Wednesday, January 31, 2007

A Star is Born - Radio Style

This radio version of A Star is Born is from the Lux Radio Theater, Sep. 13, 1937. Janet Gaynor plays her film role as Vicki Lester and Robert Montgomery plays Norman Maine. Also listen for an interview with Sid Grauman.

13.7 MB - One Hour

One thing I find the most interesting about radio shows is the 'curtain call' talk at the end of the story, where the stars talk about their latest work, or vacation attempt. In the Lux presentation of Beau Brummel (I believe), Bob talks about taking some time off at his New York farm. This radio presentation is part two - he still hasn't made it to New York, but has an interesting story about farmer neighbor Zeb Davis & his car.

I'd love to know if Zeb was for real.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Broadway Melody of 1936

If you don't have a song stuck in your head yet today, play the below clip and I guarantee you'll be singing this the rest of the evening. June Knight & Robert Taylor singing "I've Gotta Feeling You're Foolin'."

And for giggles, Buddy Ebsen also appears in the picture. Check out the Mickey Mouse shirt. In Broadway Melody of 1938 he's wearing a shirt with Donald Duck on it.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

February Bob TCM Movie Schedule

You know the routine...

11 Sunday

5:30 p.m. (check for your local time)
They Were Expendable (1945)
A Navy commander fights to prove the battle-worthiness of the PT boat at the start of World War II. Cast: Robert Montgomery, John Wayne, Donna Reed. Dir: John Ford. BW-135 mins

25 Sunday

10:00 p.m.
Here Comes Mr. Jordan (1941)
A prizefighter who died before his time is reincarnated as a tycoon with a murderous wife. Cast: Robert Montgomery, Evelyn Keyes, Claude Rains. Dir: Alexander Hall. BW-94 mins

Friday, January 26, 2007

More Starlit Color

Some screen caps from Starlit Days at the Lido. In the meantime, smoke 'em if you got 'em.

Clark who?

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Night Must Fall - Radio Style

On March 27, 1948, the Suspense radio show aired Night Must Fall. While Rosalind Russell didn't star in this, Robert Montgomery and Dame May Whitty did.

14 MB - One Hour

Its eleven years later and Danny's accent is just as it was in 1937.

Monday, January 22, 2007

1935 Never Looked So Good

Many of you are aware of my fondness for color photos of classic stars. It's only natural that I'd be hunting for Robert Montgomery in color as well. I want to clarify here - I'm not talking colorized lobby cards or TV Guide covers from the 1950s - I'm talking actual vintage color of Bob.

I finally found it.

I'm referring to a 19 minute Technicolor MGM short from 1935 called Starlit Days at the Lido. The styles alone in color are priceless (exaggerated or not) - it's total eye candy. Add in a few classic stars and I'm in love with this short. To name a few, you'll see Buster Crabbe, Clark Gable, Richard Barthelmess, Reginald Denny, Constance Bennett, and many more - in color.

This clip from YouTube is partial, but it gives you a good idea.

If you can't find the short on TCM, it is available on the DVD of Roberta (Astaire/Rogers). In the meantime, my hunt for more Bob in color continues...

Friday, January 19, 2007

Fast and Loose Friday

OK people, keep the comments clean ;)

Larger photo here.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Three Comrades - Part Two

Continuing on our screen cap trip through Three Comrades. Warning - spoilers coming up.

Guy Kibbee - he owns the bar/pub/place of flowing beer

Enter Margaret

Uhm, this German night club though that was what America was all about

Gotta love the split screens

St. Pauli Girl

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Mr. and Mrs. Smith - Radio Style

I must say, this Screen Director's Playhouse radio presentation of Smith is cute, but it's missing a key story element - the mother.

3.42 MB MP3 - 30 Min.

The fact that they brought back Hitch in 1949 to host this show seems amazing to me. I would have thought he would have preferred to forget his venture into the screwball arena. But how could you not be hooked on the "wife-shaving-husband-with-straight-razor" bit.

Make sure you listen to the entire show. The end is the best - Director & Director have a humerous word with one another - Hitchcock & Montgomery.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Belated Birthday Wishes

To Reginald Alfred John Trucsott-Jones. His birthday was on January 3 and I neglected to make any mention here.

As part of my penance, I am on chapter three of Reggie's autobiography & in the midst of watching A Life of Her Own.

You'd think I'd get the idea when TiVo records a bunch of his movies at one shot...geez.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Room For Improvement

C'mon Sony, can't we do any better on the box artwork?

And if you don't already know (I know you do if you read this blog), Here Comes Mr. Jordan comes out on DVD on Feb. 6.

"In the pink..."

Friday, January 12, 2007

Fast and Loose Friday

Managed to eek out another photo from Fast and Loose.

Larger photo here.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Three Comrades - Part One

I adore the cast of this 1938 film: Robert Young, Franchot Tone, Robert Taylor, and Margaret Sullavan. Too bad it's the most depressing film I've seen in a while.

A toast - it's the end of the war

Baby was the well-loved biplane that had to be destroyed after the war...

...but reincarnated as a hellishly fast roadster after the war

But even those high speeds couldn't phase the comrades

More to come

Monday, January 08, 2007

Eye Witness

Robert Montgomery's final film performance was in 1950's Eye Witness (aka Your Witness). The DVD copy I have looks like a bootleg copy of a bootleg, run across the floor of a taxi cab. Ahh, vintage . . . better than nothing.

Eye Witness is the story of Sam Baxter, who is accused of murder across the ocean in England. Enter Adam Hayward (Montgomery), Sam's friend. You see, Sam saved Col. Hayward's life in the war. Adam happens to be a big-time defense attorney in NYC. After some prodding from his secretary, Adam flys across the big pond to see how he can help. Adam soon discovers that there's a female that witnessed the murder who could clear Sam. I'm not saying any more.

I need to get this off of my chest - it isn't that good of a story - it lacks oomph. The other thing I want to state for the record - where in the world did the annoying opening credits music come from? If I were more tech savvy I'd rip a track for you guys to hear it. The best way I can describe it is big band transitioning into 1950's *beebop jazz* (is that even a music genre?). I was expecting something more "Perry Mason-ish" since someone was facing a possible death sentence for murder. Whatever, let's move on.

There's a possible love interest at the end of the film between Adam & one of the characters. I really would have liked to have seen Eye Witness 2, just to see Adam Hayward stay in England, become a barrister, and don the white-haired wig.

Eye Witness does have its amusing moments. If you've ever seen National Lampoon's European Vacation, you'll relate. In Vacation, there's a scene where the Grizwold family travels to London. At the hotel, the desk jockey starts talking in his strong, slangy, fast British accent. Clark whips out his pocket translator and his wife immediately notes, "Clark...they're speaking English." In Eye Witness there's times where the Brits start speaking...yes, English. On the flip side, Bob's character does the same, with good ol' American slang.

I believe I read somewhere that Eye Witness is public domain, but I've yet to confirm.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Share the Love

SilentFilmLegend is talking about Untamed over at her blog - video, photos & all. Check it out!

Friday, January 05, 2007

Breakfast at the Smith Home

...Hitchcock gingerly made use of the relative freedom RKO accorded established directors by doing retakes during production – something he had not been permitted to do on Rebecca until Selznick had decided what was needed in post production. One such inspiration, shot the day after he had filmed a conventional close-up of Lombard looking lovingly at Robert Montgomery over breakfast, is the image he substituted of their feet under the table, with Lombard’s toes inserted comfortably into Montgomery’s trouser cuffs...

From the book Hitchcock at Work by Bill Krohn

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Your Pilot for Today's Flight

File under "another actor with a pilot license" - Ray Milland. Not sure if it is for one of his flying films, or an actual plane of his. Ray was a civilian flight instructor for the Army Air Forces (AAF) during WWII.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

End of a TV Era

From Time Magazine, July 8, 1957:

Producer-Host Robert Montgomery, TV aide-de-camp to President Eisenhower, rang down the curtain on his hour-long NBC dramatic show after a seven-year run. The last play was Faust '57, a disjointed modern treatment of the classic tale about a pact with the Devil—and an ironic choice, since the program had been going to hell all season. The passing of Robert Montgomery Presents is lamentable not only in light of its past glories but because it reflects the sudden high casualty rate among" TV's live dramatic shows...