Thursday, August 30, 2018

Bob and Joan and Bill and Frank and Nigel

The Last of Mrs. Cheyney (1937) is being shown this Friday at 10:45 a.m./7:45 a.m. as part of TCM's all-day salute to Joan Crawford.  It's not a "great" movie, but it is underrated by IMDB at only 6.2.  Besides, it has two of the best reasons in the world for watching a movie .... Bob and Bill!! 

Oh, and a good third reason ... both Frank Morgan and Nigel Bruce are present to steal scenes!  My hat's off to the director!

        Bob with Joan and Bill in The Last of Mrs. Cheyney (1937)

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Look for the Tie, the Suit, the Hairline ...

Ah, the most recent addition to my 1930 striped tie and double-breasted suit photo shoot.  A rather long and awkward title, but not knowing the photographer or if the photos were to be used with any particular movie, that's the best I can come up with.  Whatever, such a handsome young man. 

I am still amazed at how different he could look from one photo to the next, even photos taken the same day.  Look at the four head shots below.  The last two are similar, but the other two?  I know it is the same shoot because of the apparel.  In no way would Bob have worn the same tie and suit to another shoot. 

The photo below was used as a premium in the Woman's Way Feb., 1931 issue.  Now that's a nice freebie! 

Or perhaps you were successful at receiving this 5x7 fan card with his "all good wishes" signature, a very lucky young lady. 

Thursday, August 23, 2018

She Just Was Not Very Nice to Young Bob

Now, this is a beautiful still photo from Inspiration (1931).  Black and white photography can be just marvelous.  Love it.  Unfortunately, my blog format is too limited to show this properly.  So ...

How about a blow-up of the photo's centerpiece.  Hey, it's Yvonne (Garbo) and Andre (Bob) headed up the stairs to his apartment. 

Hmm....what could they be thinking about.

Garbo was not happy about being in Inspiration, not liking the role, the script and apparently her co-star who she gave the cold (or more accurately frozen) shoulder throughout the movie.  Bob was humiliated in front of the entire crew, not a nice thing to do to the young actor.  Power just does not bring out the best in people.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Just Precious, Aren't they!

I have seen these advertisements being called "pop-ups."  I attempted to verify that term on the web, but today's pop-ups are unwanted computer ads, not the same thing for sure.  They are different than those life-size stand ups you see in a theater lobby that are supported by an easel on the back.  These guys have what look like flippers on either side which when folded back provide the support for the remaining image. 

The Bob pop-up has been used before, you can tell by the creases where flipper meets the body.  Flipper ... I'm sure they are called something else, but that's what I thought of the first time I saw this --- "Hey, it's Bob with flippers!"  He would probably not have appreciated that.

Joan's flippers have not been used ... The pop-ups are a tad odd-looking, big heads compared to narrow bodies.  Oh, for the record, their heights are approximately 8 inches. 

Now, poor Bill is missing one of his flippers.  It's kind of sad, seeing as it is rather difficult to stand up on one flipper.  But, he still looks like the cool gent he was, nothing can take that away from Mr. Powell. 

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Bob's Lifestyle in the 1950s

It's the 1950s, Hollywood is behind him and Bob is successful once more, this time as a television producer in New York City.  And successful people were seen at the best restaurants in town, always available for the photographer who is documenting the goings on of celebrities for the society columns.  Whether it's with daughter Liz at the Stork Club ...

or Buffy, the new Mrs. Montgomery, Bob is wearing a big smile.  He's a happy, successful man spending evenings with the ladies he love.  (The photo of Buffy is highly unflattering of her, doesn't even look like her.  But Bob's smile says it really is her.) 

Bob was able to pay for the expensive NYC lifestyle by producing, narrating and sometimes starring in Robert Montgomery Presents (1950-1957).  Bob was making as much as $500,000 a year from his NBC contract.  Not bad, except for the 90% tax bracket this put him in.  90% ... wouldn't the present-day top 1% have fits faced with that tax bill!  (Wouldn't any of us ...)

Bob with Burgess Meredith on the set of Robert Montgomery Presents

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

If This is Tuesday, it Must be Belgium....

Is it really Tuesday already?!!  I must be suffering from AHHS, Accumulated High Heat Syndrome, which hinders the process of knowing what day of the week it is - sometimes mistaken for encroaching senility. 

Meanwhile ... aren't Bob and Joan a great couple in Letty Lynton (1932), our favorite movie still not available in a non-blurry format.  Bob and that great white suit.  Too good. 

                  Bob and Joan Crawford in Letty Lynton (1932)

Thursday, August 09, 2018

5'2", And Oh What Those 5 Feet Could Do

Dorothy Jordan was born August 9, 1906, in Clarksville, Tennessee.  A cute southern belle to be teamed with cute northerner Bob in two movies (Love in the Rough and Shipmates).

In 1933 after four years in the movies, Dorothy decided she'd change her career to marriage and raising three children.  She did make a test for the role of Melanie in Gone With The Wind.  I think she would have been a good choice. 

It's always fun to think of "What ifs" when it comes to classic roles.  My favorite is Bob as the lead in the original stage production of "My Fair Lady".  He was asked to consider the role, not sure how wholeheartedly.  I think the then 50-year-old Bob would have made the role of Professor Henry Higgins His!!!  Of course, he had his TV show and his work for Ike to use as an excuse to avoid trying it.  But, still, wouldn't it be great to have a recording of Bob singing, "I'm just an ordinary Man!"

Tuesday, August 07, 2018

Happy (Belated) Birthday, Mr. Taylor!

Robert Taylor was a gorgeous young man.  And a handsome man until his much too early death at 57.  I became a big fan watching his TV series The Detectives (1959-62).  He was definitely well into his craggy good looks stage.  Then I discovered 1930s Robert.  Rrffff!

Monday, August 06, 2018

It's Audrey Totter Day on TCM

An entire day of Audrey Totter.  That is a deserving tribute.  There are three excellent movies being shown beginning at 8:00 p.m. EST/5:00 p.m. PST.  The first one, Tension (1949) co-stars Richard Basehart.  It is a noir classic and Audrey is just terrific, the noir Bad Girl personified. 

High Wall (1947) follows with co-star Robert Taylor.  Audrey gets to play a Good Girl for a change!  And closing up the evening is Lady in the Lake (1946).  Ms. Totter had a great snarl. 

Thursday, August 02, 2018

Mrs. William Powell???????

Nooooooooo, but many movie goers in the 1930's were convinced she was.  Today's birthday girl and her charming co-star were so convincing as Nick and Nora Charles in The Thin Man films and the eight other films they made together (usually as a married couple) that the public was convinced they were.

Myrna Loy was born on August 2, 1905 in Helena, Montana.  Loy's early ambition was to be a dancer, but in 1925 she was cast in her first silent film.  Throughout her silent career she was cast as a vamp or a femme fatale because of her exotic beauty.  This stereotyping continued as late as 1932.  In 1934 W.S. Van Dyke cast Myrna in Manhattan Melodrama with Clark Gable and William Powell.  Van Dyke was wise enough to see the remarkable chemistry between Loy and Powell.  In 1934 much to the disdain of Louis B. Mayer, Van Dyke cast Powell and Loy in a little mystery film based on a story by Dashiell Hammett called The Thin Man.  As they say, "the rest is history".

Powell and Loy made 14 films together.  They also developed an extremely close and lasting friendship.  Loy said that when Powell died in 1984, she was one of the first people his wife Diana Lewis called.

Loy's career lasted until 1981 when she starred with Henry Fonda in a TV movie, "Summer Solstice".  It was the last starring appearance for them both, although Myrna did make a guest appearance on a TV show in 1982. 

Happy Birthday, Myrna!  I know somewhere, your buddy Bill is wishing you one as well.