Jump to content
 
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...

Robert Montgomery (1904 - 1977)


Recommended Posts

bobby.jpg

 

"If you are lucky enough to be a success, by all

means enjoy the applause and the adulation of the

public. But never, never believe it." - Robert

Montgomery

 

"His every gesture is superb. In fact, he's the

only man I know of who doesn't have to pull up the

legs of his trousers before sitting down." -

Ronald Colman

 

*** A thread to bring a little love and shed a some light on the films and accomplishments of one of my favorite actors, Henry Montgomery, Jr. a.k.a., Robert Montgomery.

 

(For much more on his life and career see this wonderful website, which unless otherwise noted is the source of the information contained in my post: http://www.earlofhollywood.com/ )

 

___________________________________________________________________________

 

Biography

 

Born and raised in Upstate New York, Robert's parents were well enough off to send him to private schools locally and abroad, furnishing him with the polish that would type-cast him at MGM for years as its resident playboy-in-waiting. However, underneath the smoothness was a shrewd mind and hard working ethic that would enable him to make the most out of opportunities to extend his range, go behind the camera, and eventually form his own production enterprises.

 

As if lifted from a plot of a depression-era MGM programmer, after Robert's father died it was found that the family's fortunes had evaporated and the young man set about going to work to help support his family. Montgomery took jobs as a mechanic on the NY-NewHaven-Hartford railroad and on an oil tanker before settling in New York City to try his hand as a writer (he would return to the field in the 1950s when he became one of President Eisenhower's speech writers).

 

As a young middie on a tanker.

Bobbyinnavymiddie.jpg

 

 

 

Like many actors of his generation, his varied life experiences combined with his military service, would serve to inform some of his best performances with an authority and a certain gravitas, allowing him to break free of the charming lads in dress clothes.

 

His debut as an actor on came on the stage in 1924 (the same year Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer was formed). He also married Kentucky socialite and stage actress Elizabeth Allen (not the screen actress) and after being awarded a contract with MGM the couple moved to Hollywood.

 

RM with Chester Morris and Wallace Beery, The Big House,MGM, 1930

BigHouse.jpg

 

It would be 1930 before Montgomery would get a chance to get out of a dry martini and get his feet wet in something grittier. George Hill's prison drama The Big House would be his first departure role. The same year, the Montgomerys would see the birth of their first child, a daughter they named Martha who sadly died at 14 months of spinal meningitis. Their bewitching daughter, Elizabeth, would be born in 1933.

 

**********

RM as 'Auguste Pellerin', a young flier in MGM?s other all-star picture, Night Flight 1933.

NIghtFlight.jpg

 

If you are fortunate enough to attend this Spring?s TCM Classic Film Festival in Hollywood, you will have the opportunity to see young Montgomery as a gallant airman in the rarely seen *Night Flight*, based on Saint-Exupery's novel about his days as a mail pilot in the Andes and an example of the kind of film star mega?wattage MGM could assemble. Overshadowed by *Dinner at Eight* and *Grand Hotel*, this all-star adventure is the only time you?ll see Myrna Loy, Clark Gable, Robert Montgomery and John Barrymore all share the same screen.

***********

 

In a Hurell portrait from his ?salad days?, looking deceptively like a model without a thought in his head beyond the next cocktail hour.

hurellportrait.jpg

 

 

MGM would continued to cast Montgomery in playboy roles after The Big House, but he took on new responsibilities when elected as the president of the Screen Actors Guild in 1935 and would serve four consecutive terms in that office, seeing it develop from a loosely organized 'club' into a powerful force to protect artists interests, culminating in a strike in 1937 and eventually forcing the producers to give official recognition of the Guild.

 

In an interesting tidbit related to this period, Montgomery proved he was a tenacious fighter when, according to the above website 'helped send gangster Willie Bioff to the Federal penitentiary when the Screen Actors Guild was being intimidated by Bioff and the Capone mob. After having his tires slashed, Montgomery hired two former FBI men to gather information on Bioff, which he then presented to Henry Morgenthau, then Secretary of the Treasury.' [source, www.earlofhollywood.com]

 

night-must-fall-shadow.jpg

Photo, Classic Montgomer Blog, http://classicmontgomery.blogspot.com/

 

All of which seemed to warm him up for the fight he took on to get MGM to give him the plum role of 'Danny', a psychotic killer in Night Must Fall. Mayer was disdainful but Montgomery won out and gave a memorable performance that turned the boyish affability he'd become known for on its ear. Despite favorable critical reviews and an Academy Award nomination, the film did not do well at the box office and so it was back into a tux for Bob.

 

A proud looking Lt. Commander on leave.

lt-cdr-rm-400.jpg

 

Always independent and concerned with world affairs, Montgomery quietly made a visit to France in 1940 where he joined the war effort by volunteering as an ambulance driver. When he returned to Hollywood several weeks later he pained MGM upper management again by joining the U.S. Naval Reserve, eventually seeing action in Europe and the Pacific, where he rose to commander of a P.T. boat.

 

TWE-13.jpg?t=1300721914

 

Wartime experience would serve the actor unexpectedly when director John Ford called upon him to star in his film for MGM, the elegiac valentine to the ordinary soldier, They Were Expendable as 'Lt. John Brickley' (based on real Naval PT boat squadron leader John Bulkeley). Montgomery was apparently very nervous about returning to acting after being away in service, especially in so heavy a role but Ford must have reassured him for he gave one of the most concentrated and grounded performances in his career as the fair and compassionate PT boat officer ordered to 'lay down a bunt' at the cost of many of his men.

 

They Were Expendable brought Montgomery an unexpected opportunity to experience his first taste of directing when an accident sent Ford to the hospital with a fractured leg. Ford summarily assigned Montgomery to take his place on the picture and the experience would make Robert want to increase his time spent behind the camera for the rest of his career.

 

behindthecamera.jpg

 

1947 would prove to be a watershed year for Montgomery?s Hollywood career, when he would go on to direct the experimental film noir based on Raymond Chandler?sLady in the Lake, the first Hollywood feature to rely almost entirely on a subjective camera technique (first experimented in Delmer Daves? Bogart and Bacall vehicle, Dark Passage).

 

Later the same year Robert would direct an even more effective noir, the underappreciated Ride the Pink Horse (1947), which I personally consider his most complete work as a director and one of his finest as an actor.

 

Directing Audrey Totter in a scene for Lady in the Lake, 1947, MGM

lake-direction.jpg

 

In Ride the Pink Horse, Montgomery plays ex-G.I. 'Lucky' Gagin, searching for underworld boss Frank Hugo (Fred Clark), recently arrived in a small border town. Lucky's reasons for trailing Hugo are initially as mysterious as he is dogged, and his peculiar obsession falls under the curious observation of Al Smith, a G-Man who tracks Lucky and begins to take a liking to his subject.

 

Colorized photo still from Ride the Pink Horse, Universal International, 1947

pinkhorse.jpg

 

What infuses the film with texture and a pungent quality is the odd assortment of misfits, including piquant Al Smith, Thomas Gomez's loquacious carousel operator and a grave-eyed urchin played by Wanda Hendrix who shadows Lucky like a smitten spook. In the mix with Montgomery's own slightly unhinged and surly characterization, everything combines to create an almost Welles-ian world of off-kilter personalities and moral ambiguities. Suspicion and menacing intrigue combine uneasily in the dark, seedy border-town at fiesta time, an atmosphere that points to the milieu of Orson Welles' Touch of Evil made years later in 1958. However, this being Robert Montgomery and not Welles, the right thing to do eventually emerges from the mist.

 

Montgomery and Thomas Gomez,Ride the Pink Horse, Universal International, 1947

ridethepinkhorse1.jpg

 

 

Wanda Hendrix riding that pink horse with her director and co-star.1947

ridethepinkhorse.jpg

 

After directing and starring in one last feature,Once More, My Darling, a tip of the hat to the breezy romantic comedies of his early career, Montgomery would bow out of the big screen and concentrated on writing and producing his own television series, most notably the successful and critically acclaimed Robert Montgomery Presents (in which his daughter, Elizabeth, would make her TV debut).

 

RMbehindthecamera.jpg

 

Augmenting his production executive status would be the opportunity to go to Washington and assist Dwight Eisenhower with his speeches, coaching him for the new medium of television which would change the political campaign approach forever.

 

Bobby-candid-readingspeech.jpg

 

___________________________________________________________________________

 

Privately, the real Montgomery may have been a reserved man with those he was not intimate (author Scott Eyman referred to him as one of the "chilliest" people in Hollywood, while actress Myrna Loy found him a delightful cut-up). One thing remains fairly consistent: he did seem a man who possessed the courage of his convictions and provided him with the engine to grow out of a tuxedo into a uniform and eventually the sport jacket-and-pipe of a full fledged production executive and writer. Robert Montgomery died in 1981 in New York City, at the age of 77.

 

Aren't we glad he left us a rich assortment of movies, including a stable of dashing young characters possessed of ready wit, coaxing smile and mischievous twinkle in the eye?

 

Bobby-tousledhair.jpg

 

Partial filmography, most of which air periodically on TCM:

 

1950 Eye Witness

 

1949 Once More, My Darling

 

1948 June Bride

 

1948 The Saxon Charm

 

1947 Ride the Pink Horse

 

1947 Lady in the Lake

 

1945 They Were Expendable

 

1941 Unfinished Business

 

1941 Here Comes Mr. Jordan

 

1941 Rage in Heaven

 

1941 Mr. & Mrs. Smith

 

1940 Chamber of Horrors

 

1940 Haunted Honeymoon

 

1940 The Earl of Chicago

 

1939 Fast and Loose

 

1938 Three Loves Has Nancy

 

1938 Yellow Jack

 

1938 The First Hundred Years

 

1937 Live, Love and Learn

 

1937 Ever Since Eve

 

1937 Night Must Fall

 

1937 The Last of Mrs. Cheyney

 

1936 Piccadilly Jim

 

1936 Trouble for Two

 

1936 Petticoat Fever

 

1935 No More Ladies

 

1935 Vanessa: Her Love Story

 

1935 Biography of a Bachelor Girl

 

1934 Forsaking All Others

 

1934 Hide-Out

 

1934 Riptide

 

1934 The Mystery of Mr. X

 

1934 Fugitive Lovers

 

1933 Night Flight

 

1933 Another Language

 

1933 When Ladies Meet

 

1933 Made on Broadway

 

1933 Hell Below

 

1932 Faithless

 

1932 Blondie of the Follies

 

1932 Letty Lynton

 

1932 -But the Flesh Is Weak

 

1932 Lovers Courageous

 

1931 Private Lives

 

1931 The Man in Possession

 

1931 Shipmates

 

1931 Strangers May Kiss

 

1931 The Easiest Way

 

1931 Inspiration

 

1930 War Nurse

 

1930 Love in the Rough

 

1930 Our Blushing Brides

 

1930 The Sins of the Children

 

1930 The Big House

 

1930 The Divorcee

 

1930 Free and Easy

 

1929 Their Own Desire

 

1929 Untamed

 

1929 So This Is College

 

1929 Three Live Ghosts

 

TWE-186.jpg?t=1300722071

 

Edited by: MissGoddess on Mar 21, 2011 1:38 PM

Link to post
Share on other sites

very nice little bio. I vaguely remember *Night Must Fall* (believe TCM had it on not too long ago), it was very good, and was a good "cast against type" role for Robert Montgomery. He was also very good in *Rage In Heaven* with Ingrid Bergman and George Sanders. Surprised that Hitchcock didn't use him in a similar fashion, he would have been great in a number of Hitch films as a villain type. And of course, he gave us the wonderful Elizabeth to watch years later.

 

Edited by: mrroberts on Mar 21, 2011 2:15 PM

Link to post
Share on other sites

Good day, Mr. R.,

 

> very nice little bio. I vaguely remember *Night Must Fall* (believe TCM had it on not too long ago), it was very good, and was a good "cast against type" role for Robert Montgomery.

 

Thank you for stopping by. :) Yes, Night Must Fall was on recently and I can't recommend it highly enough for fans of suspense and anyone curious to see a very different change of pace for the charismatic young actor. I liken the strange attraction between him and Rosalind Russell to that of a snake and a mongoose. :D

 

> He was also very good in *Rage In Heaven* with Ingrid Bergman and George Sanders.

 

Which is coming up in about 15 minutes. ;) I admit to favoring Sanders in this one, Bobby seems to be somewhat removed from his character, but perhaps that serves to make him seem more neurotic.

 

 

> Surprised that Hitchcock didn't use him in a similar fashion, he would have been great in a number of Hitch films as a villain type.

 

I agree, I can see him playing a 'Philip Van Dam' type. Cultured, smooth, impossibly intelligent but an insecure meglomaniac. It may have merely been "logistics" that kept them from working together more often.

 

> And of course, he gave us the wonderful Elizabeth to watch years later.

>

 

His greatest production.

 

ElizabethasSam.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites

*Robert Montgomery* Films on the TCM Schedule:

 

*Rage in Heaven*

Today, 3/21/11 3:30 p.m.

 

*Yellow Jack*

4/19/11 8:45 a.m.

 

*Strangers May Kiss*

4/27/11 6:15 a.m.

 

*Mr. and Mrs. Smith*

5/1/11 8:00 a.m.

 

*Fast and Loose*

5/25/11 4:15 a.m.

 

*Hell Below*

5/27/11 4:15 a.m.

 

*They Were Expendable*

5/29/11 5:30 p.m.

 

*Piccadilly Jim*

6/1/11 2:15 p.m.

 

*June Bride*

6/3/11 10:00 p.m.

Link to post
Share on other sites

MissG, I hope you got to see Biography of a Bachelor Girl in the last few days. Despite the obvious stage origins of the script, both Montgomery and Ann Harding give fine performances. They have excellent chemistry, too. Una Merkel and Edward Arnold help out, though Edward Everett Horton is somewhat miscast as Ann's first beau.

 

Do you agree with Jeanine Basinger's observation that Montgomery had a mean streak, which he shows on screen, and that's one thing that makes him interesting? I tend to agree. Recently I've been seeing a number of pre-Codes on TCM, and some of the leading men are so dismal (take Regis Toomey in Shopworn--please!) that someone like Robert Montgomery really stands out. Like Clark Gable and Spencer Tracy, he registers as a personality, and to the movies that's more important than always seeming like a nice guy.

 

Thank you for giving a plug for Ride the Pink Horse, which is on my "wanna see" list. I've used it about four times in the programming challenges.

Link to post
Share on other sites

> {quote:title=kingrat wrote:}{quote}

> MissG, I hope you got to see Biography of a Bachelor Girl in the last few days. Despite the obvious stage origins of the script, both Montgomery and Ann Harding give fine performances. They have excellent chemistry, too. Una Merkel and Edward Arnold help out, though Edward Everett Horton is somewhat miscast as Ann's first beau.

>

 

I'm afraid I missed that one, hopefully TCM will air it again. I wonder about that pairing. Two such intelligent leads, it reminds me of her movie with William Powell...I forget the title, they have a marrigage of convenience. I found no chemistry between them. I tend to prefer Robert opposite someone warmer, like Loy or Lombard.

 

> Do you agree with Jeanine Basinger's observation that Montgomery had a mean streak, which he shows on screen, and that's one thing that makes him interesting? I tend to agree. Recently I've been seeing a number of pre-Codes on TCM, and some of the leading men are so dismal (take Regis Toomey in Shopworn--please!) that someone like Robert Montgomery really stands out. Like Clark Gable and Spencer Tracy, he registers as a personality, and to the movies that's more important than always seeming like a nice guy.

>

 

I never heard about a mean streak off screen, but it doesn't surprise me. He could be quite haughty and condescending, I'm sure of it. Most of my favorites could be mean it seems, ha!!! :D About the only exceptions are (from my favorites) Will Rogers, Gary Cooper and Joel McRea.

 

As for meanness in Roberts characters, certainly his noir guys like Marlowe (Lady in the Lake) and Lucky (Ride the Pink Horse) can be pretty nasty. Especially his Marlowe, which is the most misanthropic portrayal of the detective I've seen yet.

 

What I like about his comedic characters is the childishness, the little boy quality. I don't normally respond to that, he's the only actor who can act that way and still remain attractive to me.

 

> Thank you for giving a plug for Ride the Pink Horse, which is on my "wanna see" list. I've used it about four times in the programming challenges.

 

I've noticed and you got my vote this time. I really liked your schedule. :) I keep mentioning RTPH, hoping TCM will find a way to show it, or that it will come to DVD.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I really like Robert Montgomery! His films in the 30's are wonderful, especially the precodes. He has an edge--not really mean, just enough of a jerk to be interesting. And he doesn't let his female co-stars get away with much typical female nonsense. A sort of modern day Rhett Butler, maybe?

 

And, has anyone noticed how much Elizabeth Montgomery resembles her dad? Not so much in looks, but her expressions and gestures.

Link to post
Share on other sites

> {quote:title=traceyk65 wrote:}{quote}

> I really like Robert Montgomery! His films in the 30's are wonderful, especially the precodes. He has an edge--not really mean, just enough of a jerk to be interesting. And he doesn't let his female co-stars get away with much typical female nonsense. A sort of modern day Rhett Butler, maybe?

>

 

Very well said...I like that. He is a smart aleck, but it's partly because he's so very smart (even when he plays "simple", like in Hide-Out, Earl of Chicago or Here Comes Mr Jordan).

 

He's adorable in the thirties and the best light comedy actor along with Grant and Powell.

 

> And, has anyone noticed how much Elizabeth Montgomery resembles her dad? Not so much in looks, but her expressions and gestures.

 

Every time I watch "Bewitched" I think it and say it to whoever will listen! Interestingly, both Elizabeth's mother (Robert's first wife) and his second wife, were named 'Elizabeth'.

 

Daddy and daughter:

bobbyAndElizabeth.jpg

 

bobbyAndElizabeth2.jpg

 

Young Elizabeth and her brother, 'Skip' (Robert Montgomery, jr.):

ElizabethAndSkip.jpg

 

Robert with wife, Elizabeth Allen - Elizabeth Montgomery's mother:

RobertAndElizabethAllen2.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd watched Bewitched for years--one of my favorites as a kid (my mom swears I looked just like Tabitha) and later watched Robt Montgomery movies without knowing they were related. I remember reading that her father's name was Robert Montgomery, but I didn;t make the connection. Then, I watched a Bewitched marathon with my sister and not long after watched Private Lives and BING! the light went on, based entirely on the smile and the funny faces they both make.

 

Sardonic--is that the word I want for Robert? I think so. Possibly.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

Can you say something about Robert Montgomery in "Mr. and Mrs. Smith," w/Carole Lombard? His funniest -- Hitchcock lent him lots of screen time to just doodle and ludicrous away, in a tux! He was a doll, and his and Lombard's kinetic timing in this is to drool over. 'Member him in "The Divorcee?" I never thought Shearer would get rid of him in that! His rich stooge was iconic for many male richies during Depression filmmage. I love him, and have to put that Lombard on many times just to get him to make me laugh.xoxo1968B2

Link to post
Share on other sites

> {quote:title=1968B2 wrote:}{quote}

> Can you say something about Robert Montgomery in "Mr. and Mrs. Smith," w/Carole Lombard? His funniest -- Hitchcock lent him lots of screen time to just doodle and ludicrous away, in a tux! He was a doll, and his and Lombard's kinetic timing in this is to drool over. 'Member him in "The Divorcee?" I never thought Shearer would get rid of him in that! His rich stooge was iconic for many male richies during Depression filmmage. I love him, and have to put that Lombard on many times just to get him to make me laugh.xoxo1968B2

 

I can say it's a delightful film, and definitely Hitchcock's funniest. I wish RM could have made more with Carole Lombard, they have wonderful chemistry. I'll admit that when I first saw this movie, long ago, I didn't find it funny! I don't know what I could have been thinking. I love the scene at Mamma Lucy's, with the cat. Ha!!

 

One funny story about filming was that after hearing about Hitchcock's infamous statement that actors should be treated like cattle, Carole Lombard had a small paddock with cows installed on the set. :D

 

carole_lombard_and_robert_montgomer.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for all this great work, MissG. Excellent. (THIS is why I will never care for Maltin or any other 'professional' reviewer - they can't TOUCH a great thread like this...)

 

I like FAST & LOOSE, one of my favorite "Caper Couple" films, and Montgomery's JOEL SLOANE is the memorable one of the 3-series set (Melvyn Douglas and Franchot Tone starred in the other two).

 

Robert's Young-Lad face - that little boy roundness/smoothness - really did offer him an amazing set of eyes. Maybe it's also a matter that, once I've seen his very slender physique in NIGHT MUST FALL but those oh-so-sinister eyes as he's making faces in his mirror, I have never been able to shake that reality of what his face can do.

 

EXPENDABLE closes with a strong scene from him, where John Wayne's about ready to explode, so tempermental, almost out of control, and there's Robert's face, just mild and calm, but completely strong, completely powerful - and controls Wayne's eruption as they fly home. Using him "against" Wayne's much bigger, more emotional character is pretty near the perfect choice by Ford.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Montgomery has always struck me as a warm soft spoken man. Maybe it has more to do with his character in "They Were Expendable" and the performances he directed from "The Gallant Hours." He's good in so many of his roles but that was just my impression.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Chris,

"Brick" is probably the nicest, most well-rounded character he played. I have yet to see *The Gallant Hours*, actually.

 

Ollie---Montgomery seems ideal as the gentleman sleuth/thief type. In fact, in *The Last of Mrs. Cheyney* I often thought the casting of he and Bill Powell could have easily been interchanged. Except, that Powell was seldom a skirt chaser.

Link to post
Share on other sites

MissG, you comment that RM "seems ideal for gentleman/sleuth" - yes. And I think he's pretty perfect as a sinister killer, too.

 

I guess my next study will be to find my least favorite of his films, and why. There are a handful of his early films that I'm unfamiliar with, and you posted a GREAT SCHEDULE that is easy to read for everyone and at least a couple on there were unfamiliar.

Link to post
Share on other sites

> {quote:title=FrankGrimes wrote:}{quote}

> So did Bobby Montgomery mess up your message box or what?

 

No, I think it was either the fault of the Web Admins or Elizabeth's mother:

 

AgnesMoorehead-Endora.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites

Miss Goddess, I love a lot of Montgomery's films, and you know I love Elizabeth too.

 

I did watch *Biography of a Bachelor Girl*, it was pretty good, not one of my favorites for either him or Ann Harding though. I also watched him again in *Here Comes Mr. Jordan*, which is a favorite, however I don't like him as much in his tough guy roles as I do in the comedies and other films.

 

I liked him opposite Shearer and Russell, and I think I hold the board record for mentioning the film *Three Loves Has Nancy* which is a particular favorite of mine. I didn't think *Mr. and Mrs. Smith* was all that funny either when I first saw it years ago, I've found that to be the case with a lot f the screwball comedies. Now, I "get it" , I guess, because I love these films now and think they are hilarious.

 

I think I'll check out *Fast and Loose* again since Ollie brought that one up, I don't remember it very well but I know I've seen it. Also I just found out, (according to Amazon) that *Night Flight* is finally coming to DVD! In June, I think. I really want to see that film.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Mololito!

 

>

> I did watch *Biography of a Bachelor Girl*, it was pretty good, not one of my favorites for either him or Ann Harding though. I also watched him again in *Here Comes Mr. Jordan*, which is a favorite, however I don't like him as much in his tough guy roles as I do in the comedies and other films.

>

 

Have you seen Ride the Pink Horse? I like his "gangster" in Hide-Out. He is really cute in that one. I also like *The Earl from Chicago* which I seem to remember we discussed.

 

 

> I liked him opposite Shearer and Russell, and I think I hold the board record for mentioning the film *Three Loves Has Nancy* which is a particular favorite of mine.

 

I saw that a couple of years ago and was pleasantly surprised by it! I like him best with Myrna and Carole.

 

> I think I'll check out *Fast and Loose* again since Ollie brought that one up, I don't remember it very well but I know I've seen it. Also I just found out, (according to Amazon) that *Night Flight* is finally coming to DVD! In June, I think. I really want to see that film.

 

His part is brief but very dashing, as I recall.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Howdy Miss G,

 

> {quote:title=MissGoddess wrote:}{quote}

>

> Have you seen Ride the Pink Horse? I like his "gangster" in Hide-Out. He is really cute in that one. I also like *The Earl from Chicago* which I seem to remember we discussed.

>

 

No, I haven't seen *Ride the Pink House*, I did just check it out on IMDB and it looks good. I do remember our *The Earl of Chicago* discussion. That was quite a while ago.

 

>

> I saw that a couple of years ago and was pleasantly surprised by it! I like him best with Myrna and Carole.

>

 

He's a suberb leading man. He played opposite so many of the great leading ladies of the thirties.

 

 

>

> His part is brief but very dashing, as I recall.

 

That one has been on my want list for a long time. :)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Yay!

 

That was such a perfectly written, moving biography/tribute/overview of RM, MissG! I am so glad you started this thread up. Your OP is beautiful!

 

I saw "Bachelor Girl" with Ann Harding, and I enjoyed it a lot - I thought Ann was absolutely the best I'd ever seen her - vague, lovely, modern. RM was saddled with a rather snotty, irritable character, but he had his moments. In his final speech he finally admitted that he loved Ann, which unfortunately he spoke after Ann left the room, it was lovely. Then he had to run and brag to her that he actually said it, it brought out the little boy in him, charming.

 

I love *Hide-out*, and also *The Last of Mrs. Cheyney* - I agree about the casting - oh, to have to make a decision between Powell and Montgomery! Two of the best actors, each with the lightest touch, but the ability to seriously underplay when it comes to the drama.

 

*Night Must Fall* - Well, this is a movie I'll never, ever miss! You know how I feel from our long, discussion of RM's performance and the movie itself.

 

As for *Mr. and Mrs. Smith*, I didn't get it either, I think it's an adult taste. I absolutely love it now, it is one of the handful of movies that just gets better and better the more you see it. When you know what's going to happen, it's even funnier.

 

*They Were Expendable* is a perfect film, Ollie. I agree that RM and Wayne both give incredibly great performances, each in his own way.... and I would say that each plays against his type just a bit in this movie - it's altogether a singular film with no stereotypes, no trite plot points; a very realistic war film that deals with themes found in no other.

Link to post
Share on other sites

JF, I admit that NIGHT MUST FALL is a less-than-favorite film to see, but I enjoy the difference that The Same Ol' Boyish-Charmed Robert can bring, yet still be fairly consistent. He's no Lon Chaney - no Man Of A Thousand Faces. But he can deliver those same ones with such aplomb, and MUST FALL leaves his sinister look always in my mind. I like it for that reason - as sort of a milepost marker. Same with Rosalind - she doesn't stretch out her inevitable character as much, but I can watch her in anything.

 

EXPENDABLE - no stereotypes? Or all? I can't decide. I like the perverbial ineffectual ensign Marshall Thompson. He's smothered by everyone ignoring him. And Ward Bond, too, the focused old Chief Bosun's Mate. I don't know if "Stereotype" is right, or that he simply sets the standard for every bosun to shoot for. .

 

HIDE-OUT (1934) has been more interesting to me because TCM showed the 1941 remake I'LL WAIT FOR YOU (Robert Sterling, Marsha Hunt, who is always collectible for me). I'LL WAIT just doesn't have it. It's not that Robert Sterling is "less" than Montgomery, but I think across the board, the cast doesn't deliver like the original cast does despite some of my favorites (it's tough to match HIDE-OUT's two cops The Edward twins - Edward Arnold and Edward Brophy).

Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh, gosh, Ollie, I LOVE Night Must Fall.. I can't even imagine someone not liking it... but at the very least, it's a fascinating movie, and I liked your ability to se something good in it, even if it's not a favorite. The suspense is killing, so to speak. :D

 

Maybe you are right about Expendable, but if so, it bends those "types" into something else. One expects Wayne to pick up and sock someone in the jaw, but instead, he ends up trusting Brick and the decisions of the high command. The same goes for every other character - in any other movie, each of the characters would be left to do what they do, how they do it. In TWE, each is required to do something more - something above and beyond the call of duty. And the actors do the same, stretching themselves into something way beyond stereotype.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Ollie, I agree, HIDE-OUT was superior for all the reasons you mentioned (yep, the two "Edwards" were rocking!), but I have a soft spot for I'LL WAIT FOR YOU, and not only because of Marsha--though that would be reason enough! I love Paul Kelly for one thing and I felt that the folks were a bit better in the sequel, including the switch from The Mick to a little girl. Not to mention that I saw the remake before the original and fell in love with it! Didn't stop me from totally grooving to the original for sure though!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Mark, when I think of I'LL WAIT's support cast, maybe you've made the right argument - I do like the family, although I suspect my usual dislike for Mickey Rooney (who hardly ever plays "likeable" anyway) could be the root of it.

 

I saw HIDE-OUT first and I'm always suspicious of "First Seen sets The Standard", so I can't say I can give I'LL WAIT a fair shot. Except... well, I'm pretty crazy about Marsha Hunt, ever since LOST ANGEL. Don't know why - that incredible scene where she and young Margaret O'Brien 'do battle' over the affections over James Craig...

 

(Oooh, another of the Pencil Thin Mustache twins! I forgot about James!)

 

TCM's old schedule was so handy for me to catch all of these favorite filmmakers' entries, and I even enjoy finding their Least Favorite Entries. (Not that NIGHT MUST FALL is close to that - no, it's way too good for that - but just a bit 'hard' to watch and contemplate such a character. RM pulls it off so well. I also like the choice of endings - him being led away instead of gunned down. THE PROWLER makes this other choice and the setting is so, well, lame - definitely The Weak Point of that strong film.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
© 2021 Turner Classic Movies Inc. A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Cookie Settings
×
×
  • Create New...