Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Monday, December 29, 2008

TCM Bob Schedule for January

As always, check your local listings for exact start time in your area!

Saturday, Jan. 17

10 p.m. Earl Of Chicago, The (1939)
A Chicago gangster inherits a British title. Cast: Robert Montgomery, Edward Arnold, Reginald Owen. Dir: Richard Thorpe.

Friday, January 23

7:30 a.m. Last Of Mrs. Cheyney, The (1937)
A chic jewel thief in England falls in love with one of her marks. Cast: Joan Crawford, Robert Montgomery, William Powell. Dir: Richard Boleslawski.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Sunday, December 21, 2008

2009 Calendar - We Need You!

It's time for a new year and that means it's time for the 2009 Robert Montgomery "printable" calendar (the third annual to be specific).

If you have any high-res photos you would like to contribute for the monthly calendar, please leave a comment or contact me via email. More details to come.

Friday, December 19, 2008

The Business of Movies

When I'm not playing blogger, I have a full time job in an office. Sounds exciting, doesn't it. Participating in office politics, managing projects, and turning gray has given me a warped interest in "office" films. Some that come to mind:

Female (1933)
Aside from eating her mates alive, it's awesome to see a female CEO (Ruth Chatterton) in the early 30s. Love the assertiveness.

Mildred Pierce (1945)
Another strong-willed businesswoman, Mildred Pierce (Joan Crawford) builds up quite the restaurant business only to have murder get in the way. Ok, the murder & business part don't go together (well...), but she has strong management skills.

Executive Suite (1954)
The company president collapses dead and the fun begins. Just adding a dime a year to the dividend...

How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (1967)
Yes, someone who is no one can become someone in a big company. In this case it's WWW - World Wide Wickets. I just like saying that. In real life, people sing in the office just as often as in this film - but no dancing. Unlike WWW's office, my office is lacking the presence of Robert Q. Lewis.

Office Space (1999)
The king of office movies (where is your TPS report?) If you live your work day in cubicle-land, you can probably recite the lines to this movie. Do you have your red Swingline? Careful with the audio if you have young ears around (or a boss):

Holiday (1938)
Johnny (Cary Grant) wants to "retire" now rather than wait til he gets old. Amen.

Controversy! Censorship! Johnny Carson?

March 1969: Apollo 9 just splashed down, Crossfire is on tonight at 11, and Bob Montgomery seems to be irritating the TV networks again. Boy have times changed.

If anyone has seen copies of Bob on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, please drop me a note.

Kind thanks to 'CM staff researcher' Tracy for digging this up.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

(Almost) 20 Actresses Movie Meme

I've been 'smacked' (tagged lovingly) by Raquelle from Out of the Past to list my 20 favorite actresses. I'll tell ya, 20 actors would have been a lot easier, but what's the fun in that? Here it goes:

Joan Crawford

Carole Lombard

Myrna Loy

Rosalind Russell


Norma Shearer

Jean Arthur

Teresa Wright

Lucille Ball (Trailer brakes first!)

June Allyson

Priscilla Lane

Ruth Hussey

I'm sure as soon as I hit the "post" button I'll realize I forgot someone. Who's next? Laura - have you spilled the beans on your top 20 (or so) yet?

Monday, December 15, 2008

As Seen on Ebay

Yeah, I'm falling into the trap of making posts from ebay auctions. I'll keep my comments to a minimum on that. But I had to laugh out loud when I read the caption on this litho:

Hmm, there has to be a story there...

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Van Johnson (1916-2008)

Sigh, he always had a great smile...we'll miss you, Van.

From the Life magazine archives

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Resort, Film Set, Prison, Naval Base: The Norconian Resort

Sixty-seven years ago this week, on December 8, 1941, The Norconian Resort in Norco, CA became a United States Naval Hospital. Before it's war service and sad decline, The Norconian was a destination for classic stars and home to a number of movies filmed on the resort grounds.

Born in 1929, and after on-again/off-again operation, the resort lived a short life and closed in 1940. In 1941, the Navy purchased the grounds, later opening it as a hospital the day after Pearl Harbor day. Since then, the grounds have been home to a prison and continue to have a naval presence to this day. And through all of this, original buildings and decor remain, in rough condition, behind a fence.

Laura from dropped me a note the other day about The Norconian's connection to some of Bob's early films, specifically Love in the Rough and Their Own Desire with Norma Shearer. We've talked about Love in the Rough's connection in a past post, but Their Own Desire was news to me. After some research (tough work!), Laura was able to confirm that the pool scenes in Desire match photos of The Norconian's pool, high dive, and bleachers. So much for Lake Michigan!

I am far from an expert on the topic, but these resources can fill you in more:

Saturday, December 06, 2008

401k vs. Movie Collectibles

Profiles in History has a massive auction coming up Dec. 14 and has posted an ton of really neat (technical term) items for viewing on ebay. I'll tell you, the four drawer metal file cabinets full of stills really has my interest. I'm sure they went through them first to weed out the nice items, but that whole "grab bag" idea gets your imagination going. Shipping will be murder, I'm sure. As hinted to in this post's title, collectibles just might be doing better right now in value than my retirement.

Now it wouldn't be a Classic Montgomery post without mentioning there are some sweet Bob Montgomery photos up for sale. In addition to Hurrell portraits, stills from films such as No More Ladies, Untamed, Letty Lynton, When Ladies Meet, and Our Blushing Brides, Faithless are up for grabs.

If you go digging, I recommend checking out ebay and also Profile's Web site at I've noticed for some lots, additional or different photos are on their Web site vs. ebay (and vice versa).

Oh, and one more hint, hunters. Search for film titles or co-stars to your fav. films - you'll find more.

Joan representing fangirls worldwide

A Hurrell from Faithless (also a Picture in Picture topic)

Just Joan

Friday, December 05, 2008

Photo Friday: Life With Cotten

Today's Photo Friday takes a slightly different slant, highlighting photos from the Life magazine collection. The below are from the excellent Shadow of a Doubt.

If I may add a small editorial comment, how in the world did Joe get bumped from the cover of TCM's Dec. magazine for Herbie the Love Bug?

Monday, December 01, 2008

Holiday Leftovers

Leftovers - in the style of Larry King's ol' blurby column:

Watched Hollywood Party: Jimmy Durante is half naked and overly hairy (gah). Thank goodness the many cameos and "pre-codeness" of the film make up for that image. Another insanely catchy tune and a brief appearance by Robert Young make up for Jimmy's Schnarzan (I mean that in a loving way).

Magnificent Obsession
is coming out on Criterion Collection DVD in January - both the Rock Hudson and Robert Taylor versions. I've only seen Rock's version and am inexplicably hooked.

Caught a documentary on Irving Thalberg on the History channel the other day. Very interesting - I need to find a good book on him now. I was surprised that in the 30 minutes I watched, there was no film or audio of him - just stills floating by.

Belated birthday wishes to Hoagy Carmichael (Nov. 22). Ahh, Stardust.

The current run of The Name's The Same ends this week. Withdrawal will be setting in, although not for Clifton Fadiman.

One of Lifetime's many channels had White Christmas in HD over the weekend. All queued up and ready on my DVR.

And on this day in history in 1934, Benny Goodman debuted on radio. Ahh, Moonglow...

Sunday, November 30, 2008

TCM Bob Schedule for December

If you can only watch one this month, check out Free and Easy. Besides having an insanely catchy song in it, it's a quirky story with a number of classic Hollywood cameos and scenes where you'll go "hmmm."

Dec. 2
11:30 a.m. Free And Easy (1930)
A bumbling manager turns a beauty queen into a Hollywood star. Cast: Buster Keaton, Anita Page, Robert Montgomery. Dir: Edward Sedgwick. BW-93 mins, TV-G, CC

1:15 p.m. Our Blushing Brides (1930)
Three roommates try to land rich husbands. Cast: Joan Crawford, Anita Page, Robert Montgomery. Dir: Harry Beaumont

Dec. 18
6:30 p.m. Rage In Heaven (1941)
A jealous man plots to fake his death and incriminate his wife's suspected lover. Cast: Robert Montgomery, Ingrid Bergman, George Sanders. Dir: W.S. Van Dyke II.

Dec. 31
7:45 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.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Thanksgiving Wishes

Gobble, gobble, I hope everyone has a safe and relaxing holiday! I'll leave you with three pieces of holiday cooking advise:
  1. You should be defrosting the bird by now
  2. 1-800-Butterball
  3. McDonalds isn't open on Thursday

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Bandwith Ain't Cheap

Just a housekeeping notice, if you find a photo you like on this blog, save it. It's that simple. Heck, I'll even scan a larger one for you if you say please.

All I ask is that you don't use the image URL from my site - save the photo and upload it somewhere.

All of the images I offer on this blog are hosted outside of Blogger via hosting I pay for. I review my Web stats and I know who the guilty are ;)

Thank you!

Friday, November 21, 2008

A LIFE of Photos

Happiness is rarely seen photos: A good chuck of LIFE magazine's photo archive is now accessible via Google. As the site notes:

Search millions of photographs from the LIFE photo archive, stretching from the 1750s to today. Most were never published and are now available for the first time through the joint work of LIFE and Google.

Search for your favorites, and yes, Robert Montgomery is well represented. The bulk of the Bob photos are from his Eisenhower days, but you'll also spot Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Ride the Pink Horse, and candids.

h/t: Alternative Film Guide

Thursday, November 20, 2008


Tracy clued me in on this ad for Macy's that's running for their 150th. It's a clever combination of clips with classic stars touting or mentioning the store from way back when to today. What's with the escaping hippo?

Me...I'm a Gimbels girl.

This also got us talking about other ads with classic stars in them. The one that sticks in my mind is the Diet Coke series of ads with Cary Grant and others I can't remember. Argh, and it's not on YouTube like everything else out there.

Know of any other ads?

Monday, November 17, 2008

No More Ladies Trailer

Watching No More Ladies is one of my guilty pleasures in life. I love the film and watch it whenever it's on (or not, via DVD).

I ran into the below trailer for the film recently. Somehow the animated lion just doesn't seem to click with me and the plot of the film. Something about animation, alcohol, and cheating lovers that doesn't mix. Rowwwrrr...Robert Montgomery (I had to fit that in).

Friday, November 14, 2008

So Devine

I'm back - sort of. Vacation has taken it's toll on me and I would like to request another to recover.

On the flip side, the closest I've been to classic film this past week has been Kingman, Arizona - home to Andy Devine. They're proud of their native son, who grew up there as a child. Route 66 through town is named in his honor and I think every other store in town has a photo of him up. Good for them. I think I'm going to have to locate my copy of Island in the Sky and rest up a bit now...

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Montgomery Leaving the White House, Too

On this Election Day, I'm jumping on the politics bandwagon - but with a Montgomery twist.

IKE is leaving the White House in January and so must Bob. Learn more in this New York Times Herald article from Nov. 17, 1960 compliments of CM staff researcher Tracy.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

TCM Bob Schedule for November

Has anyone memorized the lines to Smith yet?

As always, check your local listings for the start time near you.

Nov. 14

10:30 a.m. Mr. and Mrs. Smith (1941)
A quarrelsome couple discovers their marriage isn't legal. Cast: Carole Lombard, Robert Montgomery, Gene Raymond. Dir: Alfred Hitchcock

Nov. 19
3:30 a.m. Three Loves Has Nancy (1938)
A country girl follows the man who jilted her to the big city, where she finds two new suitors. Cast: Janet Gaynor, Robert Montgomery, Franchot Tone. Dir: Richard Thorpe

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Great Replacement

I've given up on the Halloween theme this week: it's all been done before. But before it's completely out of my hands lying on the floor in a heap, here's a stretch of a theme post - a few different "costumes."

Guess the actor. If you read this blog with any regularity, you'll figure it out.

Update: A tip of the hat to the anonymous tipster who guessed the name: Robert Q. Lewis. These pics are from his CBS radio days, specifically February of 1948 . . . a few years before his television debut. Unfortunately, I don't know is whether these shots match any specific characters from his radio show or not. Finding copies of any of Robert Q's radio shows is harder to find than hen's teeth.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Taylor on Demand

A funny thing happened on my way to the blog today. I was going to do some digging for Halloween-themed posts, but then spotted a comment from Alejandra about her Robert Taylor YouTube channel. Kinda got sidetracked if you know what I mean. Get sidetracked yourself on her YouTube channel.

Some of my favs: Personal Property & Johnny Eager:

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Always a Confirmed Badger...

It's Halloween week and I'm trying to "scare" up some non-monster, classic themed items for the blog this week (not a big monster fan - but space aliens...).

Today: Orson Welles, War of the Worlds, and his Wisconsin roots in this article from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

DVD Update

Looking to make your Robert Montgomery DVD collection a bit more complete? A few more titles are now available on the "secondary market" (not from the studios):

Eye Witness (1950)
Movies Unlimited

Forsaking All Others (1934)
Free Movies on DVD

If you own any of the above from those sources, drop me a note - I'd be interested in the quality.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Hollywood at Home

If you have a spare six bucks laying around, the November issue of Architectural Digest is out with its annual "Hollywood at Home" issue. Aside from looking at ads for accessories that probably cost more than my house, AD's Hollywood issue includes stories (and photos) on classic stars at home. Stars featured in this issue include John Wayne, Howard Hughes, Humphrey Bogart, single photo snippets, and much more. Yeah, modern stars too...

IMHO, the photo of William Holden on page 188 is worth the purchase.

Robert Montgomery? The April 1992 is the issue you want.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

What's My Line: Robert Montgomery

Bob appears in this episode of What's My Line as the mystery guest. The episode dates from Jan. 13, 1957. He also brought along a few of his past characters...too funny.

Photo Friday: 1930

Sorry for being late on this, technically it's Photo Saturday...

Today's still is a portrait from 1930, attributed on the back to The Big House.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Magnificent Obsession - Radio Style

Irene Dunne and Robert Taylor were caught here during rehersal of the Lux Radio Theater production of "Magnificent Obsession" discussing the script with Frank Woodruff, supervising director of the dramatic production.

Better yet - here's the radio presentation from April 26, 1937:

One Hour - 13 MB MP3

Friday, October 10, 2008

Photo Friday: Joseph Cotten

Ahh, Since You Went Away - the WWII bookend to The Best Years of Our Lives. Went Away always had that "too much female" feel to me, then Joe shows up, which levels things out. This particular still is from said film. I do have to add, I love the hangar dance scene - great lighting. I especially love AAF logo against the backdrop of the hangar.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Bob Montgomery Podcast

Obscure Classics has posted its Robert Montgomery podcast up on their site.

I haven't had the chance to listen to it yet, but rest assured, it's loaded on my iPod for action this week.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Building Mr. Blanding's 73 Dream Homes

Whenever Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream Home is on TV, I record it - just one of those movies I guess. That's why when I caught an article in the paper about someone owning one of the "dream homes," I thought it was fascinating (where can I get one?):

The studio sent blueprints of the movie set house to contractors across the country, hoping to see 100 replicas of the house built. Eventually, 73 “dream homes” were built in places such as Fresno and Bakersfield, Calif.; Phoenix; Ottawa Hills, Ohio; and Portland, Ore.

The article is about the home in Fresno - read up!

While we're on the subject, and have you purchased your Wham Ham T-shirt?

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

TCM Bob Schedule for October

Twice for Carole Lombard month? Fine by me, it's one of my favorites.

Oct. 22, 8 a.m.
Oct. 27, 10 p.m.

Mr. and Mrs. Smith (1941)
A quarrelsome couple discovers their marriage isn't legal. Cast: Carole Lombard, Robert Montgomery, Gene Raymond. Dir: Alfred Hitchcock

Someone help Mr. Smith and get him a stomach pump.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Photo Friday: Behind Door Number Three

A recent find from The Golden Age of Hollywood Web site:

Larger image

I think I'm pretty confident in saying the above is a companion to the below 1932 George Hurrell photo for Letty Lynton based on the suit & tie.

Tale of a Grauman's Chinese Theater Doorman

Attention SciFi junkies. The Day the Earth Stood Still is being reissued on DVD (again). This "special edition" will come out on BluRay and regular DVD on Dec 2., just in time for the holiday season. More from The Digital Bits Web site:

The 2-disc DVD (SRP $19.98) will include the film in its original full frame (1.33:1) aspect ratio, the original audio commentary by Robert Wise and Nicolas Meyer, a new commentary by film & music historians John Morgan, Steven Smith, William Stromberg and Nick Redman, an isolated score track, 8 featurettes (The Making of The Day the Earth Stood Still, Decoding "Klaatu, Barada, Nikto": Science Fiction as Metaphor, A Brief History of Flying Saucers, The Astounding Harry Bates, Edmund North: The Man Who Made the Earth Stand Still, The Mysterious, Melodious Theremin, Race to Oblivion: A Documentary Short Written and Produced by Edmund North and Farewell to the Master: A Reading by Jamieson K. Price of the Original Harry Bates Short Story), video of a live performance of the film's main title music by thereminist Peter Pringle, an Interactive pressbook, the vintage Fox Movietonews from 1951 short film, the film's theatrical trailer, multiple still galleries (for advertising, behind-the-scenes, portraits, production, spaceship construction blueprints) and the film's shooting script. The single-disc Blu-ray edition (SRP $34.99) will include all of the above along with the film in 1080p full frame with DTS-HD audio and 2 exclusive bonus features: the Interactive Thermin: Create Your Own Score option and the Gort Command interactive game.

Sorry, stuffed "collectible" beanbag toys of Gort, Michael Rennie, or Hugh Marlowe not included (darn).

Excellent film, I'm just sick of buying reissues every time they come out. Not only do we get extras, now BluRay is the carrot on the stick. Have you seen how many times they've reissued An Affair to Remember on DVD (BluRay aside, the letterboxed, Cinemascope version is the best BTW)? How about the Hitchcock films? Ok, end rant.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Semiannual Movie Collectibles Show Post

It's Sunday, it's September. That must mean it's time for my semiannual pilgrimage to the local movie collectibles show - always guaranteed to be an adventure!
  • You can still buy things for a whole lot cheaper than on ebay.
  • Porn can still be found intermixed with 1930s MGM star photos.
  • Sorry, I can't beat the hearse in the parking lot with the skull on the grill - my 1932 Cadillac is "in the shop."
  • "Oh, you like old stuff" was heard uttered from one dealer - to me.
  • Bought a 1960 book titled Vanity Fair, A Cavalcade of the 1920s and 1930s for cheaper than a gallon of gas.
  • The air conditioning wasn't working in the hall and the beer and bowling smell remained (does bowling have a smell?).
  • Picked up a few more pieces to grace future Photo Friday posts: Joseph Cotten, Ray Milland, guys with the first name of Robert.

Coming Soon to What's My Line

Hot tip from the comments portion of the blog: Robert Montgomery should be showing up on What's My Line on GSN in October sometime:

Episode #345, first aired: January 13, 1957

Game 1: Muriel Fleit, Mary Barber & Myrtle Berne (as Mystery Guests and the panel is blindfolded) - "Secretaries to Arlene Francis, Bennett Cerf & Dorothy Kilgallen)" (salaried; they won $50)

Game 2: Robin Roberts - "President of Frozen Shrimp Company" (he is the President of the Gold King Frozen Shrimp Co; he is also the pitcher of the Philadelphia Phillies baseball team; from Philadelphia, PA; he won $50)

Game 3: Robert Montgomery (as Mystery Guest) Bennett Cerf guessed his identity at $25

If you're really good at figuring out the current episode playing vs. the order 345 is in, you can figure out the air date on GSN. I'm not that talented...

A kind thank you to the tipster!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Letty Lynton Now on YouTube

Watch to your heart's content! Below is just part one of 10.

h/t: Legendary Joan Crawford Web site

Friday, September 19, 2008

Photo Friday: RQL Radio

Props to funny radio people, one of which is a new favorite: Robert Q. Lewis. Before his television shows, radio shows, game shows, and movie appearances (shew), Robert Q. was a disc jockey. My favorite tidbit: he played David Rose's song The Stripper (you'd know if if you heard it) for 45 minutes nonstop on his music show. Want to request a song on the show? Not that day - you got The Stripper instead.

A larger, crazier Bob

This late thought just in: Now I know why this stunt resonates with me. A local morning radio show did the same with Roxanne (and Johnny Cash, but I enjoyed that) - over and over and over....

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Veteran Star Started New Life at 50

It's January 1955 and what's Robert Montgomery doing? Producing his television show Robert Montgomery Presents on NBC, working on The Desperate Hours, and advising President Eisenhower on his various television and radio appearances. Busy guy.

This New York Journal-American article by James L. Kilgallen talks about Bob's various roles of the time and offers a number of interesting tidbits of information. For instance, how many actors do you know who had an office in the White House? (and Reagan doesn't count)

Monday, September 15, 2008

Need a Copy of the Earl?

Just a FYI, Free Movies on DVD recently added The Earl of Chicago (1940) to its catalog.

Also, this gives me an excuse to post a photo:

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Grand Hotel Premiere

And yes, this includes a Bob sighting:

My question: Where is that guest register today?

h/t: Alternative Film Blog

Monday, September 08, 2008

Thank You, Anita

You'll be missed.

It's amazing all of the blog posts I've been reading over the weekend about her. Anita Page was really never forgotten.