Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Ah, Isn't He Cute. And the Dog, Too.

Ross postcards and trade cards are just superb.  Below is one of their trade cards (most are about 1-1/2 x 2-1/2").  The quality is so good you can blow them up to regular photo size without blurring the image, very unusual for the typical trade card.  

This could be a 1929 Bob ... note the collar.  Bob enjoyed his dogs.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

It's All a Mystery to Me!

I'm rather enamored by this still from The Mystery of Mr. X (1934).  Obviously, the main subject matter, Mr. Montgomery, is of particular interest to me, but the use of shadows is also eye-catching.  Note there are two shadows of Mr. X.  An open door is apparently the source of the brightest lit patch on the wall, producing the darker shadow primarily on the curtain.  A second shadow appears on the far right of the photo, from another light source behind Bob and to our left.  Now,  the true mystery to me is why, with all the lighting in the room, does Mr. X need a flashlight to see the safe? 

Now having a bright light directly on Bob's face, that makes perfect sense.  I mean, we're all looking at Bob anyway, right ladies?  So of course we want a clear view of that great profile!  Just love the nifty hat with the tux. 

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

The Look, The Drink ... But Where's the Tux?

Well, it's not bad for a magazine clipping.  It would definitely be nice to have an original photo of Bob and Norma setting off sparks.  Yet, reading what Bob has in mind is certainly not diminished by the poor quality of the print.

                  Bob and  Norma Shearer in The Divorcee (1930)

TCM will be showing The Divorcee this Wednesday at 9:00 a.m. EST/6:00 a.m. PST.  The movie would have been improved significantly if they had given Bob more screen time.  Mrs. Thalberg may have gotten an Oscar for her performance, but Norma's particular style of overacting can be a tad unnerving.  Yet, I admire her for succeeding in an extremely tough profession.  Besides, one has to be thankful to her for her role in helping to boost Mr. Montgomery's early career.  Thank you, Ms. Shearer.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Happy Birthday to Boston Blackie!

Chester Morris was born February 16, 1901.  He and Bob made back-to-back movies together, The Divorcee and The Big House, forging a close friendship in the early 1930s when both actors became so highly successful in their careers.  Actually, Morris was a step or two further up the ladder than Bob was in 1930, when The Big House really made his career.

The photo below is a publicity shot for Corsair (1931).  I love the IMDB synopsis for the movie: "Stock market broker plans to liven up his boring life by taking up piracy on the high seas."  Good one.  Check out the striped pants.

Chester's career took a dive in the late 30s, so signing on to the Boston Blackie movies in the 1940s was a great financial boon for the struggling actor.  When they ended, he switched to theater and television in the 1950s.  In 1970, he was diagnosed with stomach cancer and dies of a barbiturate overdose.  The coroner could not determine if it was suicide or an accident.  Whichever, it was an understandable reaction to cancer at the time and ever so sad. 

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

I Would Rather See Letty Lynton, But ...

TCM is showing Here Comes Mr. Jordan (1941) this Wednesday the 14th at 2:00 p.m. EST/11:00 a.m. PST.  Yeah, it would be great if some of his other movies were to get some of that rare airtime allotted to Mr. Montgomery.  But, it is an enjoyable movie and Bob, of course, does a great job as Joe the genial boxer and saxophonist.  Lets just hope he retires from the ring before he messes up that beautiful face. 

Thursday, February 08, 2018

Just Two Blokes on a Boat

Ronald Colman was born February 9, 1891, in Surrey, England.  Besides being an elegant and handsome chap, he had one great voice ... English accent and all.  He was a biggie in the Golden Age of Hollywood, a top movie star and high in the very, very British social circle in Los Angeles.  1937 was a great year for Mr. Colman, starring in The Prisoner of Zenda and Lost Horizon.  Not bad.

      Ronald Colman as King Rudolf in The Prisoner of Zenda (1937)

Meanwhile, I get a chance to use a favorite photo.  It's Mr. Montgomery, our favorite anglophile, yachting with Mr. Colman.  I'm sure Bob was in pig heaven, spending a day at sea on Ronnie's yacht.  There just aren't enough photos of Bob in swimming shorts ...

Tuesday, February 06, 2018

Wallace Beery Plays Himself, errr, Butch!

TCM is showing The Big House (1930) this coming Thursday.  Definitely worth a watch, even if prison movies aren't your thing.  Chester Morris and Wallace Beery are the stars, Bob has a major supporting role.  The movie begins with Bob's character, clean cut Kent Marlowe, being checked into the overcrowded and dated prison to serve a 10-year sentence for killing a man in a drunken-driving accident.  The sequence is really quite good, showing the dehumanization of Kent as he is changed into prisoner no. 48642.  And then the poor guy meets his new cellmates, Morgan (Chester Morris) and Butch (Wallace Beery), with Butch as everyone's nightmare roomie. 

     Chester Morris, Bob and Wallace Beery in The Big House (1930)

Kent has a completely rational reaction to his fate, he is scared to hell facing a life situation filled with violence for which he is ill-prepared.  Love the look on Bob's face in the photo below.  You're so right, Bob.  Nothing good is going to come for you in this prison break. 

It's great seeing Bob in a different kind of role.  But his future has already been determined by the two movies he has made with Norma Shearer, Their Own Desire (1929) and Divorcee (1930).  He just looked too darn good in a tuxedo! 

Thursday, February 01, 2018

It's a Great Photo, But ...

Unfortunately, I am limited by the framework of the blog when it comes to displaying large photos, as well as those of great scope.  Even in an 8" x 10" format, it is difficult to tell just what is happening in the photo below, but it still looks nifty. 

So, lets take a closer look.  Hey, it's Bob as Silky Kilmount on his way to ... no, I can't say anymore, don't want to spoil the ending for anyone!  Anyway, check out those skinny Montgomery legs.

And the other group of men appear to represent the government, the military services and the established church.  Note, the navy guy didn't seem to hear the director's order to look at Bob.  Guess they didn't think anyone would see the scene well enough to notice it.  

By the way, I have a blown-up version of of the still I use as wallpaper.  Yes, it's a really nifty photo!