Thursday, May 29, 2014

It's a Hurrell ... and He's Smiling!

The best thing about magazine clippings is that they provide passable copies of photos not seen otherwise.  The worse thing about clippings is that they make you keenly aware that there is yet another beautiful photo not available to you.  Whatever ... love the smile.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

And Now, Time for a Different Robert

Another gorgeous young man.  I am not sure if the photo number "RYX-1" means this is the very first MGM portrait of Mr. Young, but it is definitely an early photo.  Guessing 1932, which would make Robert 25 years old at the time. 

In the late 1980s, I was working in an office located in Westlake Village, CA.  I had an account in a bank nearby, convenient for quick runs during my lunch hour.  (This was before computers.  Remember having to physically appear at the bank for your transactions?  Gee, how did we survive back then?!)  On one visit I noticed an old man sleeping in a wing chair in the lobby.  He looked familiar, took a second look and realized it was Robert Young.  Sleeping in a chair in a bank.  A rather strange feeling, looking at a genuine star from the Golden Age of Hollywood sleeping 15 feet away from me.  When I got up to the counter, the bank teller related that this was a common occurrence.  Bob's home was nearby, just a couple blocks and up on a hillside.  But why he was at the bank sleeping ... one of life's mysteries.  I stayed around for a while, hoping he might wake up.  Left when I thought the staff might become concerned about the strange woman lingering in the lobby.  Never saw him again, although there was that hope that I would.  And maybe he would have been awake and I'd see his big smile in person.  That would have been nice. 

Friday, May 23, 2014

Robert Montgomery Birthday Week - Bob at his Best --- When He's Laughing

Bob's best attribute ... one great smile.  Whether it's from sharing a laugh with a friend and co-worker ...

... or a young boy. 

Or at a joke by an old, dear friend.

Or simply enjoying one of Life's wonderful surprises.

It's an infectious smile, isn't it.  Thank you, kind sir, for sharing that smile with us all. 

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Robert Montgomery Birthday Week - Co-Stars

Besides being favorite photos, I chose five ladies who were good matches for Bob.  The ever so cute Dorothy Jordan paired well with the youthful Beautiful Bob.  One of my favorite pairings was Bob and Maureen O'Sullivan, a truly beautiful couple.  Darn, but I wish they had made more movies together.  Helen Hayes was Bob's personal favorite leading actress and you can see his respect and adoration for her come through onto the screen.  After five movies together, Bob's and Rosalind Russell's performances were seamless, and a laugh shared at work was real, not just for the camera.  Lastly, only because of my timeline, 30-year-old Audrey Totter's "bad girl" was a great match for older Bob's tough guys.  And what did they all have in common?  The good fortune of sharing the screen with Bob.  Lucky ladies.

                    Love in the Rough (1930) with Dorothy Jordan

                       Hide-Out (1934) with Maureen O'Sullivan

                 Vanessa:  Her Love Story (1935) with Helen Hayes

                   Trouble for Two (1936) with Rosalind Russell

                         Saxon Charm (1948) with Audrey Totter

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Happy Birthday, Mr. Montgomery!!

Captain Henry (Bob) Montgomery, Jr., U.S.N.R., and good friend Jimmy Cagney on the set of The Gallant Hours in May, 1959.  Bob is just turning 55.  The photo below is a blow up of Bob from the photo.  The baby face is gone, the sideburns are gray and the crow's feet are more pronounced, but, hey, he is still one handsome dude.   

Flashing forward to early 1968, we find an almost 64-year-old Bob aging gracefully, still dressing elegantly and, as always, eyeglasses in hand while being photographed.  Notice the colonnade on the left side of the photo....your simple Manhattan apartment! 

And now for a step backward in time to find Bob, 28, on the set of Hell Below in late 1932, with Walter Huston in the background.  Woof, one good-looking man.  

And speaking of looking good in a uniform ... two photos that have been used on the blog before, that, to me, represent Bob at his prime in both his private and professional lives.  When someone asks me who Robert Montgomery was, this is what I try to convey to them.  First, we have real Bob, or more correctly Henry, on board a ship at the beginning of his overseas duty in September, 1942.  What else could a 39-year-old Montgomery do to defend his country!  

And, professionally, it's Bob clad in his Hollywood uniform for Petticoat Fever (1936).  The old pro at 32 yrs of age, at the top of his game ... rrfff.

Thanks for being you, Robert.  Enjoy your day.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Robert Montgomery Birthday Week - Stills

Some photos do save a thousand words. 

               Man in Possession (1931) with Charlotte Greenwood

               But the Flesh is Weak (1932) with C. Aubrey Smith
                   (Isn't nude Young Bob just way too precious!)

                           Petticoat Fever (1936) with Myrna Loy

                 Unfinished Business (1941) with Eugene Pallette

                    Once More, My Darling (1949) with Jane Cowl

Monday, May 19, 2014

Robert Montgomery Birthday Week - Portraits

May 21, 1904 ... 110 years ... Hey, time to celebrate in a big way!!  I thought initially I'd just grab a few of my favorite photos to use on Wednesday, but my list of favorites became so extensive that I upped the celebration to the whole week ... and still agonized over trimming the number down to five a day.  Ah, what sweet agony.  Except for Wednesday's entry, the photos have all been used on the blog.  (Yes, NEW photos on his birthday, and definitely worth waiting for!!)  But they are all good for a second showing.  I call this grouping of Bob portraits, "4 Cotton Candy and 1 Crazy Danny." 

                                            Age 25 (1929)

                                              Age 26 (1930)                      

                                             Age 27 (1931)

                                              Age 29 (1933)

                                            Age 33 (1937)

Thursday, May 15, 2014

With All Good Wishes

     A letter from Bob, sent from his office in 1968.  I like the signature, his initials, I assume.  All I can see is a large letter R and some scribbles.  Not exactly the formalized signature one is used to seeing, but the sweeping line with the hash marks below his name is the same.  And it is in blue, of course.  Note the letterhead is printed in blue as well.
     President Lyndon Johnson selected Bob as a trustee for the National Citizen's Committee for Broadcasting (NCCB) when it was set up in 1967.  I am guessing that is why he would be sending a copy of the Congressional Record to an editor of the "Saturday Review."  My, I just realized that the ending salutation is "With all good wishes."  That's nifty, Mr. Montgomery. 
     I am also attaching a photo of 745 5th Ave.  So, both his office and Manhattan apartment were located in buildings 30-plus stories high.  Well, he did enjoy flying. 

Monday, May 12, 2014

Sunglasses, Scarf, Double-Breasted Jacket, Jodhpurs, Boots and Cigarette in Hand ... Cool!

As told by Marquis Busby for "Movie Mirror" magazine in 1932.  Actually,  the best part of the article is the caption for the photo below:  "Our hero, Robert Montgomery, and our writer of this yarn, Marquis Busby.  That's Bob in the riding togs and that's Busby walking, he says in the best approved interviewer manner --- that is, three steps behind the star."

Thursday, May 08, 2014

Another Fun Session With Hurrell

George Hurrell was an enthusiastic, brash extrovert.  His photo sessions were filled with music and shenanigans to try to get his subject to relax and find the right mood for his portraits.  And then he met Bob.  An unsmiling, bored Bob remained stoic no matter what Hurrell tried.  The following portraits are all from one of the Hurrell sessions.  To me, Bob looks different in each photo, but they all seem to convey that Bob is not a particularly happy camper.  In a rather poor attempt at humor, I've added Bob's thoughts in each photo.  If you can come up with better ones, please be my guest!

"Geesch, another session with weird Hurrell.  How mind-numbing can life be?!"

"Umm ... if I can get back to the studio within 30 minutes so I can change outfits, I just might have time to make the polo match."

            "More photos.  Just great.  Will this agony ever end?!"

"Okay, this is as big a smile as you'll get from me ... I'm out of here!"

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

How to Avoid Southern California Traffic

The Gallant Hours was filmed April - June, 1959, in Los Angeles and San Diego, CA.  The above photo was taken May 10, 1959.  I am totally unacquainted with naval terms, not sure if this is simply a boat, a yacht or what have you.  But, it's a 70-footer and it belonged to James Cagney.  The ship is in harbor at Newport Harbor (Yacht Club) in Newport Beach, CA, located south of LA.  As in a very beautiful and extremely costly piece of real estate.  What d'ya think, the Boys (Bob and Jim) on a weekend getaway from the trials of filming?  I always like these subtle reminders that the rich live a different life from ours.  My experience of this part of the state is being stuck in the usual traffic jam on the 405.  Oh, hey ... in my next life. 

Thursday, May 01, 2014

I'll Bet the Photographer Had to Wear Sunglasses

Let's see ... a checkered jacket, a polka-dotted shirt with a white collar and an "interesting" tie ... and Bob makes it work.  Would love to see this photo in color, an eye-catching outfit, I'm sure.  Bob the trendsetter.  I always try to find out the photographer's name, when a picture was taken, the circumstances, etc., but am rarely successful - unless it's a Hurrell, those you can tell right off.  Anybody know anymore about the picture?  It has a newspaper stamp of Oct. 13, 1937.