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!


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. 


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?"

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Happy Birthday, Joan!

Bob and Joan Crawford ... a pairing on the screen that progressed from young and adorable in Untamed (1929) to ever so handsome in The Last of Mrs. Cheyney (1937).  The camera loved both stars and captured a connection between the two that flattered them both.  For the lack of a better description, they simply had "IT" when sharing the screen.   
                                        Untamed (1929)

I have not always been a big fan of Ms. Crawford, but always, always had a great admiration and respect for her.  To come from such a tough environment and, yet, somehow manage to become one of the most famous and highest-paid women in the entire world ... whoa, impressive.  So much determination, drive, hard work, talent and whatever else it took for Lucille LeSeuer of San Antonio, Texas, to become Joan Crawford ... if I had only had 1/10th of that mix!

                              The Last of Mrs. Cheney (1937)

Bob and Joan also co-starred in Our Blushing Brides (1930), Letty Lynton (1932), Forsaking All Others (1934), and No More Ladies (1935).  Hey, Joan's birthday today sounds like a great excuse to watch one of their movies.  Let's see, I could once again strain my eyes watching my blurry copy of Letty Lynton (but oh so worth it!) or, maybe, enjoy the youthful exuberance of Untamed.  Decisions, decisions ... 

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Live, Love and Learn A Little

There are a goodly number of delightful photos featuring Bob, Roz Russell and Robert Benchley that were taken to promo Live, Love and Learn (1937).  The stars appear to be enjoying themselves, a rather rare occurrence for performers doing publicity for their movies, I'd imagine. 

One of my many regrets re Mr. Montgomery is that he never appeared in a color movie, would love to see those blue eyes work their magic in a love scene!  The closest one can get to a Bob movie in color are colorized photos.  They can be interesting, but almost never show Bob with blue eyes, darn it.  Anyway, check out the two photos below.  I am not sure the color is an improvement.  The color of Roz's dress works, sort of, but that pink chair ... yeesch!

Did you notice that the two photos are not the same, besides the color?  I thought they were until I pulled the scans up for this post.  Bob's laughing in the second photo.  Roz has placed her hand on Robert's head, which has lulled slightly towards the camera.  Kinda nifty. 

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Ten Photos of Bob (Taylor)!

Yes, it has been ages since I did anything on the other Robert at MGM.  How about ten photos of the handsome dude, from a collection of 2" x 3" cards produced by Ross.  The quality of Ross Verlag (German for Publishing) cards is always outstanding, great photos and production standards.  These are all nifty, have saved my personal favorite for last. 


Thursday, March 09, 2017

Yes, Reggie ... It's Petticoat Fever!

I believe Audrey Totter deserved a special award for all the looks she gave Bob in Lady in the Lake (1947), and many of them were of the sneer variety as pictured below.  (I would have found it very difficult to sneer at Mr. Montgomery!)  You can check out all those great looks of hers when the movie is shown on TCM tomorrow (March 10th) at 1:30 p.m. PST.  She really did have a difficult role to play with all the "odd" cinematography. 

                 Bob and Audrey Totter in Lady in the Lake (1946)

Speaking of difficult roles, playing the straight man between Bob and Myrna Loy must have been a challenge for Reginald Owen.  Of course, he did have the experience for the role, having previously lost the girl to Bob in The Man in Possession (1931).  You can catch Petticoat Fever (1936) on TCM this coming Tuesday (March 14) at 9:00 a.m. PDT (It will be daylight time then, right?  Please don't rely fully on my airing times!) 

                Bob and Reginald Owen in Petticoat Fever (1936)

These are two of the four Bob movies shown by TCM this month, two to three times more than the usual number of showings!  My position is that more is always better, particularly favorites such as Petticoat.  Four cheers for TCM!  (If only they would pull Letty Lynton (1932) out of its legal morass and give that beautiful movie back to Bob's and Joan's fans, while we're still around to appreciate it!)  

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

Ahhh....We'll Miss You, Robert!

                               Robert Osborne (1932 - 2017)             
         A Nice Tribute to Bob:  TCM Remembers Robert Osborne

Thursday, March 02, 2017

Three Men on a Girl ... Pardon?

Well, that's the google translation of this Danish herald for Three Loves Has Nancy (1938).  I don't think that title would have made it in this country, not even pre-code! 

What is right about the herald is the image of a third man.  All of the publicity shots for the movie include Bob and Janet Gaynor, or Bob, Janet and Franchot Tone, but never the Third Love!  Poor Grady Sutton, he just never got any respect. 

                               Three Loves Has Nancy (1938)

You can watch Grady lose the girl this coming Monday, the 6th, at 11:45 a.m. PST on TCM.  (Hope that's not a spoiler for you...)