th.  So, do you think Beatrice did not really know Bob's plans?  Hmmm....)

(For the record II:  Bob hired Beatrice Halstead to handle his fan mail at the beginning of his career and she continued as his secretary at least throughout the 1930s.)

Thursday, June 22, 2017

The Very, Very High Temps Continue

... and that means another monstrous headache.  Moving to Alaska sounds good right now.  Hey, might run into Bob as he floats by on his large chunk of ice.  (Mr. Montgomery had to have enjoyed posing for this one, as did everyone on the set, I'd imagine!)

                                 Petticoat Fever (1936)

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

And It's Not Even Summer Yet!!!

We set a record here in beautiful Bakersfield ... 109 degrees, beating out the 107 set in 1947.  It is a record I would prefer not to have experienced first hand.  I get headaches whenever the temperature exceeds 103.  I have a whopper at present. 

Ever so fortunately, we have a pool.  A pool that is surrounded with umbrellas because the direct sun would parboil me in a matter of minutes.  Mr. Montgomery resided in Beverly Hills, which explains the lack of umbrellas.  Otherwise, you might mistake his backyard with mine.  Well, except for the mansion.  And a gardener tending to the flowers on the hillside.  And the presence of a gorgeous man dangling his feet in the water.  Sigh. 

                             Bob at home, summer of 1938

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Do You Remember This Song In The Movie?

I don't.  Don't really think of They Were Expendable (1945) as having songs in it.  "To the End of the End of the World" ... doesn't sound like a song you would be humming as you left the theater!  Whatever, it does make for a nifty music sheet cover. 

By the way, a copy is available on eBay for only $194.95 ... My copy cost $4.95.  Wow, did I ever save money!

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Back in Bob's Very, Very Slender Days

June Walker, whose birthday is Wednesday, June 14th, originated the character of Lorelei Lee in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes on Broadway.  You know, the Marilyn Monroe role.  Hmmm ... I never quite saw that.

                      Bob and June Walker in War Nurse (1930)

Anyway, in the midst of doing a little surfing on the net, I ran across this photo of June.  Okay, the blonde hair, different hairstyle and makeup, a few years younger ... okay, I can see it. 

Thursday, June 08, 2017

While the Fans Are Still Alive to Enjoy It ....

Two beautiful people, he in a tuxedo and she in gown and fur, with aperitifs in hand looking longingly into each other's eyes ...

Oh, would somebody PLEASE release Letty Lynton on DVD!!  TCM, the WB, Criterion ... Hey, Netflix, you've got the coin!  A remastered movie added to your immense collection would be a nice touch, certainly a lot less expensive then those mini-series you are churning out.  Just think about it.  Please. 

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

He Just Looked Great in a Uniform!

This is a photo taken by the Navy on Bob's return home from serving in the Pacific.  And the difference between a Navy portrait of Bob and an MGM portrait of same is ... MAKEUP!  Makeup and lighting can do wonders for a middle-aged actor, but Bob doesn't need it here.  So you can see his predominant five-o'clock shadow and his double chin, so what.  This is one handsome 39-year-old dude. 

               Lt. Commander Henry Montgomery, Jr., May, 1943

Sunday, June 04, 2017

June 4th, Roz's Day...Looking Great, As Always!

                         Rosalind Russell in Girl Rush (1955)

Thursday, June 01, 2017

Still a Beautiful Young Man

I became an "official" contributor on the blog five years ago.  It was May 27th, 2012, when Carrie finally convinced me that my doing the blog would actually work out.  Carrie is a great convincer. 

And after five years of reading/writing/watching/listening to Robert Montgomery, I continue to think that he was a beautiful young man who grew into being a most admirable man.  Complicated, yes.  A man who did not suffer fools, yes.  But, amazing in his accomplishments, the extent of his talents.  Would so loved to have met the man.  Shake his hand and thank him for the many, many enjoyable hours I have spent with him, if in spirit only. 

And thank you for giving me the excuse to do this.  For the most part, the blog is great fun, although there are those times when my mind freezes and it's a real challenge to come up with a post.  But, fortunately, having such a fascinating subject saves the day.  Thanks, again, for checking in. 

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

He Was What a Cowboy Star Should Look Like

                 Jack Holt, b. May 31, 1888, d. January 18, 1951

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Quick, Which Navy Bob Is For Real?

                  Hint:  Captain Henry Montgomery, Jr, U.S.N.R.

Do hope you all have wonderful plans for the holiday weekend, and that they all come true.  A great time to hug a veteran and say thanks for their service.  

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Lot of Good People Born in May

Besides Bob ...
    May 15 - Constance Cummings, Bob's co-star in Haunted
                  Honeymoon (1940)
    May 17 - Maureen O'Sullivan, Bob's co-star in Hide-Out (1934)
                        Lucky shows his farming skills to Pauline

   May 20 - Jimmy Stewart, well, just because!
   May 23 - James Gleason, Bob's very able supporting actor
                   in Here Comes Mr. Jordan (1941)

             Mr. Gleason could steal a scene under any circumstance

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Happy Birthday, Mr. Montgomery!

It's May 5, 1958.  The soon-to-be 54-year-old Mr. Montgomery is vacationing in Venice.  A photographer captures Bob as he's feeding birds in St. Mark's Square.  Looks like Bob needs that overcoat for more than warmth!  The bird perching on Bob's head ... too much.  Bob is obviously enjoying himself ... love the squinting eyes. 

It has been a year since the last season of Robert Montgomery Presents.  Bob has begun the lengthy process of developing his movie project, The Gallant Hours, his last association with the movie industry.  He continues to be President Eisenhower's media advisor.  In fact, he will have lunch with Ike in his suite at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City on May 20th.  Classy way to celebrate one's birthday.

And Bob and Buffy continue to travel extensively, primarily in Europe.  From skiing in Switzerland to playing baccarat in Monte Carlo to hunting in Africa, Bob enjoyed the life his successes accorded him.  Enjoy yourself, Mr. Montgomery.  You earned it. 

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Now That's One Darling Smile!

Ah, the lucky young British fan who was able to purchase this fan magazine, knowing they would soon have a photo of the new heartthrob from the States.  Would it be pinned on the bedroom wall, or perhaps placed in a frame for display on her bedside table so she could fall asleep gazing into those eyes, lost in his smile.

At the time this photo was taken, Bob was 26 years old.  In just over a year since his first MGM movie was released, Bob has been paired with three of the top actresses of the time (Crawford, Shearer and Garbo).  From hustling for a role of any kind, to finding himself in the upper echelon of the Hollywood star system ... a very, very meteoric rise to fame.  Yeah, I'd be smiling, too. 

Friday, May 19, 2017

What's 46 Years of a Life, A Blink of the Eye

It's 1960, Bob arrives in Chicago to attend the GOP National Convention.  President Eisenhower will be giving a televised speech, so, of course, Bob is there to assist.  It is a role he enjoyed, along with the excuse to wear his straw hat.  Now, why he needed a coat in late July in Chicago ... Anyway, the broad smile matches the boy within.  Very much like the smile on the young man below. 

                                  Robert Montgomery at 56
Henry Montgomery, Jr. is 10 years old.  The Bob we know is already well established.  That's one nifty outfit:  plus fours, starched white collar and tie, a most impressive hat, watch fob, his own camera ... the best-dressed kid on the block for sure.   And one big smile, our Bob, for sure. 

                               Henry Montgomery, Jr. at 10

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Just Two Kids Sharing a Laugh

Bob did a lot of charitable work, from being a guest speaker at fundraisers to chairing several charities, particularly in the 1950s.  On January 12, 1951, Bob was principal speaker at an organizational meeting of The Lighthouse, a charity for the blind, where he met five-year-old Chip.  From the smile on Bob's face, I would say he was well-rewarded for his efforts. 

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

The Top Federal Tax Rate on Income in 1952 Was 92 % ... and Bob is Still Laughing!

It's January 2, 1952.  Bob is promoting the third season of Robert Montgomery Presents.  The opening show is based on a book by John O'Hara and will star Thomas Mitchell.  Bob is once again a great success in the entertainment business.  He has passed through a difficult time in both his career and his private life, and come out on top.  Not bad, Mr. Montgomery.  The gentlemen may be posing for the camera, but Bob's laugh is real. Yeah, that's one happy man.

                        John O'Hara, Bob and Thomas Mitchell

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

And What Was Bob Doing 74 Years Ago Today ...

Being back stateside after a tour in the South Pacific, Lt. Commander Henry Montgomery, Jr. appears almost giddy.  Hey, what's a month in the hospital with a severe case of dengue fever, if it means being sent home to recuperate.  It's May 16, 1943.  Bob has been assigned to duty in Seattle, where he stays until August, before being assigned to Terminal Island in Los Angeles.  Yeah, that is one happy sailor. 

Monday, May 15, 2017

It's Bob's Birthday Week - 7 Great Smiles!

May 21st is Bob's birthday.  For this year's week-long celebration, I thought I would zero in on my favorite Montgomery attribute - one great smile!  Seldom have I enjoyed doing the blog more than this evening, going through Bob photos to use for the week's entries.  Narrowing them down to 7, now that was a bit of a challenge.  Hope you enjoy them as much as I have.

This is Bob taking in a polo match at the Riviera Country Club in Los Angeles on December 21, 1931.  The young Mr. Montgomery is, as always, superbly dressed for the occasion.  To think men used to wear a suit and tie to a sporting event ... how 20th Century.


Thursday, May 11, 2017

One Could Only Guess Whose Head Bob Wished Were in the Box

Night Must Fall was released April 30, 1937.  A mere 80 years ago.  And after all those years, it is still so enjoyable to watch.  I do believe that is the definition of a "good" movie.  

Bob put a lot of effort into his role, taking full advantage of one of the few good roles in his career.  I just love watching him in this.  He is totally into the character, a different man even when simply standing.  And the facial expressions ... Danny with his mind running a mile a minute, thinking darker and darker thoughts.  Love it.

     Rosalind Russell, Bob, Matthew Boulton and the infamous hat box
It's just so irksome that MGM (and yes, that dastardly Louis B.) just put him right back into roles Bob could do in his sleep.  I mean, Bob is nominated for Best Actor for his first serious role ... to think what more he could have accomplished if only ...

And there are all the great promotional shots of Bob and Roz, in character as Danny and Olivia.  Even the stills are first rate.  The photo below is a favorite of mine.  It's the mirror ... two Bobs to enjoy!

                               Bob, Dame May Whitty and Roz

Tuesday, May 09, 2017

Just Glad This One is Over

I do believe Bob, here portraying the character Matt Saxon in The Saxon Charm (1948), has captured how I feel at this moment in time.  I woke up with a headache, which I still retain.  A cold/allergy attack is beating me down.  And my internet connection has been going in and out while trying to do this entry.  (Spectrum bought out the local cable company recently ... the rates have gone up and the service is down ... big surprise!) 

Looking for the bright side ... I have had this photo for some time, finally able to use it.  It's the tie.  Love it.   And a matching handkerchief ... so Bob. 


Thursday, May 04, 2017

Bob & Three Starlets ... Life Could Be So Tough

Yes ... I am sure Bob spent his time riding a bicycle along with three starlets on the studio grounds.  And, I am sure Bob, along with all the contract players, just loved the publicity part of their jobs.  Big stars had to do it, as well as the lowly starlets and young Bobs-to-be.

This photo was taken in 1933, used as a publicity shot for Night Flight.  The three young ladies are Jean Parker, Irene Hervey and Jean Howard.  I found it rather surprising that all three had successful lives, an unusual happenstance for young contract players. 

Jean Parker was very busy as a supporting player in movies in the 30s and 40s, switching over to TV and Broadway in the 50s.  Irene Hervey was also a successful actress, keeping busy into the 1970s.  She married Alan Jones, and was the mother of singer Jack Jones.  Jean Howard basically quit the movies in the 30s, and found her success as the socialite spouse of super agent turned powerful producer, Charles K. Feldman.  She later published a book, Jean Howard's Hollywood, a photographic memoir of her life in the 40s and 50s, featuring stars and other famous people of the era.  And all three ladies lived very long lives, Jean lived to 90 and both Irene and Jean to 89.  Yes, three fortunate starlets, all starting their careers riding with Bob.  Not bad. 

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Bob, Joan, Bill, George and a Camera

George Hurrell produced a large number of promotional stills for The Last of Mrs. Cheney (1937), featuring the stars; Joan Crawford, William Powell and Bob.  There is always the challenge for the photographer to come up with new poses, and Hurrell came up with some, for the most part, interesting ones.  I personally like the first photo below.  The three stars enjoyed working together on the movie, and the good feelings appear to have carried over to the photo session.

And I like the Bob and Joan interaction in this one.  Not sure exactly what Bill's role is.  I'm guessing he's thinking something along the lines of, "It's almost over, I've done stranger things in my career."

Now this one....what exactly is Bob doing watching Joan and Bill embrace?  I mean, he has his hands on her, encouraging her.  The photo itself I like, just try not to study it too much!

Whatever, they are all great photos.  The combination of a great photographer and three photogenic stars just can't be beaten.  All that talent in one room.  How nifty. 

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Former Guest Hunk 101st Celebration

One handsome dude!

                  Glenn Ford, b. May 1, 1916, d. August 30, 2006

                    And not that bad looking as he aged ... Rrrff!

How can one not like Glenn Ford.  Look at that smile.  Don't you just want to hug and take him home to meet your mother? 

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

The Eyes Have It

Bob made five movies with Madge Evans, they were a great pairing.  Those five movies produced a lengthy list of great promotional shots of the couple.  For Lovers Courageous (1932), the shots are of a young, adorable couple.  A year later, for Hell Below, it is a much more mature couple that is captured in some downright sexy photos.  In the photo below, notice how their bodies are intertwined, but they are gazing away from each other.   Yeah, they are past the stage of long, yearning looks into each other's eyes.  Could that be just a bit of a smirk on Bob's face?  

                   Bob with Madge Evans in Hell Below (1932)

Friday, April 21, 2017

Happy Blue-Eyed Friday!!

Mucho thanks to Debbie for sharing ...

Thursday, April 20, 2017

144 Monovale Dr ... Nice Place to Call Home

Can you imagine growing up in a house like this??    Liz and Skip had to have had fun exploring their very large home.  And, of course, there was the pool with a pool house, off to the left of the picture, along with 1.63 acres to explore without leaving the yard.  (Do you sense a tad bit of envy ...)

   Yr Built, 1937, although appears it was first occupied in 1938.  Initial cost of $25,000.  Depending on the source, it's current market value is as high as $25 million!

   It has 9,756 sq. ft., including seven bedrooms and seven bathrooms, with a total of 25 rooms.

   Bob sold it in the 1940s, part of his downsizing because of his military service in WWII.  Do not have a year when he sold it (Do you know?).  I do know he was living on Bellagio Rd in Bel Air in 1947.

   Franchot Tone owned the property in the 1950s and 1960s, may have purchased it directly from Bob, but not sure.  That would make sense, could not have been that many buyers in the market for a Hollywood mansion in the 1940s.  Understand Liz tried to buy it from Tone in the 1960s, after marrying Asher, but Tone declined.  Guess you really can't go home again! 

   And the next owner of record.....ta da.....Elvis Presley!!  He bought it in 1970, Priscilla stayed on for a while after their divorce and Elvis sold it in 1975.   One can only guess what Bob must have thought of having the home he designed and so loved, pass into the hands of a rock and roll star!

    Telly Savalas may or may not have been the next owner.  I have read conflicting reports.

    The current owner is the Meehan family (as in co-founder of Redkin Hair Products).  They purchased it back in the 1990s, I believe.

It really is a beautiful home.  Bob and Betty had good tastes. 

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

A Smile To Make Anyone's Day!