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


Debbie said...

Bob should have won the Oscar for this. Ok, Tracy was great in "Captains Courageous", but had Mayer not made a point of backing away from this film Bob could have won. This is an important film in that it was the first great psychological thriller. Why it has been forgotten is a mystery to me. It not only had Bob great performance, but Dame May Whitty, reprising her stage role as the horrible Mrs. Bramson, Rosalind Russell as a very repressed Olivia and the wonderful Kathleen Harrison as Mrs. Terrance (the film's comic relief). Anyone who is a fan of Hitchcock should see the importance of this film. It even has what Hitchcock would later call his McGuffin, that hatbox! We all know what's in there, don't we???

Kathy said...

Here, here!!! Well said, could not agree with you more. Bob gave a really, really good performance. The movie is a gem and should at least be remembered, the truly best way to honor a film. Or an Actor. There were just too many factors against the movie or star being remembered. The initial release was hampered by a limited advertising campaign and then taken out of circulation early. Bob's acting career is essentially over in 1941, when he goes off to war. (Yes, he continues to act and even gave some of his better performances after his return, but he is no longer one of super elite in Hollywood.) That's a long, long time ago. Most of his fellow stars, that are remembered, act into the 1960s, 1970s. And, there's that nasty word --- POLITICS! Bob wasn't just a conservative Republican, but a very public and vocal one. As the left totally usurped the movie industry, Mr. Montgomery was not a cherished memory of its members. (Bob would not be able to even get an interview these days!) Anyway, Bob being Bob ... the movie just didn't have a chance at being acknowledged appropriately. And that is really sad. (Please excuse the rattling on. The subject just hits a sore spot of mine!)