Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Music for your New Year's Eve - In Color!

It is New Year's Eve in 1956.  Robert Montgomery Presents makes a rather radical change from its usual dramatic format and provides a live hour of music for the stay-at-homers of a New Year's Eve.  Mr. Montgomery introduces the musical numbers and the telecast is "In Color" (for all you lucky people who had color TV sets in 1956).  Besides the numbers listed below (Little White Duck ... really?), the show featured "Mr. Touchdown, U.S.A.", "Soft Summer Breeze" and other Holiday favorites. (Why do I think Bob had little input into the evening's musical selections ...)  Anyway, an hour of watching blue-eyed Bob in living color ... that would've been great. 

And no matter how you choose to observe the last Holiday of 2019, may you enjoy it fully.  Happy New Year 2020!!

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

A Merry Christmas from the CM Crew ...

                                  Carrie, Kathy and Debbie

Thursday, December 19, 2019

"I'm in the Mood for Love"

Audrey Totter got a chance to sing and do a few dance moves, in The Saxon Charm (1948).  The movie "Bad Girl" got to strut her stuff, while playing Bob's girlfriend. 

Go for it, Audrey!

Tomorrow, December 20th, is Ms. Totter's birthday.  Born in 1917, she died only 5 years ago.  A good run by a classy lady. 

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Bob's Great in All Sizes

Trade card ...
Postcard ...

Magazine print, 8x10 ...

Poster, 11x15.

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Ah, Danny. You Poor Boy.

Yeah, I know.  I've used this photo before.  But isn't it worth a second showing.  Or a third, or a fourth ...

TCM is showing Night Must Fall (1937) in the wee hours of this Saturday morne, 3:00 a.m. PST.  Actually, that sounds like a great time to see it, but I don't think I can make it.  There was a time ...

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Can There Be Too Many Bobs? No Way.

ROBERT MONTGOMERY FINDS A DIRECTOR'S LIFE IS A BUSY ONE ..... After sixteen years as a motion picture actor, Robert Montgomery turns to directing in Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's "Lady in the Lake"...... Here we find Montgomery in his new role of movie director.

Montgomery lunches in his portable dressing room on the set while Bob Pierce, electrician provides impromptu luncheon music.  The busy director-actor seldom left the set while the film was in production.  

Bob eating lunch with a crew member providing music background on the accordion ... wouldn't today's unions have a complaint about this!  I think it's a good guess that photographer Bob set up the shot.  Do note the mirrors in the photo.  On the left side you see Bob reflected in a full-length mirror.  There's also a shadowy figure in the reflection, maybe the photographer. 

Bob is also seen in the dressing table mirror, along with a gent catching the entertainment. 

Which brings us to the six photos stuck in the frame of the dressing mirror.  These three are clear enough to determine that all are "candids" taken of Bob on the set.  So, 6 small photos of Bob, 2 reflections of Bob, and one original Bob.  Good one, Mr. Montgomery. 

P.S.  June Bride is being shown on demand on TCM until December 19th. 

Thursday, December 05, 2019

Bob in Color (Almost)

A nice photo, anyway. 

                    Bob and Irene in Unfinished Business (1941)

Tuesday, December 03, 2019

Robert Benchley & Our Robert at Home in NYC

Robert Benchley and Bob obviously having a good laugh together while enjoying a night at the Waldorf-Astoria in NYC.  The Waldorf is the kind of place both gentlemen could feel at ease while amongst the social elite.  Oh, that's right, they both are social elites.  The lady whose hand Bob is holding is Evelyn Wadsworth Symington, a member of both the social and political elites.  The Wadsworth men were New York businessmen and politicians, in the U.S. Senate, etc.  Stuart Symington was the son of wealth, becomes a very successful businessman and, at the urging of his father-in-law, runs for the U.S. Senate representing Missouri, serving from 1953 to 1976.  It's nice to be rich, so I've heard. 

Robert Benchley, humorist, (left) Robert Montgomery, film actor (right, standing) and Mrs. Stuart Symington (right, seated) as they attended the recent singing debut of Alice Marble at the Waldorf-Astoria.  12-3-1938, New York City

Bob, as you well know, was interested in politics and no doubt had hoped to become more than Eisenhower's media consultant.  But he was unable to cross that hurdle of being a movie star, politicians thinking themselves to be above such a lowly profession.  Ha.

I do have to say the photo shows Bob could make it as a politician ... shaking hands with his right and holding a beautiful rich lady's hand with his left.

And for you fellow trivia fans ... Alice Marble was a top tennis player, the kind that could attract elites to hear her sing at a supper club in the Waldorf.  I had not heard of her before, discovered she was quite the interesting person.  Look her up on Wikipedia for an entertaining read. 

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Psssst! Thanksgiving is Almost Here!!!

The holidays are such hectic times.  Too much to do and too many things to cause us to worry.  So easy to overlook the to-give-thanks part of Thanksgiving.  Sometimes it is simply easier to list all the negatives.  But, sometimes it can be surprisingly easy to run across what is good in your life.  Ta-da ... like this photo is for me.  It brought a huge smile to my face the first time I saw it.  Ah, yes, Frank Morgan at his befuddled-king-of-some-before-unknown-country best.  And, as a twofer, under all that ceremonial garb and huge mustache, the ever reliable Reginald Owen.  Just love it.  No need to hear the scene, you know those two are taking turns stealing it, while Ray Bolger is thinking, why am I even in this scene. 

       Ray Bolger, Frank Morgan and Reginald Owen in Rosalie (1937)

Watching old movies is like visiting old friends, for which I am ever grateful.  Since my youth I have kept the company of war heroes, tough private eyes, handsome lovers in tuxedos, and adventurers of all kinds.  Just all kinds of wonderful characters who make me smile, or cry, or simply feel good.  I have rarely been lonely.  Thanks, good friends.  

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Two Smokers and No Ashtray ... Hmmm.

One of my favorite Bob movies is being shown 'On Demand' on TCM through December 19th.  It is the war classic June Bride (1948), a bickering war between international correspondent Carey Jackson (Bob) and his new boss and ex-lover Linda Gilman (Bette Davis).  There is also the off-camera war between the two stars --- Bette very grudgingly agreed to working with Bob --- which seems to aid their performances. 

                       Bette Davis and Bob in June Bride (1948)

Of course I'm partial to the "man's best friend is the apple" scene with Carey and Mr. Brinker (Tom Tully).  And Bob's pratfall that ends the scene earns a 10, a perfect stunt.  Do take time out of your busy season for an enjoyable movie, and a chance to see two pros do their thing. 

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

You Know You're Getting Old When: You Realize that 1969 was 50 Years Ago.

Nifty photo of Bob, stamped on the back as being taken November 18, 1969.  Not many pictures of him from later than 1961 after The Gallant Hours was released and Eisenhower completed his second term.  The occasion for the meeting of the two ex-employees of President Eisenhower is not given in the photo description.  It could be a political function, but I'm guessing it is a fund-raising event in New York City.  Bob was President of the board of the Repertory Theater of Lincoln Center in 1969 and besides having his glasses in his left hand, as usual, he also appears to have notes in hand, the sign of another Master of Ceremonies job for Mr. Montgomery. 

"Actor and former TV advisor to the late President Eisenhower, Robert Montgomery exchanges quips with Secret Service Director James Rowley.  Looking on in amusement is Mrs. Rowley."

Rowley looked very familiar when I first saw the photo, so I looked through my Bob politics folder and found the photo below, taken in the mid-50s.  That's James Hagerty, Eisenhower's press secretary, on the left, with Bob on the right.  The gentlemen in the center is just identified as a secret service agent, but now we know who he is .... James Rowley, the future Director of the Secret Service.  Guarding the President can have its rewards ...

And still handsome at 65 ...

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Henry Jr. in 1943. Nice Suit.

Movie Stars Parade magazine may have used the photo,

but I'm guessing the Navy took it.  As in, grab a flag, lean it against a solid background, and plunk down the officer in front of it all. 
Henry was one good looking man.  Putting him in a uniform is almost overkill ...

Monday, November 11, 2019

Thursday, November 07, 2019

I'm Blaming Daylight Savings Time for Messing up my Biological Schedule!

Well, heck.  This week I managed to both overlook Joel McCrea's birthdate (Nov. 5th) and get my Thursday post set up on time.  Geesch.  Anyway, righting both wrongs with one action, I present Mr. McCrea in a promotional photo for Union Pacific (1939).  At the age of 34, Joel has passed through his beautiful young man stage and entered his extremely handsome stage, which lasts for a very long time.  And he was a basically good man, as well.  A rarity was Mr. McCrea.  Happy Belated Birthday, Joel. 

                                        Joel McCrea, 1939

Tuesday, November 05, 2019

And Not One Mention of a Wife ...

This is the November, 1930 issue of Photoplay.  Loretta Young was such a beautiful young lady, wasn't she!  Besides being an excellent fan magazine, this issue has several Bob sightings, including a feature article with a portrait, a candid with Fifi D'Orsay and a brief story (of questionable origin).  The article is a fun read, if not completely accurate ... typical for the time.  Probably typical for today, as well. 

 From the caption above ... a "nifty" is a clever or neatly turned phrase or joke.  (Had to look up the meaning for myself.)

Thursday, October 31, 2019

BOOOOOO!! Happy Halloween!

                      Rosalind Russell, Night Must Fall (1937)

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Yeah, the Mustache is Just Too Much!

Trouble for Two (1936) has it all ... romance, intrigue, comedy and Bob with curls and a mustache!  Bob as the Crown Prince Florizel runs off from the drudgery of royal life to seek adventure and good times in London.  The king assigns Colonel Geraldine (really?), played by Frank Morgan, to travel with Bob and keep him in line.  Below, we find the boys taking baths before going out on the town ... doing so together is an interesting concept.  But, hey, I do enjoy a Montgomery nude scene, and there are so few of them!

Ah, the foggy streets of London.  Florizel and Geraldine find out about this mysterious Suicide Club from Louis Hayward, and Florizel just has to find out all about it.  Check out Bob's pose, and being all decked out with not just a tux but high hat, cape and cane, as well.  Is there a woman in London who can turn down this gorgeous specimen of manhood? 

Nope.  It's not love at first sight, but Princess Brenda (Roz Russell) and Florizel do work things out in the end.  Of course.  TCM is showing Trouble tomorrow, Wednesday, at 2:45 p.m. EST.  

Thursday, October 24, 2019

First, Fond du lac, Now Sheboygan - Wow!!

Montgomery, star of television, movies and radio, told a Sheboygan county Republican rally that "We never had it so bad."  

Ah, it is October 24th, the 1952 presidential campaign is in full swing.  Lucky Bob appears to have been assigned to cover Wisconsin...in October!  I'm guessing he used the 14,000 sq. ft. mansion of Mrs. Irene Purcell Johnson in Racine, WI as his base of operations.  Irene (Bob's co-star in The Man in Possession) and hubby Herb Johnson, Jr., chairman of the board of the Johnson Wax Company, traveled in the same social circle.

         "Robert Montgomery speaks for Eisenhower in Sheboygan."

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Smoke! Smoke! Smoke! (That Cigarette)

"Swapping yarns between scenes of Universal's comedy-drama, Unfinished Business, are Preston Foster and Robert Montgomery, who are cast as brothers in the new film."  Well, that is one possibility. 

You can tell it's 1941, when 99.9% of men smoked. 

And right down to a nub. Criminy, Bob.  Did you have to smoke so much?  

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Such a Gorgeous Young Man

I've used this photo on the blog before.  Well, I used another copy of it.  This print came up for sale on eBay a while back and no one bid on it.  I broke down and spent $9.99 so the vendor didn't just pitch it because it was a no sale.  The thought of a 90-year-old picture of Bob not being cared for ... so sad. 

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

What a Difference a Stamp Makes

You could look at this purchase one of two ways:  (1)  A once over-sized photo has been trimmed to approximately 8x10 inches.  How sad to vandalize such a wonderful photo.  Or,

(2)  On the back of the photo is a Hurrell stamp.  I was actually able to buy a Montgomery by Hurrell without that bank loan!  Wonderful.  Whatever, the essence of the photo is there.  Love that smile.

Thursday, October 10, 2019

A Word About My Other Passion

I am a St. Louis Cardinals baseball fan.  Or should I more correctly say fanatic.  I watch most every game they play.  Baseball and floating in the pool are my summer passions.  The prior three seasons they did not make the playoffs and my Octobers were downright depressing, I was lost for something to fill the void. 

Ah, but this year, St. Louis won their division.  September was a real nail biter.  I thought all summer that the Cubs would beat us --- hey, the media said they would! --- but they fell apart at the end.  Thank goodness, because Milwaukee went on this scary winning streak at the end and came too darn close.   

It is nice to win.  And last night we won again, the NLDS this time, winning over the Atlanta Braves.  The Cards were not expected to win, of course.  And I am sure we'll be the underdogs once more.  But, hey, we might just win. 

Meanwhile, it's October 10th and there are a minimum of four more Cardinals games to watch, hopefully many more.  It has been a beautiful October.  Thank you Yadi and the rest of the team for making it so.  Go, Cards!!

Tuesday, October 08, 2019

Wanna fly to Fond du lac for breakfast?

Ah, ha!  This photo came with the news caption adhered to the back.

 "The radio and television advisor to President Eisenhower, actor Robert Montgomery, accompanied by his wife, was the guest speaker Sunday (Oct. 3, 1960) at a "fly-in" breakfast at the Fond du lac County airport to support Vice-President Nixon for the presidency.  About 250 persons in 80 private aircraft attended the breakfast."                  

Fond du lac County is in Wisconsin, at the southern end of Lake Winnebago and 68 miles from Milwaukee.  Easier to fly into Fond du lac than Milwaukee, I would imagine.  Check out Bob's lapel for the Nixon pin.  Mr. Montgomery was not a close friend of Mr. Nixon, but Mr. Montgomery was a loyal party man.  I have always liked Buffy.  You know she just loved flying to Fond du Lac, WI in October to be by her man. 

Thursday, October 03, 2019

Uncle Sam Needs You(r Money)!!

Now, just what is in Bob's bag ... lets assume it's money.  Has he just been handed the bag or is he giving it to the person on the right?  Since Bob is in uniform, is the money for some war drive?  Aarrgh!  Another photo without any description available.  Shucks.  I do know that big smile helped raise a few extra dollars from the ladies. 

Tuesday, October 01, 2019

Getting Down to Basics

Just a gorgeous scene, isn't it.  Plunked down in a beautiful woodland, flowers everywhere, the couple more interested in each other than their surroundings.  But, who are they?

Oh, it's Greta Garbo and Robert Montgomery in Inspiration (1931).  Still a gorgeous scene with plenty of flowers ... and you have a closer look at Bob!  Near perfection. 

(I apologize for the lateness of my post.  Knowing what day of the week it is has been one of the unexpected challenges of retirement.)

Thursday, September 26, 2019

What?! Bob Loses the Girl?! Yikes.

1929 did not produce many great movies, not many good movies either.  Everybody was madly working out how to handle that new crazy development of sound.  Many movies featured musical numbers, although they were not musicals as we know them now.  The musical aspect was easier to understand than having people actually talk, that took a while to master.  So, you just needed a story line that will work with the occasional song being thrown in.  Hey, why not a college movie!

So This is College was one of those 1929 productions, featuring songs like the classic "I Don't Want Your Kisses". 

It starred young hopefuls Elliott Nugent and Robert Montgomery, and featured songster Cliff Edwards ... someone had to be able to sing!  Eddie (Nugent) and Biff (our so young Bob) are best pals, fellow football stars and leading gagsters at their fraternity.  Life is perfect for the two when ... shudder, shudder ... they find themselves in competition for the same girl. 

Yes, Babs (Sally Starr) is the new girl on campus and manages to win over both of the boys and breakup their friendship when she chooses Eddie over Biff (What?! Bob loses the girl? Eek.) 

Will Eddie and Biff get back together?  Will they reconcile long enough to play the big game and beat the hated rival?  For these answers, and more, check out the movie being shown on TCM tomorrow (Friday) at 7:00 p.m. PST