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 ...)


FACTOIDS:
   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!


                     

Thursday, April 13, 2017

What a Hunk!

... all 6' 4" of him.  Great baritone voice.  Great smile.  Yeah, you could call him the Clark Gable of 1950s musicals.  A decidedly different type from Misters Astaire and Kelly! 

Howard Keel was born on this day in 1919.  That makes him 35 when he starred in Seven Brides for Seven Sisters in 1954.  Rrrff!  A great role in a great movie.  What a hunk.  The previous year, he and Kathryn Grayson were superb as the battling duo in Kiss Me Kate (1953). 

           Howard Keel in Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954)

Flash forward 30 years and Mr. Keel, now in his 60s, rules Dallas on TV, being sexy for the "mature" ladies across the country.  He was no longer wearing tights, but that great smile was still there.  Rrrff!   

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

1941 Was Just Too Good a Year for Movies!

Back in the day, Life magazine would do a feature on a recent movie release.  In the August 18th, 1941, issue, the featured movie was Here Comes Mr. Jordan, a delightful movie worth the attention.  I mean, the cast was great:  Bob as the lovable boxer and the movie's hero; James Gleason as Max Corkle, Joe's trainer and music critic; Evelyn Keyes as Bette***, our heroine; Edward Everett Horton as the ever-frustrated messenger; Rita Johnson and John Emery as the delightful conniving murderers; and Claude Rains as the mysterious Mr. Jordan --- my, but wasn't he a great actor.  A great script and story, winning Oscars for both. And five more nominations:  Best Picture, Best Director (Alexander Hall), Best Actor (Our Bob!), Supporting Actor (Mr. Gleason), and Best Cinematography, Black and White (Joseph Walker).  Not bad.  And Bob had to go to Columbia Pictures to get a good role.  MGM certainly did waste the many talents of Mr. Montgomery.  Such a shame. 

The article contains a brief write-up of the movie and then tells the story in 16 captioned photos.  WARNING:  Spoilers abound! 





***Bob had the heroine's name changed to Bette as a tribute to his wife.  How sweet can you get!

Thursday, April 06, 2017

Could I Have Your Autograph Mr. Montgomery, Please?

There's just something special about having someone's autograph, particularly Bob's, of course.  After all, he did have this photo in his hands, and now I have it in mine.  Hey, it's as close as I can get to him.  (And, yes, I would have been a shameless stalker back in the day!) 

             Bob as Joe Pendleton in Here Comes Mr. Jordan (1941)

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

Best Birthday Wishes for Ms Davis

Tomorrow, April 5th, is the birthday of Bette Davis, former co-star and sparring partner of Mr. Montgomery.  The photo below is one great example of professionalism offered by two actors who just did not get along.  Bob and Bette looking longingly into each others eyes?  Now that's acting! 

                       Bob and Bette Davis in June Bride (1948)

Now this is more like it.  The photo caption states they were not really arguing, just going over their roles for the movie ... right. 


Whatever, I am glad they overcame their differences enough to make the surprisingly enjoyable movie.  Bob's drinking scene with Tom Tully is simply priceless. 

Have you been watching Feud on FX?  As with anything to do with Hollywood, there is a lot of blurring of faction and fiction.  As in so what, it's great fun.  Susan Sarandon appears to be channeling Ms. Davis.  Jessica Lange has the more difficult role as Joan Crawford.  It is possible to characterize Joan's appearance, but her personality?  I have a difficult time imagining her as a real person, but mostly see images of characters she played on the screen.  Perhaps that's just me.  Love Kathy Bates' portrayal of Joan Blondell, one classy broad.  And Stanley Tucci is having way too much fun portraying Jack Warner. 

Friday, March 31, 2017

To "Bobbie", From Norma

I don't normally plug listings on eBay, but ...  There are always exceptions to every rule!  And this is an exceptional photo.  Do read the vendor's write-up re the background of the photo, just priceless. 

George-Hurrell-Norma-Shearer-portrait-signed

Will have to watch this from the sidelines (unless I win the lottery!), but hope this beautiful treasure finds a new home where it will continue to be loved by its owner. 

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Yes, Debonairness is a Real Word

The fourth Bob movie showing on TCM this month is The Last of Mrs. Cheyney (1937), tomorrow  at 9:45 EDT/6:45 PDT a.m. T'is not the greatest movie, but you do get to watch three great pros do their thing.  There are just too few scenes with Bob and Bill Powell.  Would like to have seen a movie with just the two as main leads, all that debonairness on the same screen ... lordy.

        Bob, Joan and Bill in The Last of Mrs. Cheyney (1937)              

TCM is showing seven Crawford vehicles on Friday, perhaps a belated birthday marathon.  Right after Cheney, they will be showing The Women (1939), featuring the slightly different trio of Joan, Norma Shearer and Roz Russell.  A great movie, of course, all those women with their claws at their sharpest.  And Roz stealing scenes like mad!

                      Joan, Norma and Roz in The Women (1939)

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

The Problem With Clippings ...

--- they make you miss not having the original photo! 

                              My, but check out all those curls.

                     Egads, is that a scuff mark on his left shoe?!

                                     "Smirking?  Who, me?"