Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Impromptu Ray Photos

I just started watching Easy Living, which came to DVD last week. Two words: Automat scene (Haven't seen it? Gotta watch it).

Monday, April 28, 2008

Bob TCM Schedule for May

May 21 is Bob's birthday and TCM is celebrating with a mini film marathon. Their Own Desire is one I've never seen before, so I'm bouncing off the wall for that opportunity. If you're challenged for time, or recording space, my personal favs from the play list, in order, are: Another Language; No More Ladies; Hide-Out; and Live, Love and Learn.

Check your local listings for the exact start times.

7 AM Their Own Desire (1929)
A young couple's affair is complicated by her father's relationship with his mother. Cast: Norma Shearer, Robert Montgomery, Lewis Stone. Dir: E. Mason Hopper.

8:15 AM Love In The Rough (1930)
A shipping clerk bluffs his way into a country club to romance an heiress. Cast: Robert Montgomery, Dorothy Jordan, J.C. Nugent. Dir: Charles Reisner.

9:45 AM The Easiest Way (1931)
A slum girl discovers the joys of life as a kept woman until she falls in love. Cast: Constance Bennett, Robert Montgomery, Clark Gable. Dir: Jack Conway.

11 AM Strangers May Kiss (1931)
A sophisticated woman risks her marriage for love of a ruthless schemer. Cast: Norma Shearer, Robert Montgomery, Neil Hamilton. Dir: George Fitzmaurice.

12:30 PM Another Language (1933)
A newlywed discovers that she and her husband's snobby family speak different languages. Cast: Helen Hayes, Robert Montgomery, Louise Closser Hale. Dir: Edward H. Griffith.

2 PM Lovers Courageous (1932)
A failed playwright falls for an admiral's daughter. Cast: Robert Montgomery, Madge Evans, Roland Young. Dir: Robert Z. Leonard.

3:30 PM Live, Love And Learn (1937)
A bohemian artist and a society girl try to adjust to marriage. Cast: Robert Montgomery, Rosalind Russell, Robert Benchley. Dir: George Fitzmaurice.

5 PM Hide-Out (1934)
Farmers take in an injured racketeer and try to reform him. Cast: Robert Montgomery, Maureen O'Sullivan, Mickey Rooney. Dir: W.S. Van Dyke II.

6:30 PM No More Ladies (1935)
A society girl tries to reform her playboy husband by making him jealous. Cast: Joan Crawford, Robert Montgomery, Charlie Ruggles. Dir: Edward H. Griffith.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Who Oscar Didn't Recognize, Tony Did

With Hollywood behind him and television following a similar route, Robert Montgomery moved to the stage - not to star but to direct and produce. One of his more successful Broadway works was based on Joseph Hayes' hit suspense novel The Desperate Hours.

The Desperate Hours is the story of an Indianapolis family who have their home invaded by escaping convicts. IMO, not your typical fare for a stage play.

After the 1954 novel's success was recognized, a Broadway production and film version came out the following year. Directed by William Wyler and starring Humphrey Bogart and Fredric March, the film version can be found on DVD.

The Broadway version of the story was directed by Robert Montgomery and included Karl Malden as the family's father and a young Paul Newman in the "ring leader" role Bogie played.

With 212 total performances under its belt, The Desperate Hours earned two Tony Awards for 1955: Best Play - Joseph Hayes and Best Direction - Robert Montgomery.

Read Time magazine's Feb. 21, 1955 review of the Broadway production.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Photo Friday: Private Lives

Elyot & Sybil (Una Merkel) in a more civil moment. I love how Norma Shearer's character later says "Sybil" in that condescending tone.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


Some recent bits from around the Internet:

Free Movies on DVD
is now offering Haunted Honeymoon and Ride the Pink Horse for sale. For those of you I baited with the 10 minute YouTube clip on HH, here's your chance to catch up!

Cinema Styles has dug up a fun photo I hadn't seen before from Blondie of the Follies.

And a tip from Laura's Miscellaneous Musings, an interview with Audrey Totter, including some interesting bits on how she was selected to star in Lady in the Lake.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Fangirl Field Trip Report

If you ever want a look at a microslice of American culture, I highly recommend visiting a movie collectibles show. Sunday was another episode of our local, semiannual, bowling-alley-hosted event.

Half the fun is watching the people. Some observances:
  • Yes, there are young people who have interests in classic stars. Case in point, a teen flipping through the Jean Harlow & Clark Gable files.
  • Half of the show will always be dedicated to horror.
  • Middle aged women purchasing piles of horribly reproduced photos of their favorite stars, squealing like little girls when they find Ken Wahl (ha, like I should talk - I'm just not middle aged yet).
  • Two words: bootleg DVD.
  • Just how are they able to sell newly issued books for half price?
  • Flipping through a binder, having a photo of say Gary Cooper directly across from a photo of a nude porn star - a common occurrence.
  • Stuff is cheaper than ebay.
  • "Do you have a minute" I heard behind my back. Turning around, there was a college-aged woman, holding a big honking microphone in hand, with the a tape recorder slung across her shoulder. In fear of being immortalized on someone's blog (gasp), or edited into a weird YouTube documentary on movie nerds, I politely declined.
And of course, I did find more material for the blog...

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Two Bobs

It's the weekend and I'm bored. That means you get an extra special weekend post - vintage color!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Dangerous (1935)

Great film, just watched it for the first time last night. And all this time I thought I didn't care for Bette Davis...

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Condé Nast Classic Photos

From the "ways to spend your money" file: Condé Nast (the publishing folks) now offers prints of photos, magazine covers, and illustrations from their collection. Let me point you in the direction of the two Robert Montgomery photos they have for sale:

When actor Robert Montgomery moved his family west, they all wanted a house that looked like the colonial farm they had left behind in New York—so they built one in Beverly Hills. His wife, Elizabeth, wrote about the process and the finished result in a 1938 issue. About this photograph, taken by Fred Dapprich, she reported, “The favorite room in the Montgomery ménage is the library. It is filled with all the elements of comfort. Mr. Montgomery has settled into a giant couch (over ten feet long) designed especially at his request.”
View at Condé Nast

Robert Montgomery acted opposite some of the screen's most beautiful stars: Greta Garbo, Norma Shearer, Joan Crawford, and Marion Davies. Montgomery, who was nominated for an Oscar for his performance in 'Night Must Fall,' also appeared in 'Yellow Jack,' 'They Were Expendable,' and 'Lady of the Lake.' Photograph by Tony Von Horn in the September 1931 Vanity Fair.
View at Condé Nast

I highly recommend browsing their store for the tons of vintage star photos they offer.

Prices range from $180 to $1,500 for various sizes and frames. So, if you have a few spare dollars lying around, remember me next Christmas.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Monday Blips and Beeps

Hollywood biographer Allan R. Ellenberger has a new blog - it's off to a good start (...adds to bookmarks).

I'd like to salute (*censor*) all of the fine folks who jumped on ebay to sell their Charlton Heston memorabilia as soon as word made it out of his passing. I understand free markets, demand, and all that stuff, but sheesh.

Happiness is . . . having a coworker walk into your cube Monday morning to talk about a movie she watched over the weekend: Our Blushing Brides.

TCM played Lady of the Tropics last week as part of April's Hedy Lamarr film festival. I'm sorry, I couldn't make it past the 15 minute mark, even with Robert Taylor. On the flip side, TCM is showing Hedy's H.M Pulham, Esq. on April 10. One of my fav. Robert Young movies - and Bob aside - a really good story.

And speaking of Robert Taylor, Linda J. Alexander's book Reluctant Witness: Robert Taylor, Hollywood, & Communism is now out in ebook format and is coming to print in May.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Photo Friday: Unfinished Business

Sleeping under the bed, hung over & not remembering the wedding from the night before. Just one example of the fine cinema you'll find in Unfinished Business (1941) ;)

Larger Photo

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Source for Letty Lynton on DVD

So you've seen Letty Lynton for sale on ebay. . .wondering if the overpriced copy of a copy of a copy on VHS is any good. Well, I can help a little. Copies of Letty Lynton on DVD can be purchased from Free Classic Movies on DVD (which is actually $9.25 for the DVD & shipping). Sure, it isn't exactly Blu Ray or even true DVD quality, but it's good enough to watch this über rare movie.

Overall, I'm willing to bet this copy of Letty is the same one floating around out there, but I can at least vouch for this resource. I purchased the DVD online & got it in the mail a few days later in an actual jewel case & padded envelope (gasp!).

Like I mentioned before, the audio is pretty good - it has a somewhat of a "barrel" sound to it, but it's perfectly understandable. The video is a bit muddy, but watchable. I found watching the film on my PC in a shrunken window to be the best viewing, but it'll work on your home TV as well.

Looking for some sharper photos from the film in general? I have some posted over on the companion Classic Montgomery Web site.

I can still hear the theme music

Nils Asther does a great job of playing a total slime

Seven Eighty Seven

The meat market...

...It goes both ways - I didn't catch the door into Letty's room quick enough

A final drink

h/t: Katie: Madge Evans Blog, Obscure Classics

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Airplanes on the Big Screen

The EAA Fly-In convention in Oshkosh, Wisconsin is one again asking folks to vote on what aviation-themed Hollywood movies to play on their outdoor screen this year. As someone who's sat under the night-time summer sky at their event, I've got a bit of an interest in the voting. For consideration this year are:
  • Air America (1990)
  • The Dambusters (1955)
  • The Flight of the Phoenix (1965)
  • Memphis Belle (1990)
  • Always (1989)
  • The Final Countdown (1980)
  • Strategic Air Command (1955)
  • Airplane! (1980)
  • Bridges at Toko-Ri (1954)
  • Tora Tora Tora (1970)
My vote(s): Strategic Air Command & Bridges at Toko-Ri

As they say - vote early, vote often!