Thursday, September 30, 2021

What Did You Do in the War, Daddy?

 I love publicity stills from the studio days.  Everybody told to report most often on Saturdays in full wardrobe for hours of setups ... yeah, they just loved it.  Anyway, I was curious about the kinds of military service these gents had to portray these war heroes.  Of course, it is Hollywood so I wasn't too surprised to find that only two of the six served in the military.  Louis Calhern, the tall gent in the middle, served in France in WWI.  And the young man to his right is Dewey Martin, an actual war hero per his IMDB entry.  

Cast of Men of the Fighting Lady (1954) left to right:  Van Johnson, Walter Pidgeon, Dewey Martin, Louis Calhern, Frank Lovejoy and Keenan Wynn

" Martin joined the U.S. Navy in 1940 and served as a Grumman F6F Hellcat pilot in the Pacific Theater of the war. He fought in the Battle of Midway and had to ditch his Hellcat in the ocean because his carrier was damaged. He was shot down twice. The last time in 1945 and was held as a prisoner of war until Japan's surrender."

(Mr. Pidgeon was way past draft age for WWII, and as a young Canadian studying voice he was no doubt better fitted for the musical rather than the war stage.)

Monday, September 27, 2021

A Yank in Hollywood ('s only Monday!)

 It's one of those articles that could have been written without actually talking to the subject.  There are only a few brief quotes from Bob.  But, it is an interesting read.  This is the September, 1941 issue of Modern Screen.  

(If the photo far below of Bob and Irene Dunne looks familiar, check out the September 21st post, the last clipping.  Sister photos ... I made that discovery tonight while working with the post.  And I thought the other photo was taken, oh, 1946 or 47.  Just slightly off!)


Thursday, September 23, 2021

I just Love Mrs. Miniver (where's my hankie...)

 It was only recently that I discovered Walter Pidgeon started his career in musicals in the theater.  I still find it humorous when I see him playing Franz von Renner in Viennese Nights (1930).  It is not that I think he wasn't an excellent singer, but I have difficulty imagining him as anyone other than the Walter of the 1940s to 1970s that I had seen so often.  Yes, tall, dark-haired and handsome with a shake of stuffiness, that's my Walter Pidgeon. 

 Walter made seven movies as the husband of Greer Garson.  When MGM stumbled across a successful pairing, you were together for life, or perhaps it just seemed that long.  Bill and Myrna, Jeanette and Nelson, Greer and Walter ... just think of all the money they made for MGM. 

Walter enjoyed being an actor, worked until he was 80 when poor health caused him to retire.  He was born September 23rd in 1897 in New Brunswick, Canada.  Died September 25th, 1984, in Santa Monica, CA at the age of 87.  It was quite a distance to travel, but he had plenty of time to make and enjoy his successful journey. 


Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Ah, To Tweak the Montgomery Chin at Ciro's

 Yes, that's Mrs. Murphy with a good grip on Mr. Montgomery's arm.  Mrs. Montgomery is between Mr. Murphy and Mrs. Cagney.  Late 1930's version of wife swapping. 



 The above two photos show that Bob, although a heavy smoker, was seldom caught by the photographer with a cigarette in hand or mouth.  Nor was he photographed wearing his glasses.  Both he and Irene, below, have eyeglasses in hand. 

Thursday, September 16, 2021

Bill from BEFORE The Thin Man

 William Powell was at the top of his profession when he appeared in The Thin Man in 1934.  He was perfectly cast as the suave Nick Charles, and that is how many of us think of him.  But Bill was 42 by that time, having been acting for 22 years, since 1912 on the New York stage and since 1922 in the movies.  It took him a while to be able to so convincingly play that character.  

Below is Bill in Shadow of the Law (1930) portraying a businessman charged for murder.  He is innocent but the witness who can help him prove it has disappeared.  No humor and martinis in that role.

In 1926, Bill appeared in White Mice.  Neither IMDB nor Wiki has a plot line for the movie.  Can't even determine exactly what is going on in this photo.  BUT, it does prove that Bill was not born with a mustache.  He is already 34, but looks a lot younger.  Still .... I'm glad he decided on the mustache.  (Montgomery, on the other hand...) 

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

And this year's Oscar for Best Drinking Buddy goes to ...

Robert Benchley!!!  And Happy Birthday, Robert!  I know, it's actually Sept. 15th, but if I change days for the blog, I get all confused.  You know how that is, don't you Mr. Benchley.  Cheers to you, my friend. 

                  Bob & Robert Benchley in Piccadilly Jim (1936)

For those of you reading this early enough, please be advised Three Loves Has Nancy (1938) is showing on TCM at 3:00 p.m. ET.  

Saturday, September 11, 2021



Thursday, September 09, 2021

"...a tip-top entertainment."

 I purchased this magazine for the cover.  Definitely a worthwhile investment for me!  Finding anything about Bob inside is always a welcome treat. 

 Now this feature has a interesting tie-in with Bob.  So, Bob is a "Number 4 person," I'd never have guessed that!!  Anyway, some of the attributes of a 4 person rather fit Mr. Montgomery. 


And an ad for a Montgomery picture ... to be expected. 

Tuesday, September 07, 2021

Wearing Furs & Mukluks on a Movie Set - As Hot as Bakersfield on Labor Day!

 Ahhhh ... Dascom Dinsmore (great name!!) and Irene (Myrna) fall in love among the snow drifts and polar bears.  Great movie, great fun. 

Nice photo of the two lovers ... Bob's' at the center to include the sled as part of the setting.  Thought I'd edit it to focus on just the two.

 Yeah, that's better.

 A second trimming ... even better. 

 Third time is a charm ... perfect.  Fewer distractions.  Just two people discovering love.  Irene, you lucky lady.

Thursday, September 02, 2021

And Why Should We Care If It Has Meaning?

A great trio of performers, a joy to behold each one of them.  In other words, I like the people in the photo ... but, what exactly is going on here?  It looks like Montgomery is pulling Benchley down.  Does he want him to join he and Roz on the chaise?  Rather doubt that.  At least they are trying for something different.  And Roz gets to enjoy it.  Good shot of Bob (Montgomery). 

Bob, Robert Benchley and Roz Russell in Live, Love and Learn (1937)