Friday, March 30, 2007

Photo Friday - Love That Bob

Today's photo features another Bob - Robert Cummings. Photo is of him & Betty Caufield from The Petty Girl (1950).

Like many of the other actors I've featured on this blog, Bob was also a pilot. He learned to fly while in high school from his godfather, Orville Wright.

Bob was another actor who also transitioned into television, having his own show appropriately titled The Bob Cummings Show (aka Love That Bob). If you haven't seen any of his films, go out and rent Dial M For Murder or Saboteur - both excellent Hitchcock films. Another recommended film, shown on TCM here and there, is The Devil and Miss Jones with Jean Arthur and Charles Coburn.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Radio Style - The Lodger

Curl up with this murderous Suspense feature - the December 14, 1944 version of The Lodger. Robert Montgomery is back to work after his service in the Navy, playing both the lodger and the storyteller.

30 Minutes - 7 MB

The story may sound familiar to you - it was one of Alfred Hitchcock's first films. In 1948, Suspense hauled Bob back in front of the microphone to play the lodger again for an hour-long version. More to come...

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Thrill Crazy, Kill Crazy

Gun Crazy is one of my fav. movies - and it just so happens it's featured on Noir of the Week. If you haven't seen it, make sure you rent it.

TCM Bob Schedule for April

I am happy to report that TCM US has some variety for Bob fans in April. Remember, times listed are Eastern.

6 Friday
11:15 a.m. Hell Below (1933)
A submarine captain clashes with one of his crew during World War I. Cast: Robert Montgomery, Walter Huston, Jimmy Durante. Dir: Jack Conway

9 Monday
11:30 a.m. Ever Since Eve (1937)
A plain-jane secretary masquerades as a beauty* to win her boss's heart. Cast: Marion Davies, Robert Montgomery, Frank McHugh. Dir: Lloyd Bacon
* Actually, I think they have the above turned around...a beauty masquerades as a plane-jane secretary

Monday, March 26, 2007

Theremin Love

What does The Day the Earth Stood Still, Hitchcock's Spellbound, and the Beach Boys Good Vibrations have in common? They all use the Theremin, a musical instrument that uses electricity to create music, or in the case of Sci-Fi, unearthly sounds whenever a UFO appears. It's my new favorite musical instrument of the moment.

I'm willing to bet most people will instantly know the sound of the Theremin when they hear it:

A bit dated:

Friday, March 23, 2007

Photo Friday - Robert Young

Great shot of Robert Young from RKO's The Bride Walks Out (1936)

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Radio Style - The Lady in the Lake

Today we enter into the world of Philip Marlowe and The Lady in the Lake. This Lux radio adaptation from Feb. 9, 1948 is pretty true to the film version, just slimmed down. Robert Montgomery plays Marlowe & Audrey Totter is Adrienne Fromsett - just like in the movie.

42 Minute MP3 - 9.7 MB

The recording is missing the Lux opening and closing - too bad, that is sometimes the most interesting part to these shows.

Favorite line - I'm scared and it isn't wonderful anymore

Monday, March 19, 2007

Picture in Picture - Private Lives

Norma Shearer committing a blatant act of Hurrell abuse - ripping up a perfectly good photo.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Photo Friday - Identity Crisis

Reginald, Reggie, Raymond, Ray Milland . . . printed card from MGM's Men With Wings, 1938.

Larger photo

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Radio Style - The Black Curtain

Today's radio feature is an episode of Suspense from January 3, 1948. This also happens to be the very first one-hour episode of the CBS radio show - or as they say, "A full 60 minutes on Saturday night." The Black Curtain is based on the 1941 Cornell Woolrich novel of the same name.

In this story, Robert Montgomery plays Frank Townsend, who is really Danny Nearing. The story starts with Frank waking up on the side of the street, surrounded by people trying to help him up. He wakes as Frank, but that's not who he is. Add to that someone has stolen his wallet with his ID. Enter a murder, a couple of chase scenes, a girlfriend, and you have suspense. While the story itself I found to be a bit flat, it picks up over time to a good twist of an ending.

One Hour - 13 MB

And for those out there with an interest in Cornell, be sure to check out this site.

Monday, March 12, 2007

More Than Just An Actor - Reginald Denny

A fascinating connection between Hollywood and aviation can be found in the story of Reginald Denny. Reginald starred in over 200 films during his career. When not acting, he was involved in developing what are known today as UAVs, unmanned aerial vehicles - also known as drones. His drones were used for target practice during WWII and post-war and he also produced and sold model aircraft through his hobby shop.

An extensive web site on Reginald Denny and his pilotless aircraft can be found here. Even if you're not interested in the aviation part, there is plenty of information on Reginald's acting career and family. The Denny Family has provided the site author with beautiful high-res photos and information throughout the site.

And of course all of this has a connection to Robert Montgomery. If my memory serves me well, both were friends. While in the Navy, Bob had worked on the idea of catapulting drones from speedboats - drones that Reginald contributed on. Later on, Bob received of Reginald's Dennyplane models, personalized to him. One of my favorite Bob photos of all time is from this web site and is of him with that plane.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Photo Friday - Hitchcock

Alfred Hitchcock's cameo from Under Capricorn, 1949.

Larger photo

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

The Unguarded Hour - Radio Style

Today's radio feature is the Lux Radio Theater's presentation of The Unguarded Hour from December 4, 1944. The intro & curtain call are interesting in that they touch on Lieutenant Commander Robert Montgomery's Naval service. He's recently been released from four years of service from the Naval Reserve, having been awarded the Bronze star for his service on the destroyer USS Barton during the raid on Normandy on D-Day. CB Demille also tells of the story of the Barton (and Bob) being spared during battle due to an unexploded German shell that landed on the deck.

Back to the story, Robert Montgomery plays a barrister that's been blackmailed. Unknown to him, his wife, Laraine Day, has also been blackmailed. In both cases, the blackmail was over love letters to his past girlfriend. A murder occurs and all evidence is pointing to Bob. The loveable Roland Young also appears in this presentation.

One Hour - 12 MB

The one down-side of this recording is the sound - everyone sounds like they're on helium.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

The Hays Code & Cartoons

Cartoon Brew has scans of a Look Magazine article from January 17, 1939 on how the Hays Code "did its thing" with cartoons.

I laughed out loud when I read this bit: "Robert Taylor may kiss Garbo in a feature picture, but it isn't considered nice for Porky Pig to kiss Petunia Pig in an animated cartoon. Censors prefer romance of the hand holding type."

Monday, March 05, 2007

In The Picture: Production Stills from the TCM Archives

If you like movie stills, I've got a book for you. Santa delivered TCM's beautiful hard cover book over the holiday (ok, I'm behind on this post). From 2004 it's not new, but it's been on the "I'd like" list for a bit. 159 pages of pure photo pleasure ranging from 1925's Ben-Hur to 1968's Bullitt.

I've spent most of my time going from photo to photo looking at the details, backgrounds, and hidden gems - most of the photos are "behind the scenes." If you've seen the movie on TCM, chances are there's a photo in the book for it.

Some Bob & Rosalind love from Night Must Fall

Sunday, March 04, 2007

TCM Bob Movies for March

Another month of the same stuff. On a related note, I heard that there will be a second volume to the Forbidden Hollywood DVD set this year. No word on the exact films, but there might be a Norma Shearer title or two. Cross your fingers.

All times are eastern - check your local schedule, blah, blah.

Monday, March 5
6 a.m. 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

Wednesday, March 28
12:45 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, March 02, 2007

Photo Friday - Advertising

The photo post takes a slightly different turn today - with a magazine ad. This Lord Elgin Watch ad is from The Saturday Evening Post, March 14, 1942.

Says Robert Montgomery, famous Hollywood actor, now serving in America's armed forces...

What's interesting - the photo doesn't even show him wearing a watch.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

This Blog May Be Rated "R" Someday

I'm a bit behind on my news, but I just read that the American Medical Association Alliance is recommending that movies with smoking in it be rated "R." Their focus right now is on new films that come out in the theater.

Let's see, if the MPAA follows through with that, does that mean any movie with smoking will automatically become rated "R"? So, you might need a photo ID to purchase that film noir DVD box set? Will practically every movie made in the 1930s and 40s become "R"? Will the powers that be start cutting smoking out of films? They've already cut classic cartoons.

Careful kids, this blog shows people smoking.